The end-of-season numbers are in for 23/24 and the theme, as it has been all year, is frustration.

The headline figures are two permanent managers, an eighth-place finish, 11 league wins all season, and no derby successes to speak of. Nick Montgomery frequently contended that his team's underlying numbers were not reflective of their actual form, but he was unable to turn that analysis into reality, and it ultimately cost him his job.

There was some truth in the former manager's insistence - Hibs have underperformed against a number of metrics that suggest this campaign could, and should, have yielded better results. We've dug into the StatsBomb data to pick out the key conclusions from the season.


The main takeaway is that StatsBomb's key metrics paint Hibs as regressing as an attacking force from 2022/23 to the end of 2023/24. Headline figures are a drop in xG, set-piece xG and total shots taken. Hibs were mostly above the league average in several attacking metrics in 2022/23, whereas as this season you can see a regression towards the mean, in some cases even dipping below it.

Hibs Observer:

Hibs Observer:

This drop-off feels like it encapsulates the infuriating inconsistency of Montgomery's Hibs - on some occasions pushing 20 shots per game, xG between 1 and 2, to others - such as St Johnstone away in December - where they failed to register even a single effort on target.

Defensively, Hibs are largely in line with the league average on several metrics - xG conceded and shots conceded, for example - and even performing slightly above average for set-piece xG conceded. 'Average', though, is not really where Hibs want to be.

And, even more so than with the attacking metrics, there's a clear drop-off in defensive performance between this season and last, as you can see below.

Hibs Observer:

Hibs Observer:

With Hibs this season, though, the raw numbers only tell half of the story, and the need to stop conceding late goals, and surrendering leads in games, can't be emphasised enough. Montgomery spoke regularly about this issue, suggesting he even had plans to recruit someone who could help with the team's psychology, so concerned was he that it had become a deep-rooted issue.

READ MORE: Hibs quartet say farewell as one apologises to supporters

Could a high turnover of players help create a squad not bearing the scars of previous seasons? It's a sound theory, yet mental frailty is an accusation which has been levelled at more than one Hibs team in recent years, so it's clearly not a silver bullet. Addressing this problem will be of high priority for the new manager.

League comparison

Be warned: some of these are very much 'look away now' for Hibs fans, and will certainly compound frustrations. Hibs were among the league's best performers for xG per 90 minutes which, while never a guarantee of success, simply demonstrates that they were creating good quality chances at a higher rate than most other teams. In the end, they were the fourth-best in this metric, just behind Aberdeen who made a late surge.

Hibs Observer:

What does this tell us? That fashioning opportunities was not Hibs' primary issue this season. Hibs were also ranked third in the table for xG per shot - a measure of shot quality - but were bottom half for clear shots, defined as shots taken when the attacker is faced only by the goalkeeper.

Hibs Observer:

This chimes with a widespread consensus that they simply weren't clinical enough in front of goal throughout the campaign. There's also been a drop-off here in that, last season, Hibs were the Premiership's best performing team outside Celtic and Rangers for clear shots  Adding a ruthlessness in front of goal is so important heading into next season.

Defensively, Hibs were a mixed bag compared to the rest of the league. They conceded 1.55 goals per-90 minutes - the fifth most in the Premiership - despite being nip and tuck with most top-half sides for xG conceded (1.19 per-90).

Hibs Observer:

Last season, Hibs shipped goals at the same rate (1.55) from an even lower xG conceded (1.08), and it probably comes as no surprise to supporters that the team has underperformed in this metric.

Looking ahead

It's no secret that there will be a significant personnel overhaul at Hibs this summer, but what's striking in the post-season data is how the club will have to replace some significant contributors. As demonstrated in the graphic below, four of the top five players with highest xG per-90 will not be around next season.

Hibs Observer:

Christian Doidge's presence is somewhat of an anomaly, and without looking to diminish the former fan favourite's contribution, his relatively small minutes played sample size contributes to his high placing on the list. You can certainly argue that, Myziane Maolida aside, none of the others had particularly great seasons, but they were still amongst Hibs' most productive attacking players, and to lose all that at once only heightens the need for smart recruitment this summer. Myziane and Marcondes were also among the top performers for xG assisted, as was Elie Youan, whose future also feels very uncertain at the moment.

Hibs Observer:

On a more positive note, the above shows the value of Martin Boyle's contribution, even through a season where he clearly wasn't at his best. Given the level of change on the horizon, his influence will perhaps be needed more than ever.

READ MORE: Adam Le Fondre calls out 'certain people' in Hibs farewell

Midfield has been among several points of contention throughout the campaign, specifically around how Hibs find the right balance in the deeper-lying pair. Joe Newell has been a constant, and has partnered with Jimmy Jeggo, Dylan Levitt, Nectar Triantis and Nathan Moriah-Welsh at various points. 

Jeggo departed in January, Triantis will return from his loan to Sunderland, and Levitt still has much to prove despite his undoubted talent. Moriah-Welsh has been a popular addition, and despite appearing a little rough around the edges in certain aspects, his defensive numbers are impressive. The 22-year-old, with plenty years left to develop, finished the campaign as the leading performer for defensive actions, pressures, counterpressures, and ball recoveries in the opposition half.

Hibs Observer:

Hibs Observer:

It's impossible to paint this season as anything other than a major disappointment, and the fact that Hibs have underperformed against several of these key underlying metrics will only deepen the sense of 'what if' that has permeated the last nine months. 

That Hibs were among the league's higher ranking sides for xG, and underperformed their xG conceded, points to those more intangible aspects of the game as being an issue - ruthlessness in front of goal, concentration, game management, to name but a few.

It's now over to the next manager to engineer a turnaround on all fronts.