Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Scottish Premier League is not exactly up there with all the other top leagues around the world. What with a constant two horse race, a lack of household names, poor efforts in Europe and a shambles with those making the decisions.

As we mentioned before in the blog though, it's a shame that more people haven't seen the action in it this season as there's been some cracking goals. The opening weeks in particular produced a slew of world class efforts.

One of the most pleasing aspects of this season has been the form of Hibernian. Yes, we know Dundee United have been doing well too, but Craig Levein's a complete wanker and we at AFTN have long memories, so let's just not mention them or him again in this feature.

For years, Hibs have threatened to turn in a great season, but their seemingly never ending supply of exciting young players were soon snapped up by the Old Firm and any team unity soon disbanded.

They have also been consistantly inconsistant.

Every time they've look like producing a strong challenge at the top or just a solid team, a run of poor results against the lower teams have soon put a pin in those hope bubbles. It all looked the same old, same old this season when a promising start was soon ended by a comprehensive defeat away to Hamilton.

They've bounced back though and Saturday's fighting comeback against Rangers have shown that they may now be the team they've long promised to be and let's hope so.

Scotland badly needs a season where it's not a two horse battle from early on. Sure we had the Hearts challenge that split the Old Firm a few years back, but you kept waiting for them to fall away and eventually they let Celtic run away with the title.

It was good to see them snatch second but it was also hard to be on the Hearts bandwagon too much due to the way that they treated George Burley and moneybags Romanov was hard to take to.

Hibs though are much more likeable, much more appealing, and have gone about their business in a quiet way. So much so in fact that their rise to third place has almost gone unnoticed and unreported. They could have even gone top if they had beaten Rangers yesterday. I'm sure this lack of pressure and focus is just what they want.

Sitting third now and three points off the summit, their season may collapse as we've seen so many times before, not just with them but with so many other teams over the last few seasons. There's always one team that makes that early push and raises our hopes. They might run out of steam after the turn of the year, but they may also be the team the rest of Scotland have been looking for to cheer on to land the title away from Glasgow for the first time in what seems an eternity.

We think they'll keep it going for a while yet and with Celtic and Rangers seemingly not wanting to take the top spot for more than a few games at a time, a serious run from now till the end of the year and it could finally be an interesting SPL season.

It's taken long enough.

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