Should he stay or should he go? It’s a question that’s been on the lips of many Hearts fans recently when it comes to Craig Levein.
The Jambos boss has brought in yet another disappointing league campaign at the club. Despite this, he also made a cup final and a cup semi-final, eventually losing out in both of them.
He’s been called into question plenty of times by fans. Here are some pros and cons to consider about the Jambos gaffer, which may help you take a position on where you stand with him.
Levein has secured top six finishes every season since he took over from Ian Cathro. Fans will want more, but this probably the bare minimum the club will expect from him. It could be said he’s hitting his league objective, but only just.
He’s went far in the cups this season in comparison to other seasons. Again there could be flaws found in this. Both runs could be considered not very challenging, especially the Scottish Cup run. They played one Premiership team before the final.
Again though there has been an improvement from the season before, so he’s probably hit his cup objectives.
His ability to bring in youth though is perhaps one of his stronger points. He’s not relied heavily on good recruitment, instead putting an emphasis on the youngster’s coming through.
The likes of Harry Cochrane and Aaron Hickey have made full breakthroughs under Levein. He’s put massive trust in the youth department and it has paid off on many occasions for him.
Whilst it’s great that the club try to bring in young players from the academy, it doesn’t help the standard of football Jambos are subjected to week in week out.
It’s hoofball at all times more or less and it’s horrible to watch. The attractive stuff some of the youth teams play is forgotten when you make the jump to senior level.
If opposition have a decent aerial centre-half, the game is as good as done for Hearts. The tactic of punt it long goes out the window and there’s never usually a plan B.
Levein doesn’t adapt to the situation he is in. It’s his way or no way and that’s been at a detriment to his side at times this year.
His recruitment has also been awful. Whenever key stars have been out, the players who replace them haven’t been up to scratch. There’s also a very high turnover of players at the club, something which isn’t sustainable. They either sold or loaned out 26 different players last season.
Levein can’t chop and change like that much longer, he brought over 20 fresh bodies in last season as well. If it wasn’t for their terrific start, who knows where Hearts would have finished last season.
The Levein debate will be one with no end until he eventually leaves Tynecastle at some stage.