Date: 22nd May 2008 at 11:18am
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It has been reported that Stevie Frail and Hearts are set to part company as the club (allegedly!) prepares for the introduction of a new management team.

Frail is someone who, in a similar way to Christophe Berra, has been taken advantage of by the club’s owners in a forlorn attempt to try and retain the support of the fans in my opinion. They obviously wanted to try and make it look as though Hearts still had a predominantly Scottish identity, and to do that they made sure that the publicly visible roles of Head Coach and Club Captain were occupied by Scotsmen.

Unfortunately though, it appears that the club simply took the ‘easy’ option and put guys into these roles who had nowhere near the amount of experience required to succeed in them. We can discuss Berra elsewhere, but in Frail’s case he was barely even a coach by the time that he became the club’s ‘default’ choice to slip into the Head Coach role. He hadn’t even had the time to establish himself in that area when he was thrust into the limelight, and I think that although his results with the team haven’t been the worst in our history, Frail has been shown to be well out of his depth at this stage.

Football fans being football fans, Frail has subsequently had to take a fair amount of abuse from the Hearts support, especially on the back of his press interviews where he’s attempted to play a straight bat and talk things up all the time. This has been due to a lack of experience having to do this sort of thing and probably also an attempt to hold onto his job – you have to remember that this is a guy who has been attempting to make his way in the world of coaching, and although deep down he was probably nervous about taking such a high profile role in a relatively unprepared state, how would it have looked had he turned it down? And what would his employers have done? It was a very difficult situation for the guy, which in the end gave our owners the ‘puppet’ that they were looking for in the role, but this time it was a Scottish one which in their eyes would have been absolutely perfect.

Personally I think it’s best for both Frail and Hearts that they go their own separate ways. Hearts clearly need a management team with more experience than Frail, whereas the man himself needs to find a role that’s much more conducive to his current skillset, whereby he can gradually build upon this and perhaps one day become a manager in his own right.

Given the handicaps he’s had and what he’s been asked to do at Tynecastle, I don’t think it would be fair to say that Frail has done a bad job in the last six months. In fact, he stuck it out more than most would have, so for that he does deserve credit. Hopefully wherever he ends up now will give him a much fairer crack of the whip than he got at Tynecastle.

 

2 Replies to “Frail Leaving Hearts”

  • He’s certainly had a baptism of fire in management, and I think some of the criticism that has been levelled at him has been unfair because of that. Ultimately though, as you say, he is not up to the job at the moment (which is not to say that he never will be… I’m sure he’ll go on to be a fine manager if thats what he wants to do). To be equally fair to the Board though, I don’t think his appointment was quite as calculated as you say. After the run of results leading up to the New Year, it was clear Cervenkov had to go – the three pronged management team simply wasn’t working – and that left only Korobochka and Frail. I suspect the job was offered to both of them, but Anatoli didn’t want it. So that left Frail.

  • ….so he kinda was the default option then, albeit maybe not as intentionally as I’m suggesting. It was just destined to fail from day one.

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