THE new main stand at Tynecastle wasn’t built to accommodate protests. Those dark days were supposed to belong in the past.

The Pieman is long gone. So, too, Mad Vlad. With the saintly Ann Budge in charge and club legend Craig Levein back front and centre, plus the best young players in Scotland coming up from the academy according to the manager, Hearts supporters could hardly see the earth in their gardens for roses.

Last season, Hearts won eight out of their first ten league games, including a victory over Celtic, and were spoken about having at least have a say in the title race. The punters revelled in it. Now they are revolting against their own club.


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Saturday was the last straw for some. Defeat in the derby will bring the remaining believers into the ‘Levein out’ camp.

Several hundred angry supporters demonstrated outside Tynecastle following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Motherwell; the result giving a false impression of just how dominant Motherwell were.

Hearts are bottom of the Premiership, with two draws and three defeats from their five matches. They go to Easter Road on Sunday to face a Hibernian side who aren’t much better – we will get to them in a moment.

“We are six points off fourth. I don’t consider that to be a huge problem,” was the positive spin Levein put on his team’s situation. The most impressive positive spin since the White Star Lane PR stated: “The Titanic was only 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland when it sank. So, it nearly got there.”

Hearts have gone 12 league games without a win since defeating Aberdeen at home at the end of March. They have won just ten points from the last 54 available to them. They have won four Premiership games in 2019.

Levein remains the Director of Football at the club so he’s hardly going to sack himself. Although, surely it has got to the stage where it would be best for him to move upstairs again because the team is a shambles.

Saturday was the worst so far. The defence embarrassingly meek. The long ball to, bless him, Uche Ikpeazu made the eyes water. The body language was all wrong. Motherwell could and should have won by more.

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Allan Preston, former Hearts winger, lifelong supporter and vocal critic of the club on BBC Radio Scotland, used the word “pathetic” to describe his club’s predicament. Levein has fallen-out with his old team-mate but could hardly sue for the use of the adjective.

“Motherwell could have been out of sight in the first half,” said Preston. “Three-two flatters, really flatters Hearts. Craig Levein has a job to get the players motivated, there are some good players but is he not motivating them, is he not capable of doing that? It doesn’t look like that on that showing.

“Two points is a pathetic effort from Hearts at the start of the season with the budget they’ve got, the fan base they have.

“These fans have totally and utterly had enough. There are no better fans in Scottish football, they throw their money at this club and saved it from going out of existence and now something has to be done because this is simply not good enough.

“They are clearly not happy with how things are going at the club. Ann Budge is sitting up in the directors’ box and she has to take notice of what’s going on, It’s not good enough.

“I played with Craig, he was a team-mate of mine but this is not good enough, it’s a results-driven industry and the results have been really poor. They got to the Scottish Cup final last year but if they hadn’t with the draw they had it would have been a real surprise.”

And as for Hibs? They are a whole two points better off so if there are any bragging rights, it might well be the most pathetic in the long history of this Edinburgh rivalry.


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The Easter Road men have one win from five, lost at Kilmarnock at the weekend and they also have an unpopular manager, Paul Heckingbottom. What a state for the Capital’s football scene to find itself in.

“Edinburgh football is in a bad way at the moment although Hibs are better than Hearts,” admitted Preston. “I’ve watched Hibs and they are better. Hearts have got a dreadful recipe of not creating enough chances at one end and leaking like a sieve at the other.”

Sunday is a race to the bottom. Not so much a six pointer but a what’s the point? Hibs have gone backwards as well. Heckingbottom will also do well to see out the season. It wasn’t supposed to be like this any more.