Let's talk about Nothing
Back to Chief Grouser
This season could have been created for the benefit of those who sit in Grouser's Corner. It's getting a bit crowded, however, so we've decided to knock down the adjoining wall and rename it the Wheatfield Stand.
Of the many disappointments (amongst
other things) this game threw up, the biggest is that a win would have allowed
Hearts to go into the derby with no fear of losing. And if you're not afraid of
losing, then you're not afraid of winning, either And that is Hearts' best
chance of victory, if not their only chance. So far this season Hearts haven't
once gone out on the pitch with the
intention of blowing Hibs away - instead they've worried about Latapy, worried
about Miller, worried about everything
except the opposition. Why do you think Hibs love sticking it up us? Not 'cause they think they're better, I'll tell you that for nothing! So if Hibs regard Hearts as superior, why the hell can't we think the same? If we play without fear, we'll beat Hibs. We might as well take some risks - let's face it, not taking risks has got us bloody nothing so far. Oh I forgot - a draw in August. Mmmm.
this result means that Hearts will 'try and keep it tight' against Hibs. Which
means we might scrape a result. Might. Might not. For a team whose destiny is in
their own hands, they sure as hell don't play as though it is. It's like 'Well, what can we do?'
Perhaps Hearts should start every match playing a man short. Either that, or something's got to be done to make those eleven men take the field with the sole intention of scoring goals and winning the game. Perhaps the introduction of performance-related pay might help - only Pressley and Cameron could have paid the rent on this showing. No-one really played badly, but no-one really played. It's a team thing, which also suggests it's a management thing (and we're not leaving Billy Brown out of the blame game). There was no desire to dominate, let alone win. Nothing was conveyed to St Johnstone that said 'We're better than you, and here's why.' Maybe I'm kidding myself - maybe we're just as poor as the rest but, according to my calculations, of the starting line-up only Lee Makel hadn't played international football, and even he was replaced by Cameron at half-time.
Hearts's mobility is still stymied by the lack of a forward
who leads the line. Never once was the St Johnstone defence dragged out of
position: never once did Hearts take a quick shy to someone running down the
line, creating space behind him for the midfield to get into. Wales, bless him,
doesn't instinctively run into dangerous
channels, he doesn't prompt good passes from
midfield. Adam was injured, so we don't know Jefferies' thinking (errrr& )
on the situation, but McSwegan's general demeanour doesn't inspire. He doesn't
look as lean as he has, and he's been less than sharp in front of goal, and at
times less than enthusiastic. He's been booked this way before - always in the
second half for getting frustrated and going in late, and this time he took a
huge fresh air kick at Jim Weir (what a waste of a good kick) and he was sent
off. Ironically this was the cue for Hearts to start attacking, which in the
context of the game was risky, but St Johnstone were such rubbish that they
hardly threatened. A poor side like that never knows what to do with a man
advantage. Hearts had missed a couple of early chances when Fulton and Makel
burst into the box, but that aside everyone stood still, refusing to leave their
designated positions to create threats elsewhere. Cameron certainly buzzed
around in the second half, trying to make things happen; and ten men are forced
to move their feet quicker than eleven (not in Petric's case, mind). But
whatever disease Hearts have, that they refuse to show the desperate desire to
prove to crap little teams like St Johnstone that we can beat them every time,
it's been in the bloodstream for a while. In the last decade only in 97/98 when
fast, brilliant play and teamwork proves that high-risk football is rewarding
and rewarded, and in 91/92 when Jordan's side intimidated most of them can I
remember Hearts walking on the pitch expecting to
win . Celtic never take the field wondering what's going to happen: they're expecting to win - not because they're a bunch of paranoid Glasgow keelies who think everyone's against them but because nowadays they're better footballers and the thought of not beating St Johnstone would make them choke on their pasta diet.
I think we need a new manager. I really do. He's not making this team play.
© Grouser Production
CC All Rights the World