Hearts were beaten by the better, hungrier team yesterday and that’s not something we’ve had to say too often in recent times when it comes to an Edinburgh derby. Our performance and the result just typifies where we are as a club at the moment, though.
We thought we might have turned the corner after a few improved displays of late, but then we go and turn in the type of showing that underlines why we are going to finish down at the bottom of the league.
There was a good bit of optimism going into the game after the way we had played against St Mirren last weekend, but then we found ourselves unable to even battle against Hibs just over a week later.
Hibs were without James McPake and Ryan McGivern, two important players for them who have done really well against us this season, but we were never able to capitalise. It was a really bad day at the office and we’ve had far too many of those this season.
It’s incredible how badly things have gone for us since winning the Scottish Cup last May. We’ve gone from winning 5-1 against Hibs in the last game of last season to failing to beat them in five games this time round. When that happens, everybody involved with the football side of the club has to look at themselves and ask ‘could I have done any better?’
Of course, the main reason that we’ve not done as well is that the playing staff no longer contains the same quality that it had a year ago. It’s not down to John McGlynn or Gary Locke that Hearts are where they are in the league this season – it’s simply that we have nowhere near the same quality of players that we had a year ago. That is the bottom line.
But, as a club, how have we got ourselves into this situation? I get accused of being over-critical of Hearts, but I’m just like any other supporter in the sense that when things are good, like they were against St Mirren last weekend and like they were last May, I’ll enjoy it and be positive, but when things are bad, like they were yesterday or when my club’s future is surrounded in doubt, I get frustrated and concerned. Unfortunately this week, I’m concerned again. I’m worried about where my club is going long-term. Last week’s win lifted the gloom temporarily, but yesterday’s just reminded us how difficult it has been to be a Hearts fan this season and I don’t want that to continue.
Thousands of Hearts fans have already shown incredible loyalty to fork out their hard-earned money on a season ticket for next season without being given any indication of what they are going to be watching next season. That, for me, is true loyalty and I want the very best for these people because they are the lifeblood of the football club that has given me so many great times.
If those people can’t get the best, then they at least deserve honesty, clarity and transparency – not propaganda. A lot of people seem to just accept this situation because we’ve won a couple of Scottish Cups and had a second-place finish in the league. We shouldn’t have to accept it, though.
The league doesn’t lie. We are where we are because we are one of the weaker teams in the league. But why has this happened? Why have we gone from the high of last May to not being able to beat our Edinburgh rivals in a whole season and finishing so low in the table? And if that’s the type of downturn we can experience in just one season, who is to say that it won’t happen again next season? Yet we’re being given absolutely no indication from the powers that be about how we intend to improve for next season. What is the plan for moving forward? Talk to us.