Date: 27th June 2007 at 2:35pm
Written by:

I’m sure I’m not the only one more than a bit shocked about the prospect of Michael Stewart returning to Tynecastle.

According to all reports, Stewart has all but agreed a deal to move back across the city from Easter Road to join Hearts for the second time. And although it’s perhaps not quite as big a shock as realising that the guy is still only 26 years of age(!), I really didn’t see this one coming.

Stewart left Hibs under a cloud after an alleged bust-up with John Collins and although he’s not the only player to have found difficulties with the Hibs manager, it wasn’t the first time that his attitude
has been called into question. Indeed whilst a Hearts player, it was never the case that no-one thought he was a good enough footballer, it was more to do with his application that the impact he made at Tynecastle was minimal. He just never seemed prepared to really put a shift in (on and off the park apparently) and as a result, he became a mere luxury player, not something that Hearts could afford to carry in the centre of midfield.

So do we have any reason to believe that we’ll see the best of Stewart this time round? Probably not, but I suppose there surely must come a time in Stewart’s career when he realises that he’s got to seriously get his finger out. Here he is back at the club he supported as a boy with a second chance to make a name for himself. Not many players get that sort of opportunity once, let alone twice, so we have to hope that this time he can really make it count.

However given the current playing squad at Tynecastle – and I’m thinking primarily about the quota of midfielders here – I don’t really see how a player like Stewart can come in and improve the team. We are far too lightweight in there and badly need one or maybe two real presences in there to open things up for the ball-players like Kingston and Stewart. Although Kingston puts himself about, neither of these guys have enough dig to give our midfield the balance it needs, so I seriously hope that Hearts are in the market for someone who can – we badly need it.

It will be interesting to see the reception that Stewart gets when he first runs out as a Hearts player again…….