Date: 7th March 2010 at 8:49pm
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Hearts narrowly (but deservedly) lost 1-0 at Tannadice to 3rd place Dundee United today, with the winning goal coming 12 minutes from time from the impressive Gomis – although his shot from 15 yards cannoned off a defender to completely deceive Balogh.

Hearts started the match brightly and were the better team for 20 minutes, managing 2 decent shots at goal. However United started to gain better possession, and for the remaining 70 minutes simply continued to look the more composed and dangerous team. They created several scoring chances, and on another day might have had 3 or 4 goals. Hearts put up a decent show, especially considering how many players were missing through injury and suspension – including captain Michael Stewart who had to withdraw from the team during the warm-up with a hamstring injury. Paul Mulrooney was immediately promoted to the starting 11, and I thought he had a pretty good game in an unfamiliar role until he had to leave the match with cramp after 80 minutes.

As suggested by “Itsnomarooned” on here a few days ago, the shortage of experienced defenders resulted in Jose Goncalves being drafted into the team – and I noted that Jim Jefferies didn`t give a straight answer later to the question of whether Jose was back to stay having signed a new contract, or whether this was just an emergency “one-off”.
I sincerely hope JJ has not incurred the wrath of the Mad One by recalling Goncalves – once Bouzid and Kucharski are back, it will be interesting to see if Jose is “allowed” to continue in the team.

Although it was disappointing to lose this match after winning the previous 3, we need to temper our reaction with the fact that Dundee Utd are re-capturing their best form and that having Zaliukas, Jonsson, Stewart, Black and Palazuelos all missing was bound to handicap Hearts.

Sadly Novikovas made little impact on the wings, and Jamie Mole was completely anonymous. Elliot did a lot of running, but his ball control was poor. Suso had some bright moments, but often made the wrong decision which resulted in his good work being wasted.

Our top player was probably Lee Wallace (with head bandage), and I thought referee Mike Tumilty handled the game very well, which resulted in no bookings.

Let`s hope we have a few more players back for the visit to in-form Motherwell next Saturday !!


12 Replies to “Injury-hit Hearts in Tannadice 1-0 defeat”

  • I wonder if Balatoni was injured. I think I would have preferred him at CB and Wallace at LB. Granted the former would be making a first team debut but he understands the CB position and could have been guided by Jose and Lee – better option than 2 players out of position. We do have quite an astonishing roll call of injuries (coupled with a suspension or 2) at the moment so I’m taking some heart from the attitude I saw yesterday and not getting too despondant at the result. That’s 2 weeks in a row where I feel that there’s been a good spirit shown – defiance in the face of adversity and all that. Impressed with Mulrooney – OK he faded a bit but him and Stevenson got a bit over-run in the 2nd half. Templeton has to show more I think, yes he has talent but this needs to rapidly translate into actual performance. I’m afraid Elliot’s tea must surely be well and truly “oot” – he continues to offer precisely hee-haw!

  • Can’t agree with you re Elliot itsnomarooned. Against Aberdeen he was arguably our best player next to Lee Wallace, and he ran himself into the ground (with no support from Mole or later Nade) against Utd. It’s easy to forget also that he’s only now coming back from being out injured for 5 months, with little or no training besides “walking the dug”. If he can stay injury free, and JJ can find a good partner for him in the summer, he’ll be a very useful player for Hearts IMO.

  • I tend to agree with Itsnomarooned’s view regarding Clum – there’s no end product, and he seems to just want free-kicks all the time, although he does put in a fair it of effort. SJ is correct in pointing out he’s been injured for several month, and had no support from Mole. We can only wonder what JJ makes of him.

  • There must have been something there with Elliot at a youth level which suggested he had the potential to progress but I’m just not seeing it. To me it just seems to be a lot of huff and puff with little or nothing to show for it.

  • He needs a partner (and I’m not thinking about that Youtube video, honest…!), all that huffing and puffing is to no avail if he’s playing up on his own, either through tactics or ineffectual players. Neither Mole or Nade are that partner. Smith Must Score might be, we can only wait and see – presumably JJ will try them together when he’s back from injury.

  • I do quite like the look of Smith but even more so Robinson. If one of these guys helps Elliot find his inner striker then I’ll be as happy an anyone. But how long do we persevere?

  • Good news in the Scotsman today with JJ confirming that Robbo will coach on an ad-hoc basis. We’ve discussed this before but personally I think it’s a fantastic idea.

  • Yes – great news about Robbo. Well done to JJ (and Metlitski for allowing it). With Robbo’s coaching, stand by for a Nade hat-trick every game now…..

  • He’s only coaching the youngsters – no point in flogging a dead horse, really. I don’t really rate Robbo as a coach, great player of course, but the only benefit I can really see to Hearts is in the inspirational factor of his presence.

  • Think you’re being a bit hasty in your judgement of Robbo there, SJ. For years Hearts have had no-one with any worthwhile experience in that area to coach and advise young strikers – so what chance was there for them to become better players ? I’d say Robbo had a decent record at Inverness and Hearts as manager – and if he is now to dedicate himself to a single task, then he could make a real impact on our youngsters. Too often, managers think they can improve players in all positions, so I applaud JJ for admitting that forwards need someone like Robbo to really learn from.

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