What Now For Hearts?
I'm quite sure that after the door closed on the transfer window last night, the vast majority of the Hearts support would have been left distinctly underwhelmed by the lack of activity involving our beleaguered club.
Out of both cups, sitting third bottom of the SPL table and having been managerless for the entire campaign so far, some fans were hoping for a 'star name' or two to help lift the spirits a little, even if such
a signing would be little more than a piece of paper over the considerable cracks at Tynecastle. Instead Hearts have only made a single signing, and that was a player that we knew would be coming to the club from the beginning of the season after his loan spell with Kaunas was over (Screpis). And if one of our latest members' analysis of this player proves to be accurate, it would appear that we may have fallen short in our attempts to find a man capable of trouser-droppingly exciting play.
However, is it really time to be looking out the razor blades just yet? In some people's eyes I'm quite sure that it is, and I can completely understand that, but let's just suppose that Hearts had gone out and signed a good few players in the last week or so. Would that really have done us any good? It might have helped to lift the spirits for the time being, but it's this sort of short-term thinking that has damaged Hearts so much in recent years, so I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing that money hasn't been shelled out on yet more players that probably wouldn't have been around for long anyway. We also have the perennial problem of still not having a proper manager in place, which is another good reason for the club not to be signing new players.
I spoke to some people who were at the Shareholders' Dinner last night where Pedro Lopez was in attendance and they seem to have come away from that reasonably encouraged. Now I'm not going to pretend to you that I believe everything (or even anything!) that the board members come out and tell us at these gatherings, as frankly we've been lied to enough since Romanov came to Hearts to know better. I've also gone to these dinners myself in the past and have seen the wool pulled over people's eyes right in front of me by the likes of Roman Romanov and his cronies, so I certainly would be very cautious about any positive comments coming back from something like that.
However what they did say certainly did sound like the club was now taking a much more strategic view on things these days. The reason given for our lack of transfer activity was that they were too busy focusing their efforts on employing the right manager, and that several candidates have already been interviewed. They also said that once the 'right man' has been appointed, that we should expect a considerable amount of transfer activity in the summer once he has had the time to assess the squad and identify some signing targets.
If this is true (and that is very much up for debate!) then I'd be delighted that at long last the club appear to know what their most immediate priority is. The rest of this season, unless Hearts get drawn into a relegation battle (a hopefully unlikely scenario), is pretty much a write-off and can be used for experimentation. It really is the ideal time to bring in a new manager now, as there will be no immediate pressure to get things sorted out and he'll have a reasonable amount of time to see what the current personnel can and can't do, before deciding which positions he'd like to strengthen. Of course, this is on the assumption that we can bring someone in before the end of the season, which admittedly is not a given.
If I choose to believe the above then would I just falling for yet another bone being thrown to the crowd by Romanov? Maybe, maybe not. I'm becoming increasingly cynical caused by a combination of age and.....just being a Hearts supporter(!), so I'm tempting to say that this is probably yet another load of old bollox to keep us ticking over. But if it's not and things genuinely are being considered in a much more logical way, then perhaps things aren't quite as bad as some of us may think..........