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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Stuart Lovell auth-> Calum Murray
23 of 023 ----- L SPL H

Stuart Lovell: Stalemate at Tynie full of action and intrigue

OKAY, so there were no goals but the derby was one of the best 0-0 draws I've seen and I'm still not quite sure how it ended up goal-less.
The chances were there for both teams and, while Hearts had more possession and efforts on goal, the chances that Hibs had were probably more clear cut.

Csaba Laszlo had to reshuffle to cover for the absences of Marius Zaliukas and Lee Wallace and , while many thought that Christos Karipidis would slot in at centre back, I though the decision to put Eggert Jonsson there was a good one and it may even end up being his best position.

He made a crucial tackle in the first half when Lewis Stevenson made a break and played a perfectly weighted pass to Derek Riordan which would have left the striker with a one-on-one with the goalie.

On the subject of the absence of Zaliukas, I still maintain that it was a huge mistake by Iain Brines not to rectify his decision to send off Zaliukas against Aberdeen.

It won't just be Hearts fans who have lost respect for him as a result. He had a chance to put his hand up and admit he made a mistake and didn't take it. He'll really be under the spotlight now and I suspect he has made a rod for his own back. By all accounts he had another poor game at Falkirk on Saturday.

The red-carding of Lee Wallace after the game also meant Hearts had to make a change at left back and I was quite surprised that Laszlo went with Jason Thomson but, in the end, I don't think Hearts fans can have any complaints.

While he lasted, although he wasn't really a threat with the ball himself, he made a lot of overlapping and decoy runs to let Andy Driver attack.

Overall though, I was disappointed with the way Hearts used Driver. In the first derby at Easter Road he had a tremendous game and looked as if he had the beating of David van Zanten but this time Hearts didn't get the ball to him enough and he wasn't at the level I expected him to be. Maybe Van Zanten deserves a bit of credit for dealing with him better.

With the Cup game on Sunday there will be further changes to the sides and Laszlo, of course, will have Wallace and Zaliukas available again.

Out of the two, I always thought that Wallace would be the biggest miss – not necessarily for his defending but for what he does for Driver.

I saw the two of them together in training ahead of the derby and it is clear they have a bond both on and off the pitch. They complement each other and I think one of the reasons for Driver's performances this season has been having Wallace backing him up.

Whether or not Laszlo brings back Zaliukas is a moot point but with Wallace back in tandem with Driver, Van Zanten can look forward to another torrid Sunday afternoon at Easter Road.

Mixu Paatelainen's big decision to leave John Rankin on the bench and pitch in Lewis Stevenson for his first match in several weeks certainly paid off.

In the cauldron of a derby and the atmosphere of Tynecastle, certain Hibs players really stood up to be counted and Stevenson was one of them. He was tremendous, very dynamic and proved to me what John Collins said – that he is at his best played in the middle of the park.

I was really impressed by Stevenson. He is clearly very fit and drove on from the midfield at every opportunity. He was prepared to put his foot in but also had a lovely touch on the ball and he reminded me of Kevin Thomson in the way that he kept the game simple.

When I saw Hibs were going with a combination of Stevenson and Sol Bamba, I wasn't sure how it could work but they were arguably Hibs' two best players.

Glen introduction should lead to 4-4-2

I REALLY can't understand Csaba Laszlo's insistence on sticking with a 4-4-1-1 formation.

The introduction of Gary Glen on Saturday reminded the Hearts fans of what they saw last season and I really think he could play alongside Christian Nade in a 4-4-2 formation that could spark Hearts into scoring a lot more goals.

In the derby Nade missed a couple of chances that an in-form striker would have eaten up. His record shows that he has never been prolific and I don't think he will ever be a goalscorer. No one has seen enough of Mike Tullberg to be able to judge but we do know that Glen is a poacher and a goalscorer.

If he is the focus of the team, Nade should be playing within the width of the penalty box – John Robertson always used to tell me that if he found himself any wider than the penalty box, he wondered what he was doing. Nade tends to drift into wide positions but he is willing to do that donkey work and Steven Thicot really struggled to deal with him at times.

So I think Csaba should think about going to a 4-4-2 and let Nade do the hard work, acting as a foil for Glen in the same way that Kenny Miller does for Kris Boyd at Rangers.

Taken from the Scotsman

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