Remember the old chant of "Boring Boring Arsenal" ? No, neither do I being too young, but I know there was one. That's one rapidly becoming associated with Hearts. Except Hearts aren't winning quite as much as the Londoners. More recently, Chelsea have become the "boring" team of London, but even so, they're still second !!
Today, Hearts faced Ferranti Thistle, a.k.a. Meadowbank Thistle, a.k.a Livingston, a.k.a CIS Cup Champions having beaten our beloved Hibs in the "Mickey Mouse Final". Livingston are a poor team, despite this, so it was a match Hearts really should have won. Weak at the back - the two centre-halves even being criticised publicly by manager Allan Preston - this was a chance for Hearts to try the highly risky, dangerous, daredevil 4-4-2 (two actual strikers !!!!) in the hope of, dare I say it, scoring more than 1 goal.
As it turned out, we didn't even get that one. Craig Levein, deciding the Lions were a team who had a more fiercesome strikeforce than Manchester United's recently acquired lot, in the form of Jim Hamilton, and some young laddie with a funny name, went with 4-5-1, with Dennis Wyness alone up front, although supported a lot by Paul "Not-a-striker" Hartley.
Hearts started the better team, and stinging efforts from McAllister and Maybury were stopped by ex-Jambo Roddy McKenzie in the Livvy goal. Hartley then had a free-kick fizz just wide. Then the hilarity ensued.Referee Charlie Richmond signalled for an indirect free-kick but Livi midfielder Jason Dair sent his shot over the wall and past Gordon. It was a stunning effort, it has to be said. Just a shame for Dair that the ref signalled for an indirect free kick. There was plenty of laughter directed at the Livvy fans, especially the incredibly annoying drummer, who were still cheering when play resumed. Wyness was then presented with a chance after Phil Stamp's marauding run into the box. The ball across was dummied by Hartley, but Wyness' shot was somehow blocked by McKenzie. On the stroke of half time, another free kick from O'Brien left the Hearts post vibrating.
The second half was, as I overheard, "pish". Mark De Vries came on for the impressive Wyness in a bid to bolster the attack. It didn't work. Late on, Patrick Kisnorbo's header was cleared off the line, but apart from that, there was nothing of note. Long range efforts that caused no trouble to either team were the only highlights.
Really, really poor. Watching Hearts is becoming a chore these days. I dread visiting Celtic Park.