VincentGuerin Posted December 9, 2022 Share Posted December 9, 2022 On 05/12/2022 at 13:32, Stylish Kid said: Ok so, It's still the off-period, and I was a bit bored. So I started thinking about our squad strength in comparison to Robbie Neilson's last match in charge. I recall in our season in the Championship (20-21), RN reckoned that his team was stronger than his previous stint in the Championship with us (14-15). I was skeptical then, however now I think that statement probably rings true.... I've compared the starting line-ups in RN's final match in 2016 vs Rangers (2-0) [https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38073798] , vs the most recent match against Livi (1-1) [https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/63523886]. The line-ups in the 2 matches provided a 4-4-1-1 and a 4-1-4-1, so I've tweaked the positions slightly to give a man-for man comparson, and tried to score each player. Happy for people to shoot me down or offer differing opinions (particularly on certain players!) GK: 2016: Jack Hamilton (7/10) - although his subsequent career has not been good, it is worth remembering that he actually was called up to the Soctland men's squad, although uncapped. 2022: Craig Gordon (9/10) - Probably better last season, but you're unlikely to get a better quality keeper in the SPFL. Probably brings bigger postitive squad influence RB: 2016: Callum Patterson (9/10) - probably an 8/10 player at the time really, however he was so important to our style of play at the time, effectively covering the whole of the right flank with his athleticisim. Also scored a phonemanl number of goals and was an important ariel presence in both boxes 2022: Michael Smith (6/10) - reliably a 7/10 performer for years in some terrible Hearts teams, but age is starting to show RCB: 2016: John Souttar (6/10) - At the time, he wasn't such a big player for us, still raw however. 2022: Toby Sibbick (6/10) - I see a lot of parallels, in that we have a raw quality player who gets absolute pelters by some sections of our support. Has been invaluable coming into form in the last month or so LCB: 2016: Igor Rossi (6/10) – for me, a fairly unmemorable player. Solid, but to be perfectly honest I didn’t really shed a tear when he left (sorry Igor!) 2022: Kye Rowles (9/10) – I scored him at about 6 when I initially drafted this, but on reflection how important he has become in so few matches highlight that he is quality, not just early form LB: 2016: Facaly Rherras (3/10) – Not as terrible as Oshanwina or Lennard Sowah in terms of single-season LB’s, but again did not exactly set the heather alight. Should have kept Adam Ekersley that season. Following a check of his career history, he loses a point for going on loan to Hibs 2 seasons later 2022: Alex Cochrane (8/10) – really stepped up this season, both in terms of importance to the team (as highlighted by Craig Gordon when asked on his best team mates across both spells at Hearts). Covered at LCB as needed too. RM: 2016: Jamie Walker (8/10) – A key member of the promotion-winning team. I always wonder what could have been if the Walker/Patterson/Nicholson axis had been kept. Always an important performer for us, even in his not-so-good second spell where he’d lost a yard of pace, always popped up with important goals. A Jambo through-and-through, would be an asset to almost any Hearts team past or present. 2022: Gino (710) – Last season, might have got a 4 or a 5, but like Cochrane and others has really stepped up with the injuries. Probably gets a higher rating than he would have because he scored the last minute equaliser… CM: 2016: Don Cowie (8/10) – Recently lambasted on this forum, but probably one of our better performers at the time. A great professional who did give it his all (unlike other older players!). 2022: Orestis Kiomourtzoglou (5/10) – If he was a freebie, he’d probably get a point more, but has taken a lot of criticism, on account of coming with a big price tag and reputation. Expect more from him in the next “half” of the season, and has already shown flashes of potential with MoTM against Ross County CM: 2016: Perry Kitchen (6/10) – A solid 6/10 every week. Unflashy, and somehow was made captain for unfathomable reasons, other than to give him a moniker based on a Marvel ™ character. Recently retired tragically early. 2022: Cammy Devlin (8/10) – another to file under “stepped up to the plate this year”. Still has amazing potential, and brings something intangible to the pitch over and above skill, energy, and tactical nous. C(A)M: 2016: Arnaud Djoum (6/10) – Similarly to “Kio” of now-a-days, perhaps loses a point for being expensive! Trusted by successive managers, always looked like he was playing at 80%. Technically gifted and a first-team starter, played over 100 times and had a decent goalscoring rate from midfield . 2022: Robert Snodgrass (710) – Arguably comparable to Don Cowie in terms of career stage and what he brought. Might not get many seasons out of him, but he’s important for now FW: 2016: Bjorn Johnsen (6/10) – Yet another in a long list of strikers to have been signed by Hearts, only to fail to hit the back of the net regularly. Worth noting that he was SPFL player of the month that month. 2022: Lawrence Shankland (8/10) – Completely different player to Johnsen, however has, on balance, been a good signing and is perhaps a more complete player than people expected. Totals: 2016: 69/110 2022: 74/110 Subs – you can argue about them yourselves…. Johnsen was a really weird one. A Bambi figure, but clearly had something. Then went off to Holland and started banging them in for fun. Some consolation in that his subsequent form shows that to be a bit of a one-off rather than another decent striker we ruined. Agree you've been a bit kind to Jack Hamilton. Mind-boggling that he got a Scotland call-up. 0 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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