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Just over a week since Scotland and the Republic of Ireland showed us that modern day football can still encapsulate the spirit of days gone by, Saturday afternoon’s events at Tynecastle provided us with further evidence this version of the sport should not necessarily be classified as historic.
For those of us used to gorging on a feast on the quality and excitement served up to us on a weekly basis from the likes of the FA Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga, a Scottish Championship clash was never going to be able to reach those lofty heights.
Yet the top-of-the-table clash between Hearts and Rangers more than matched the type of games on offer from that trio of aforementioned leagues when it comes to passion, sheer grit and determination.
The standard of play was unquestionably poor, but no one who witnessed this primeval battle could ever accuse the players of not giving all they had in terms of enthusiasm.
Some of them threw too much of their weight into this tussle such as Steven Smith, whose reckless tackle on Callum Patterson saw him rightfully removed from the field of play after only 20 minutes into proceedings.
Rangers were fortunate in the extreme that Smith was not joined in the dressing room by both Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd, who should most certainly been forced to take an early bath due to similar, foolish and dangerous challenges. The visitors began to lose their heads and discipline in a game they surely had to take at least a point from on their quest to retain automatic promotion back to the top flight.
However, with an impressive nine-point lead now over their Glasgow rivals it is no wonder the mood was one of euphoria and optimism amongst the home support as they made their way out of the stadium into the early Edinburgh sunshine. Jason Holt’s goal and a penalty from Jamie Walker in the second half gave Hearts the win
Hearts are a club reborn from the ashes of the shambles of the Vladimir Romanov era, whose financial mismanagement resulted in the pain and anger the clubs supporters were forced to endure following the shame of administration and demotion to the second tier of the Scottish game.
But diligently and shrewdly under the remit of new majority shareholder Ann Budge this once proud club have rebuilt their reputation off the park.
On the pitch, head coach Robbie Neilson continues to cut an impressive figure overseeing a team of mainly homegrown players consistently performing to the standard expected of their more highly paid main challengers for the title.
Indeed everything that Hearts have succeeded at Rangers have miserably failed.
Debts are still unpaid, battles for control of the board are still being fought over by the Easdales brothers and Dave King, whose failure to grab the power at Ibrox has led him to becoming a rather bitter figure tediously throwing out quote after quote to his cheerleaders in the Scottish press.
And the flaws of manager Ally McCoist continue to be exposed on a weekly basis.
For many of the club’s supporters who once idolised him for his efforts as a player, the turgid mediocrity of his tenure has become something they no longer feel the necessity to get worked up about such is the apathy many now hold toward the state of their club.
A huge swathe of the club’s support are now experiencing similar emotions to that they held when fellow legend John Greig was struggling when he held the managerial reigns in the early 1980s.
McCoist’s insistence that he is the man capable of leading them back to the top will most likely result in more weeks of suffering for the light blue legions.