Date: 4th February 2011 at 5:23pm
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Well, if it was disappointing seeing our team failing for the second time in a week to truly impose themselves on a game of football in Glasgow (and it was), we can at least take comfort and no little amusement in the reaction of the gutter press to Hearts’ ‘man mountain’ Ian Black, the baddest man in the We….er….East….after his latest alleged indiscretions against Rangers.

For the second time this season in this fixture, Black committed a challenge that had the Bears more than a little restless. Booed every time he went near the ball by the Rangers support – a demonstration of their displeasure about an early season challenge on Nikica Jelavic – Black was his usual combative self on Wednesday night, and when he rather recklessly collided with new Gers signing El Hadjii Douif midway through the first half, the masses were baying for blood. The player received a yellow card for his trouble, but quite wisely Jim Jefferies withdrew him from proceedings at half-time, knowing full well that a red card was more than likely given the way that the game was going and where it was taking place.

The challenge itself perhaps looked bad from certain angles in real-time, but when you watch it again it looks more just like a guy who can’t tackle properly than someone looking to have a real go and injure another player. I’d imagine that had Black wanted to injure Diouf, then he would be injured, hence the referee not opting to produce the red card that the natives were demanding.

So…the game continues without Black after half-time, Rangers close out the match to win 1-0 in unconvincing but fairly comfortable fashion and everyone with the exception of the Hearts supporters goes home happy, right? Business as usual…Rangers win…and the Laptop Loyal get to write about this and their new hero Diouf, another Rangers signing with an impeccable reputation from his time south of the border.

Not so it would seem. Mr Black has been vilified from all quarters, with the Press seemingly desperate for a new bad guy to vent their fury at. I’m not sure why this is….are they fed up having a go at Neil Lennon or is it just because his team are looking increasingly better than theirs that they prefer to keep their distance for now? Quotes from Mr Romanov no longer have the appeal they once did as he’s now yesterday’s man and no more than a figure of fun to them? Goodness knows, but they certainly seem to have it in for Black right now, so much so that he would do well to give Saul Mikoliunas a call if he starts to let paranoia get the better of him!

To be fair in defence of the ‘Ian Black is Satan’ argument, he does seem to be very regularly singled out by opposing players for ‘special’ treatment these days, which does make you wonder what sort of character he is. He’s never seemed to be a particularly physical player during his time with Hearts from what I have seen but there’s a good chance he is one of those niggly little guys who spends all his time winding up the opposition with the odd dirty trick thrown in here and there. The sort of player that the Old Firm have churned out in spades over the years in fact….or dare I say it, El Hadjii Diouf. Compare and contrast the reporting and you get interesting results.

What would be very interesting – and I am by no means suggesting I want to see this happen – would be if Black decides to go out and genuinely try to nail someone in the next fixture against Rangers and succeeds. I can see one of two scenarios: 1) it gets completely swept under the carpet the same way as Rangers’ attempts to injure half of the Kilmarnock team in their recent Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox or 2) capital punishment will return to the British Isles. We can maybe come back and discuss which of those is more likely another time……..


6 Replies to “Ian Black AKA Public Enemy Number 1!”

  • Good comments there, Mr H. Yes, the “tackles” on Eremenko in the first 20 minutes of the Cup tie were clearly aimed at intimidating him to the point that he became less effective. No mention of that of course in the media. By the way, did you know that it was Ian Black who put Jelavic out the game for 3 months with “that tackle” ? No-one has mentioned it for over an hour, so just thought it was worth reminding everyone….

  • Contrast the continuing criticism of Blackie’s tackle on Jelavic in October by the media to the lack of condemnation of Naismith’s 2 dives in the OF Cup game !! Naismith must have a Lithuanian parent, becuase a guid honest Scottish laddie wouldn’t dive surely ?

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