Spyin' Kop - Liverpool v Heart Of Midlothian - 30th August 2012, 20:05

Posted by royhendo on August 29, 2012, 03:41:17 PM

   
Liverpool             vs             Heart of Midlothian

Thursday 30th August 2012 20:05






Founded in 1874, Heart of Midlothian is an intriguing club. Its name and badge are drawn from an historic landmark in the centre of Edinburgh, which marks the site of the "Old Tolbooth Prison" - directly outside the High Court of Justiciary. Sir Walter Scott wrote a novel of the same name, based around the prison, and its history is deliciously gruesome.

Spot the difference.

 

Be careful if you go looking for the Heart of Midlothian in Edinburgh's Royal Mile though - it's usually covered in human sputem. Tradition dictates that when passing it, you should spit on it, because that spot once housed the lowest of Scotland's low, in their final hours before meeting their maker at the gallows.

The 'dry bowk' doesn't stop there though. Hearts also boast maybe the smelliest home ground in British football. Tynecastle is sited next to a brewery or three, and periodically honks of hops - in fact, Edinburgh's nickname "Auld Reekie" came from the fact the place stank of unfinished booze.

But last Thursday, the reek mostly emanating from our fellow fans within the ground, we saw a spirited, nay, cultured display from the home side, and a genuinely lively and edgy atmosphere from the home fans.

And so, having lost the first leg 1-0 to a late Andy Webster own goal, the travelling "Jambos" (that's short for "Jam Tarts" - "Hearts") make their merry way to Liverpool for the return fixture.

How do they rate their chances? Let's find out. Thanks to Hearts fans Suzy Sutherland, Charlie Syme, Stephen Hogg, and RAWK's very own Helen The Llama for taking the time to help out.



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Q1. How do you think Hearts will do this season? Has the Rangers fiasco given you a chance to have a go at the league?

Suzy
I think we'll do well, the team seems to be gelling under McGlynn. I always think it helps to have a homegrown manager think the sense of humour is the same. The Rangers fiasco? Well, all it really means is that we get to see more 3rd division action on the tv than we're used to/would like to....but yeah, I think we may have a shot at 2nd. Celtic may still be too strong for us to win the league, but you never know. It certainly makes it more interesting - more competitive for teams like Hearts and Dundee United

Charlie
After the "high" of walloping the Hibees 5-1 in the Cup Final last season we are now looking at the reality of living within our means and half that team has now moved on and we are relying on youngsters to get us through this season. Window closes on Friday but no new signings so it looks a tall order to improve on last season but hopefully a new group of youngsters will bode well for the future.

Stephen
Our season will be very dependent on how we cope if our main players suffer injuries and how the younger players in the squad can fill in. Top half of the table will be a good result I feel. We are in a process of change with many of our big players (and big wages) such as Skacel, Beattie and Black leaving at the end of the season and change of management. So long as we finish above Hibs.

Helen
Well if they get a bit of consistency going and score goals then they could do well. Like Liverpool last season having a good defence and having problems scoring, Hearts have a good defence (they were third best in the SPL after the Old Firm last season) but for the last few seasons have had problems getting the ball in the back of the net.

I reckon the Rangers Fiasco will open up the league. Instead of having to beat two clubs for up to 24 points, your playing for 12 against Celtic. It certainly has opened the game up. 



Q2. Is Romanov mellowing the longer he stays at the club?

Suzy
Don't think Romanov is mellowing, no. I think he is like a deadly spider, in hiding, and then pounces when you least expect. I think he might be getting more used to the Scottish way. But we have had so many managers under him - I mean, surely it has to be a record??? I think he's a genius but like all geniuses, he has a madness about him that you don't always connect with.

Charlie
He is certainly a lot quieter than a few years ago when the club were being fined by the SPL every other week for his outbursts. We all now know he was bang on the money when it came to how the game is run in Scotland and the bias towards the big two. Wonder if they will give a refund ?
 
Stephen
I think him taking a back seat might allow more of the younger players to break into the team rather than us bringing in players from Romanovís other team Kaunus in Lithuania. Going back to the Rangers fiasco, Romanov was always laughed at for some of the statements he made about the Scottish game but what has happened in the last 6 months has proved he was right. Itís pretty obvious that he is wanting to sell the club so we are looking at becoming more self-sufficient and reducing our debts to make us a more appealing business.

Helen
It depends, lately you can only compare by his Media Statements which makes it hard. Comparing his last statement (during the Rangers Fiasco) it was full of common sense, however the one before was the usual OTT statement. 



Q3. John McGlynn had you playing some nice football in the first leg - are you happy with his appointment?

Suzy
Love McGlynn, he's just a punter like the rest of us. No fancy stuffing. Just get on and graft. He reminds me of Houston at Dundee United - same ilk. Not too tough, but no fool either.

Charlie
Yes John is not universaly popular given that Paulo Sergio and his team delivered the big cup (and in such spectacular glory) in a short season but we Jambos have learned that Vlad always gets it right eventualy. Big Jankauskas, Cup Winner from the 2006 team and Champions League winner with Porto is a wee surprise as his assistant.
 
Stephen
Heís someone who is used to working with and bringing through young players at Raith Rovers, where we loaned out a few of our younger players to get some first team experience. Itís difficult to tell how things will go as weíve only played 4 games in the league, only time will tell.

Helen
At first I wasnít sure. He went from second in the first division to eigth so it was a worry.  However thatís the nature in the SFL.  He is at Hearts as he is good at getting Young Players through, In the first SPL game Callum Paterson got his debut from the start, Kevin McHattie got his first start, and Dale Carrick got his Debut as a sub.



Q4. Who have been your key players so far this season? Who should the home crowd worry about?

Suzy
It's quite early to tell, but I guess the Aussie Ryan Mcgowan has shone through the most. Driver still poses a threat when he's at his best. I think we miss a lot of players from last season, but hopefully just keep improving and clicking. (I sound like Neil McCann now.) Who should Liverpool watch out for - David Templeton. He is quick and wily!

Charlie
With 3 draws and a win so far we are hardly cooking with gas but Templeton can be a match winner and England U23 Driver is another flying winger. Andy Webster has been immense in defense siince his return ( pity about the og in the first leg ) and he chips in with goals from set pieces.
Big Sutton is our main goal man and he should get a couple on Thursday if he gets the supply, eh maybe.
 
Stephen
Ryan McGowan has been a stand out over the last season at in defence, scoring 2 goals against Hibs. For the beginning of this season he has been played in a more advanced role but it simply hasnít worked. For the first leg was moved back to his more familiar right back position and, in my opinion was MOTM at Tynecastle against Liverpool, keeping Raheem Sterling, a player which you rate highly, under control. Has massive amounts of energy and is a danger from wide and at set pieces.
 
David Templeton started the season in great form the first few games of the season but earned a retrospective red for kicking out in the Edinburgh Derby. Tricky winger than can take on several players with ease and can draw in players leaving space for others to move into. Needs to have a good, consistent season after being out for periods last term with injuries. On his day, he is a match winner.

Helen
So far, as as it has shown that the person who has been missed most is a defender Marius Zaliukas. The two halves played without him (from what I hear about the Aberdeen Match and what I saw against Inverness) have been the worst weíve played. As the home leg of this tie then I reckon the the danger players will be David Templeton, Arvydas Novikovas, and Calum Patterson.



Q5. Anyone you wish the club would get shot of? Who are your whipping boys and why?

Suzy
Not really anyone. We used to have a team full of passengers but I think everyone pulls on his working boots these days. Sometimes our captain has the odd moment of disaster. Don't believe in negativity towards players really - like booing them etc. Just get behind the team and cheer your hearts out.

Charlie
No, to be honest we have lost so many players over the summer we have a pretty tight squad of lads and the new ones coming in have not had time to blot their copy books yet ( yet)
 
Stephen
Iím not the biggest fan of Taouil if I had to be critical. He always seems to try and do too much and loses possession too cheaply.

Helen
If anyone has every been at a home Domestic Cup and League Game the crowd at Tynecastle can be rather volitile towards the players on the Pitch. Usually the Referee/Linesman gets the worst of it. However any Player who misses a pass - no matter how young, who unneccessarily shoots gets the profanity yelled at them. As for players leaving, at the moment I canít think that there is a player I really want to leave, the ďwage theifsĒ all had contracts that ran out and finished before this season. I reckon we should have should have cashed in on Andy Driver when Bury offered £3 million a couple of years ago though.



Q6. What did you make of Liverpool when they visited Tynecastle last week?

Suzy
I thought Liverpool were good - but not awesome. They didn't blow us away like Tottenham did last season. Spurs just brushed us aside as the annoying little brother. Liverpool didn't really struggle against us but there was nothing special there either. I thought Hearts got the chance to play and pass against them, which I wasn't expecting.

Charlie
I think most folk were surprised that they were quite poor and although some of the big names were absent it was expected that Liverpool could still win comfortably. Lets hope for more of the same on Thursday!
 
Stephen
I thought they looked comfortable but nothing special. We didnít realise Henderson was playing until the second half and every time Iíve seen him play, he looks lost and not quite aware of what is going on. I know itís not him that paid the money but he is not a £20m player which has put unnecessary pressure on him. There were a few players who you thought, ďwhy did they pay so much?Ē and didnít really take the chance to make their mark and say to Rogers, Iím good enough for the first team. It almost looked like some were intimidated by the Tynecastle atmosphere which was electric.
 
Sterling looks a great prospect if he is allowed to keep playing the way he is.

Helen
I thought Liverpool looked like a good side keeping the ball in play, however Hearts could match them, I also think the match showed how vital a player Pepe Reina is. The problems with scoring really showed even against Hearts which made them more obvious as Hearts are a 'Scottish Diddy'. 
 


Q7. How do you think they'll get on under Brendan Rodgers?

Suzy
Dunno - I have no idea who he is!!! (Truthfully) I hope they do well though.

Charlie
He has a big job on his hands and its a long haul turning such a big club around and others have tried and failed in recent times. English football needs a strong Liverpool though or else the Manchester axis and Chelsea are going to dominate for  a long time. Its all about money unfortunately and if he is to get Liverpool back up there he will need some big signings.
 
Stephen
If the players buy into his mentality and way of playing he will get on fine. You only have to look at Chelsea with Villas Boas last season where the more established players were not wanting to play the way he wanted to them and as usual, it's the manager who gets the sack.

Champions League might be a bit too high to be aiming for this season but cup competitions might be Liverpools best hope of qualifying for Europe. But with the season being so young, it's impossible to say exactly.

Helen
From what I have seen I reckon it could be more of the same as last season. The failure to score does not seem to have been sorted. If that can change quickly I can see Liverpool doing well.



Q8. What was your greatest moment as a Hearts fan?

Suzy
Has to be beating Hibs last season in the cup final. Our main rivals, beat them 5-1. Cant top that really. It was an amazing day out. But if I am honest, day we beat Rangers at Parkhead to take the cup in '98 was just amazing. It was special because we had won nothing for years.

Charlie
19:05:12 when Rudi Skacel hit Hearts fifth and his own second in that Cup Final. The wee green team will never hear the end of that one.
The cup win in 98 was special too, after 50 years without a trophy it was good to get that monkey off our backs.

Stephen
Probably the Scottish cup victories over our city rivals Hibernian in the Scottish Cup in the Semi Finals in 2006 and in the final last year. Imagine Liverpool beating Everton 4-0 in the semi finals and then 5-1 in the final the next time and it was to stop them winning the Scottish Cup since 1902. Doesnít get any better.

Helen
Humiliating Hibs in the Cup Final, not just because we won the Cup something that they have failed to win in 111 years (1902), because that has happened multiple times since 1902, but because it was against them and by such a large margin. The scoreline doesnít tell the domination. It should have been 10.



Q9. And your lowest?

Suzy
Most people would say losing the league to Celtic. I wasn't into football as much back then so I don't really remember it very well. A low point for me was losing to Motherwell at Easter Road in the league cup semi final.

Charlie
I was in the crowd at Dundee when we lost the chance to win the Premier League on goal difference and then lost to Aberdeen in the Cup Final a week later. 1986.  A League and Cup double snatched from under our noses. But the 5-1 against the Hobos in a cup final makes it a distant memory.

Stephen
When we were unbeaten in the league in 2005/2006 with George Burley in charge and Romanov sacked him. We managed to split the old firm and went on to lift the Scottish cup but many fans were left feeling as case of what if. We had the squad and the talent to win the league that year but just wasn't to be.

Helen
Strangely also last season. Around October-January when the club was having trouble paying wages and had numerous winding up orders.



Q10. Predictions for Thursday night?

Suzy
Prediction. Ok. My head says 3-0 to Liverpool. My heart says come on Hearts and get a draw. Maybe even score a goal at Anfield. How awesome would that be?!?

Charlie
A fine night out for all the Jambo's making the trip and a close result to keep it respectable.

Stephen
It will really depend on which Liverpool team is put out. I would be worried if the likes of Suarez and Gerrard were to play as they are on another level. Liverpool victory is more than likely but looking forward to a competitive game with a cracking atmosphere. Heart says Jambos. Head says Liverpool.

Helen
Liverpool win. 3-0 or 3-1.  I think Liverpool with some of the major players (Suarez/Gerrard) coming back in will be too strong for Hearts.









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