Hibs can beat Celtic to 2nd in the Scottish Premiership.
That’s according to Hibees legend John Brownlie. The Caldercruix-born Scotland international has suggested that Hibernian can pip Celtic and Aberdeen to the lucrative second Champions League place.
In comments filed under “Oh Dear, Has It Gotten That Bad”, the current East Stirlingshire assistant was bullish in his claims about his first club. Brownlie spent nine years in Leith, winning a League Cup with the Hibees. He told the Daily Record:
“A Champions League place is very much achievable for Hibs and it is all down to whether they can achieve consistency.
“The raw materials are there and they have the tools to do it, they have a system and identity within their squad which doesn’t appear to be the case either at Aberdeen or Celtic for that matter.
“With Celtic needing to show a lot more than they have and Aberdeen faltering badly, there is a gap in the market for a strong second-placed club and why shouldn’t Hibs fill it?
“It’s been a very long time since Hibs have been even mentioned in dispatches as being capable of finishing second but this season it is a real possibility. The test of their mettle will be when the top six split comes.”
Hibs comments show how far Celtic stock has fallen
With all due respect to Brownlie, Celtic absolutely do have an identity: we’re a club in crisis. Still, it would take more than a couple of losses to capitulate to third or even fourth in the table.
While 90s nostalgia is popular, the Bhoys shouldn’t look to recreate the pre-McCann era by finishing any lower than second. The fact we’re talking about this shows just how far standards have slipped since even last year.
Somehow, a squad as talented as Celtic’s is being spoken of as so vulnerable that Hibs or Aberdeen may overtake us. Consider how image-focused the incumbent Hoops board is. It’s not laughable to think that quotes like this might actually spark some action.
It’s not entirely realistic, either, but it’s not laughable.
Obviously, a quarry of salt is required here. Brownlie is a Hibs hero. He’s hardly likely to say anything negative about the club who made him a Scotland international. Still, though. When Celtic are seen to be this vulnerable, it’s hard to say things are on the up around Kerrydale Street.
Hopefully, we’ll look back on all this and laugh.