Date: 1st May 2008 at 8:58pm
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Well, it could just be the effects of Climate Change, but these last two weeks have seen an unexpected spate of generally positive-sounding events at Tynecastle.

After the disappointment of failing to sneak into the Top Six at the ‘split’, most fans probably wanted to be spared the embarrassment of the final five games at the wrong end of the SPL.

Since that day at Kilmarnock however, w’`ve seen the football side of the club really getting their act together.

Firstly, Gary Glen was promoted into the team, and responded with two fine performances and as many goals. With an admirable sense of timing, the club offered him a four year contract after the St. Mirren game, which he accepted.

Then a very brief debut was given to 16 year-old Scott Robinson – lo and behold, he was then offered his first professional contract, which he duly signed.

And if all this first-team activity wasn’t enough, our Reserve and U-19 teams recorded fine 1-0 wins over Celtic, and a look at the team line-ups showed a healthy number of young Scots youngsters in there.

A growing ‘guest-list’ of Cup winners was also being announced for Robbie Neilson’s testimonial day at Tynecastle on May 11th. And Hibs challenge for 3rd place seems to be faltering too!!

Gosh – if you could ignore our distrust of the Romanov regime for a few minutes, then these events come dangerously close to being a ‘feel-good factor’!!!

But hang on – this is Hearts we’re talking about here. So it therefore came as no surprise to read a couple of bizarre stories too, which I suspect may be linked.

Firstly, Stevie Frail was reported as saying that the club had not decided whether to recall Jamie McDonald from Cup Finalists Queen of the South in the summer, and that they ‘may have to get a goalkeeper in’.

Surely there’s not much to decide, Stevie – a fairly obvious decision would be ‘YES’, I’d have thought? With Ridgers, Basso and Bjornsson there, why do we need yet another keeper?

But then news of negotiations over a contract extension for Anthony Basso appeared in the media.

Initially it was reported that he was looking for £7k per week, which Hearts had knocked back. Then Basso’s agent was quoted as denying this figure, and ridiculing the negotiation process which he described as ‘comical’.

Finally, Frail admitted that dropping Basso last week was ‘suggested’ to him from above. With a year still left on his current contract, this wrangle is about an extension, remember. Echoes of the Webster fiasco spring to mind, where a player gets frozen out of the picture for the rest of his contract if he doesn’t do exactly what the regime want, even if it hurts the team.

Was Frail’s lack of enthusiasm for bringing McDonald back simply a convenient and coded ‘no comment’ to the Press, so as not to influence the Basso negotiations? Or was it perhaps a deliberate comment to let Basso and his agent know that they shouldn’t assume the Frenchman would be first-choice keeper?

Of course, we still await news of a permanent manager being appointed, along with the inevitable summer transfer window shenanigans. One thing’s for sure though – there’s rarely a dull moment when you carry the burden of being a Hearts supporter !!!


7 Replies to “Things Hotting Up At Tynecastle?!”

  • I think your first sentence had the answer SH – it’s just the Climate Change that’s playing silly beggars here!

  • It would be nice to see a new manager. Surely though with climate change and petrol panic buying we can only look as far a Frail…

  • An interesting analogy, Dalien. Despite football managers being in plentiful supply, latest news suggests that there is about to be a “shortage” (certainly as far as Hearts are concerned), causing a “panic” situation. It could well be that when Hearts (eventually !) get to the front of the queue, there will only be ONE left – a certain Mr Frail !!!

  • My worry is that Scott Robinson was just a PR stunt – he’s not set the heather alight as a striker in the reserves, though he’s apparently an excellent prospect, and he got exactly one touch of the ball – which sounds to me like the Romanovs telling Fail to play someone that young so they could get some positive spin going.

  • With regards to McDonald my impression is that he’s not all that highy rated at Tynecastle with Bjornsson above him in the pecking order. I’ve seen that latter a couple of time and he looks pretty solid. Probably like most of us I’ve no real handle on McDonald apart from watching the semi-final. It’s a great achievement for QOS but their road to Hampden wasn’t exactly taxing (apart from the semi). I have a feeling that McDonald may have won player of the year (or somesuch) in the 1st Division last year (I think) but that doesn’t make him good enough for us. Anyway – I’ll be able to see him in the flesh at the cup final. A firend of mine is a QOS fan and she has adopted me as an honorary fan and I’m happy to go along to boo and hiss at Rangers!

  • Sam-d … I think thats stretching our paranoia a little far. I’d very much doubt if Vlad has even heard of Robinson. A more likely scenario is that Frail told Vlad that he wanted to try out some younger players, and Vlad said “ok, but remember to play some Liths too”

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