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Hearts-St Mirren Player Ratings

2 - 1
St Mirren

Tynecastle Park

23/08/08 3pm

Attendance: 13,357


As Specs Haver said in his report, this was a game that Hearts really should have won comfortably, but a lack of genuine urgency and and real quality in the final third of the field once again had them hanging on for a narrow victory.

Here's how I rated our maroon marvels (!).....

Star Player

Once again Michael Stewart was clearly Hearts' best player. Looks to have gained confidence from his international call-up.

Player Ratings

Kello 5

Had literally nothing to do apart from deal with a few passbacks and the occasional cross. Seemed confident enough. Left exposed at the goal so no fault there.

Thomson 5

Saw plenty of the ball, but much like Robbie Neilson didn't tend to make the best use of it. Wasted crosses from several good positions, but defensively had a solid enough game.

Wallace 5

I still think Wallace's best position is further forward - he often looks panicky when in possession in the left back area. Had good run early in the first half and nearly scored, but was subbed early in the second due to an injury (I think).

Berra 6

Generally had a pretty steady game at the back, although like the whole defence was stood like a statue when St Mirren equalised.

Zaliukas 5

Similarly solid to Berra, but misplaced a few passes in dangerous areas - he did well to recover most of the time, but needs to cut out the errors in the first place.

Karipidis 7

I don't like him in midfield, but to be fair although he did give the ball away a couple of time stupidly, he had a very decent game in there. Broke up several St Mirren moves and used the ball pretty well.

Stewart 7

Always Hearts' most creative player. Couple of sublime long-range passes in the early stages, and always looking to try and get things moving, unlike many of his pedestrian-paced team-mates. Took first penalty, the most crucial of the two, very well, but weak with the second one.

Driver 5

Found it tough going out on the right, and was a little too greedy at times when he could have fed team-mates in better positions. Better when switched left later on, but generally had a frustrating day. Excellent piece of skill to earn first penalty, though.

Kingston 5

Looks like a player who has signed for another club and is merely going through he motions. Shows nice touches at times and has all the skill in the world, but with the exception of one rasping shot in the first half, he rarely appeared as though his heart was truly in it yesterday, which was disappointing.

Obua 7

Yes he was caught ball-watching at the goal, which he should have dealt with, but generally I thought he had a very competent debut. A very accomplished left foot, which he used to spray some lovely long-range passes around at times, and looks as though he can get stuck in too. Encouraging.

Mole 5

Nowhere near as effective as he was against Motherwell, although I think this was partly due to the fact he had less players as close to him in support this time. Decent hit for his goal, although the 'keeper wouldn't have been happy to concede. Definitely needs a partner if he's to continue getting his game.

Cesnauskas 4

Second half sub - got into good positions as always, but delivery and finishing touches were poor.

Nade 3

Given last 20 minutes and his contribution probably summed up his Hearts career to date: one volley that nearly cleared the roof of the Gorgie Stand, another pitiful effort that left him on his considerable derriere, and one sublime touch on the wing and burst of pace that took him past two defenders. Weird....

Ksanavicius 3

Very late sub - earned Hearts their second penalty.

Date:Sunday August 24 2008
Time: 2:17PM


Pretty close to my assessment too, Mr H. I like Mole's workrate, pace and improved ball control. It remains to be seen if Csaba will ever play a 2nd striker alongside him - personally, I think Gary Glen would do well there.
Specs Haver
24/08/2008 21:16:00
I hate this widely used tactic of one man up front - it seems quite negative to me unless you have a guy who has world class ability to hold the ball for long spells and several goalscoring midfielders behind him.......Chelsea in other words! Too often we have nothing in support when Mole gets the ball, and although he is improving I don't think it's the right tactic to suit his game.
25/08/2008 04:34:00
How come some fans are going on about European football next season when it was a penalty that earned the team a win. I'm not writing off St Mirren here but teams who are expected to get into Europe, as easily as some fans expect, should surely be winning these games by a larger margin. I understand a number of chances were wasted but the season can't go on like this surely...
25/08/2008 08:58:00
Has anyone heard about the wonder signing of the century coming to us? Apparently Pilabitis could be on his way back. The SPL must be quaking in their boots.
25/08/2008 11:11:00
Football doesn't work quite like that, Dalien. Celtic needed a penalty to beat a St Mirren side who merited a draw in that game - does that mean Celtic won't get into Europe? I think it's impossible to say who'll be competing for those honours at the end of the season - far too early.
25/08/2008 11:48:00
I think that the blame for the goal lay mostly on Thompson. Poor jump to a telegraphed ball. I should never have made it back across the box and definitely not as cleanly!
York Jambo
26/08/2008 12:00:00
Aye, but Obua was absolutely static when the ball was closest to him. Don't want to start singling out people for blame all the time though -on another day Hearts would have won this game at a canter.
26/08/2008 15:01:00
Not disagreeing I just thought he was as bad as Obua. True game should have been won before that. Was interesting to see that Obua fancies himself as a penalty taker. He seemed so calm during the game maybe it's not a bad shout.
York Jambo
26/08/2008 16:12:00
Yeah, and with Stewart missing his second one he may well get the chance to take the next one......although given we got two in one game, that could well be our quota up for the season!
26/08/2008 18:32:00
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