After dismantling Craig Levein’s Hearts last weekend, is it time to focus on Neil Lennon’s Hibs?
Hearts came to Ibrox looking to put a stamp on the title-race. A win over Rangers in Glasgow would’ve been huge for them as they looked to cement their status as title-contenders.
Instead, Rangers dominated the match and had them beat by half-time. Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, and Scott Arfield did the damage in a big 45 minutes of football from Rangers.
Hearts still remain five points clear of Rangers, and that means they remain a threat. Until Rangers can get ahead of Levein’s men, and convincingly so, Rangers have to be wary of the threat they provide.
Yet, is it time to start talking seriously about another title-contender in Hibs? It may prove to be factual come the end of the season that many have been worried about the wrong Edinburgh club.
An attractive brand of football
Whilst Hearts have taken the plaudits for their unbeaten start to the season before coming to Ibrox, Hibs have been in terrific form too. The Easter Road side are now on a four-match winning run with three consecutive clean sheets. They’re starting to show some real consistency as the cream of the crop starts to show in Scotland.
Added to that, they play a more attractive, expansive game than Hearts. Lennon has ingrained into his squad a “if they score one then we’ll score two” belief. Hibs rattled home six goals past Hamilton Accies last weekend, and they’re another side scoring freely.
Even at the back, Hibs seem to have shored up slightly. Defensive issues have plagued them from being a superb domestic side, but they’re looking much better at the back this season. It would be highly disrespectful of Rangers to simply dismiss what they could bring to the table this season.
We’ll find out a bit more to them when they travel to Celtic Park in their next fixture. Should they beat the Parkhead side, big question marks will be raised. Hibs have plenty of attacking quality in their side, however, with the likes of Stevie Mallan, Florian Kamberi, and Martin Boyle extremely dangerous at this level.
Hibs deserve to be respected for their good work so far this season. They may end up being the club we all should’ve been taking about in the first place. In any case, Rangers need to keep going about their business how they have done. Hearts have been seen off for now, and attentions must turn to Hamilton in two weeks.
In the meantime, however, one eye must be kept on Hibs’ performances.