Oli Shaw is a player that divides opinion amongst the Hibernian faithful but is some of the criticism towards him a bit harsh?
If you saw his performance against a struggling St Mirren side in Paisley on Sunday, the answer is probably yes. The injury to Daryl Horgan proved to be a blessing in disguise as Shaw proved his worth to this Hibs team.
After coming on for Horgan in the 50th minute, the 20 year-old grabbed the visitors’ equaliser. Former Buddie Stevie Mallan released the young forward who then slotted past Vaclav Hladky. After Darren McGregor nodded Hibs ahead, Shaw was instrumental in sealing the deal by setting up Mallan to haunt his former club in injury time. Hibs ran out eventual 3-1 winners.
Great players over the years
He’s not of the same calibre as previous Hibs academy graduate strikers. In fairness, some previous players have tricky boots to fill. Garry O’Connor, Derek Riordan and Steven Fletcher were all incredibly hot prospects, sold on by Hibs for decent fees.
These three all made their first team debuts at around a similar age. Shaw hasn’t been considered in that same light. Yet, when it comes to league goals this season, statistically Shaw is Hibs’ best player. He, along with Florian Kamberi and Stevie Mallan, are on five goals.
Kamberi is the obvious point of comparison. Yet, their league goals and assist tallies are identical. Shaw has the better on the Swiss striker with a goal every 179 minutes of league action. This bettering the 307 of Kamberi. He’s also played over 600 minutes less than the former Grasshopper man.
Yet Hibs fans continue to use him as a scapegoat sometimes.
The fans can say what they like but the best way to shut them up is producing on the park, scoring goals, and Shaw’s performance in Paisley must be a massive confidence boost.