#054 - Thank you Rangers!
10/05/2027 -- Finally a bit of luck is joining us! We finished fifth and Rangers has won the Scotch Cup, which gives us the opportunity to play European Football next season. Although it’s nothing more than the European Conference League, but I’m glad anyway. It’s the first European qualification for Hearts in 4 years time and for me personally the very first time ever! Although our last matches this season weren’t that great, but who gives a fuck! Against Partick Thistle and Livingston (both at home) we played a very sloppy game and away against Rangers, when the fifth place was already secured, they made quite clear we have a very long way to go. We only collected five points more in comparison with last season, which isn’t a huge step forward to be honest. But, we finished fifth and won a prize, that’s all what counts. From now one we need to finish at least fifth every season, but of course I’m hoping we slightly can achieve more throughout the next seasons.
But the big question is, will Henderson stay at Hearts? The answer is yes! At the end the board has decided to lengthen my contract with another two years. It’s the only possible and right decision I think. We handled to win the first price within fifteen years, we qualified ourselves for European football and maybe the most important fact: nearly all of the players are together with me and still having faith in my working methods. So, we go further with Hearts, but it isn’t really surprising if I tell you there is still a bunch of work to do before we can compete with the best clubs in the league. First I will summarize our players achievements throughout the last season and which ones of them are staying and which guys are going to leave us.
Goalkeeper Zander Clark didn’t convince me that much, so at some point I give Stone and Graham a fair chance. But they didn’t proved themselves either. So you could say Clark is the less worse option I have. He has a contract for another year and he will be my first goalkeeper next season as well. Although he didn’t saved points for us, he is one of the few players with good leadership attributes, so we have to deal with him another season. Thereafter I will start searching for an upgrade. Stone and Graham are the back-up goalkeepers again.
We didn’t have the money for replacing everyone (that’s mainly the reason why Clark will be the first goalkeeper again), but our last line needs some improvement for sure. Nix and Pugh didn’t achieve really bad, but it wasn’t great either. We send them back to their own clubs and we probably will never hear anything about them anymore. Although I will remember Nix for his magnificent goal against Hamilton in the dying seconds of the game, which saves a point for us. Also Tom Field is going to leave us. The 30-year old Irishman didn’t add much to our style of play and he is running out of his contract. We will searching for a new left full-back, but most likely Ian Imrie will be our new left full-back. He is not a great header, which makes him vulnerable in a position as a centre back, but as a full-back I think he will be decent. Centre backs Findlay and Williams will stay and also right wing-back Anthony Ralston will be here for another year. But five defenders is not enough obvious, so we will search for two new centre backs and a right full-back who can compete with Ralston.
In our midfield central playmakers Cochrane and Mimnaugh played quite well. Both are staying of course. Lloyd Kenny is developing himself very well as a right midfielder, so this 17-year old talent from our own youth system will definitely staying. Left midfielder Scullion performed also quite good and Kyle McAllister can play nearly everywhere, which is really useful. Both of them are staying with us either. But all other midfielders are leaving us. Clare and Deli already signed a contract at their new club, Docherty is running out of his contract also and Liam Henderson didn’t has enough quality. The 31-midfielder is still under contract, but we are trying to sell him this transfer window for sure. Kevin Brown is returning to Portsmouth, he acted as a back-up player for Scullion, but the couple of times I used him as a substitute he played really really awful. Once he collected two yellow cards within ten minutes after he was brought in (which costs us points as well) and from then on I was already done with him to be honest. So we are going ahead with only five midfielders. That means we need at least three new guys here.
Our strikers did quite well. Tompkins performed much better and his value is growing steadily. If one of the interested clubs made him an offer for around £25,000,000 I will probably sell him. Mainly because we need the money. Celtic loanie Easton did his job, but for next season we are trying to buy a solid second striker ourselves. Masson and Saunders are still very young, with 18-year old Saunders looking really promising. One of them will probably send on loan next season if we can buy a proper second striker next to Tompkins. So, we are going further with fourteen of our players. We have some money in the bank for doing transfer, but it isn’t that much. I think we are heavily dependent to attract some free agents, wherefor playing European football might be an important benefit to interest players for joining Hearts.