How did it get so bad for Hearts? Craig Levein had them flying early on this season, beating just about everyone in their path. Their opening seven Premiership games were tremendous, the next 30 have been a sharp contrast.
The Jambos scraped into the top six, but have only picked up one point from their last six games. The style and quality of football has been shocking as well, leading many fans to fear a Scottish Cup final thrashing at the hands of treble treble chasing Celtic.
Some supporters have all but turned on Levein, with many wanting him out the Tynecastle hotseat. The Gorgie faithful who want him out have a point when you compare Levein’s last 30 Premiership games to Ian Cathro and his terrible 30 game spell as Jambos boss.
The Wolves coach has the second worst win ratio of any Tynecastle manager, with a dreadful 27%. Only John McGlynn has worse with 24%, but he had a financial meltdown to contend with. Cathro is one of the worst managers in the club’s history.
That’s why Levein’s last 30 Premiership games look so grim compared to Cathro’s record.
Levein may need to jump before he is pushed
In the last 30 games in league competition, Hearts have won just nine times, drawing on six occasions and losing 15. That includes defeats to the likes of Dundee, Hamilton, St Mirren and a 5-0 thumping at the hands of Livingston.
Their great start has been forgotten. If Hearts hadn’t started so brilliantly, they would have been stuck in lower mid table. Whilst right now they are in sixth, they have less points than seventh place St Johnstone.
Cathro’s 30 game stint is almost identical to Levein’s last 30 league games. The only difference is an additional draw and one less victory for Cathro. If Levein wasn’t also Hearts’ Director of football, he’d surely be nearer the exit door.
The problem Jambos owner Ann Budge has if she sacks Levein is she’ll need to bring in a new manager plus a Director of football. That’s an extra head on the wage bill, something she’d presumably like to avoid.
The current Jambos boss is maroon through and through. His commitment to the club is brilliant. The tag of being an out and out Hearts man though can only take him so far.
if he wins the Scottish Cup all will be forgotten temporarily, but that’ll only paper over the cracks. The same mundane football will likely carry on into next season with Levein at the helm.
The Jambos boss has been a great servant to the club, but Budge may need to get rid of him in the near future. It seems like his second spell at Tynecastle has run its course. His relationship with the fans is already fractured, he may need to walk a way to save what’s left of it.