Gilles is a bright spot on dull day
9 Sep 1996
Hearts......................1 Dundee United........0
MATCHES can often be likened to days of the week.
The good ones are a Saturday night, exciting, entertaining, and on the odd occasion, maybe even a little intoxicating.
The not so good ones, such as this, are like a Monday morning.
Hearts manager Jim Jefferies rightly pointed out afterwards that it takes two to tango and as far as he was concerned, United did not bring their dancing pumps, so his side had to make the best of a bad job.
"Only one team tried to win the game and I thought we turned in a professional and efficient performance.
We did all the right things and were never in any danger.
"One goal was always going to win it.
We got it and we deserved the victory," said Jefferies, which was fair comment but did not make the match any more exciting.
If for no other reason, however, the game was memorable for proving that even in this post-Bosman age, the money god isn't worshipped by everyone.
If it had been so, Hearts keeper Gilles Rousset would have upped and left Tynecastle last season when Sunderland offered a deal which would have seen his wages jump four-fold.
"They wanted me, but I knew Hearts wanted to keep me so I spoke to Jim Jefferies and decided to sign a four year contract," explained Rousset.
"I am 33 now and money is not the most important thing in my life.
I was very, very lucky to sign for a team like this.
"There is a tremendous spirit here and there is a great family atmosphere.
I am a family man so that means a lot to me.
"You can never be sure what will happen in the future but I cannot imagine playing for another team now and I would like to end my career with Hearts," he admitted.
The home side won thanks to a penalty from John Robertson, who proved for the 248th time in his Hearts career that when it comes to sticking the ball in the opposition net, he has few peers.
Robbo's spot kick meant United went down to their third 1-0 defeat in the four games they've played on their return to the premier division and on such tight margins can success or failure hinge.
"As far as I'm concerned, I didn't touch the lad and there was no contact.
It's unfortunate because we're just not getting the breaks," said Owen Coyle, who was adjudged to be the guilty party when Neil McCann tumbled in the box.
"I'd like to see the penalty incident again on television," added his manager Billy Kirkwood, "but we didn't do enough to win the game which looked as if it was heading for a no-scoring draw.
"Hearts have the crowd behind them at that end and that can sometimes influence a decision.
"We're not getting the rub of the green at the moment, but there are no easy answers, so we'll just have to work away and make things happen for ourselves." Next league match: Hearts - Rangers (a).
Dundee United - Celtic (h).
Taken from the Herald