Hearts have declared Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson as their new manager on a three year contract. Following his appointment Neilson is all geared up for his second spell at Tynecastle in what could be his most challenging managerial spell yet.
Robbie Neilson, a former Hearts and Dundee United defender, started his managerial assignment in 2014 for the Maroons and took them to unprecedented heights with a record breaking campaign. He won 62 of his 106 games and raked up a third place in premiership. Following season they secured second place when he left for Mk Dons and later joined United in 2018.
Hearts performance had declined dramatically after Robbie Neilson left the club which has cumulated in them being ultimately relegated this season. The Edinburgh club with Partick Thistle, have filed a petition at the Court against SFL challenging their decision to prematurely draw the season to a close and have demanded compensation for their troubles.
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) June 21, 2020
Ann budge‘s unexpected proposal to the Tannadice officials was rejected at first but Neilson persuaded Dundee to talk with his former club. At last it was decided that Dundee United will receive a compensation from the hearts in order to take Robbie Neilson back.
Mark Ogren, chairman at Tannadice, commented:
“Although we are understandably disappointed, Dundee United Football Club are bigger than one person and we will continue to work towards our long-term plan with our staff and players and, of course, our loyal supporters.”
“Robbie played a huge role in our journey so far, however, we now look towards the future, with a new leader and renewed hope for our fans.”
Robbie Neilson stated how ‘delighted’ he was to be making the move and that he couldn’t turn down the chance to go back to Tynecastle Park. Speaking to the Hearts official website, he said:
“I had some great experiences here, both as a player and manager, and I’m keen to pick up where I left off.
Everyone knows there is a really good squad at Hearts and I’m excited to begin working with the players and staff.
“Finally, I’d like to say thank you to Dundee United for the opportunity they gave me two years ago. I hope the United fans feel that together we managed to restore the club back to where it belongs.”
Ann budge’s first priority was to bring Neilson back to rebuild the team for the second tier and repeat the feat that he had just achieved with Dundee United. Robbie Neilson may now try to bring coaches Gordon Forrest and Lee McCulloch with him from United and according to reports, Hearts reserve coach Andy Kirk and goalkeeping coach Paul Gallacher are the only ones expected to be involved from the existing backroom staff.
Daniel Stendel who was appointed in November after Levein was sacked and won 5 out of his 17 matches with a comfortable place in Scottish club semifinals. Lamentably hearts were in the bottom of premiership and faced demotion. He has now been replaced and his successor now finds himself in a familiar position albeit under completely different circumstances.
Faced with the arduous task of making a horde of new signings and developing a whole different squad that plays in the championship but is of premiership standard, he has to deliver as soon as possible and a swift promotion back to the premiership will be the only intention anyone at the club has.
Earlier in March, the players in hearts were asked to take 50% wage cut due to the pandemic and the financial circumstance are still not stable in Tynecastle park. His compensation package seems questionable in light of the present circumstances but thats not something that too many at Tynecastle Park will be bothered with.
Nonetheless they face an impending a legal battle, an uphill task of revitalising a squad immensely lacking in spirit and confidence, and a struggle to generate a considerable amount of investment to strengthen the squad for the new manager.
Moreover according to reports Hearts have also offered Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon a lucrative offer to join them for a two year contract. Craig is interested in joining his former team mate Neilson and is considering his future in the Tynecastle as his contract expires. This also depends on Celtic securing a permanent transfer for Fraser Forster from Southampton.
This would indeed be a massive coup for them to be able to bring in a proven match winner and address the most problematic department in the squad right at the onset. Fact that neither of the three goalkeepers have managed to cement their position as the no.1 at the clubs speaks for itself about the issues at hand here.
It will be a herculean task for Nielson to gather the bits and parts of this dilapidated club and again taste success and glory like his earlier association with the club allowed him to and according to Michael Stewart, the absence of Craig Levein this time around might propel Robbie Neilson to excel at Hearts without ‘Craig Levein holding him back’
Swift Promotion, Impending Legal Battle and a Wholesale Overhaul of the Squad: Robbie Neilson has Quite a Massive To-Do List at Tynecastle.