Spurs break Scottish Football’s Hearts
So, can we put this notion that “Scottish football isn’t that far behind the Premier League” to bed once and for all? Heart of Midlothian 0, Tottenham Hotspur 5. Need more be said?
August 19th, 2011
Whilst admittedly, the claim that Scottish sides could share a pedestal with their contemporaries from south of the border has usually come from the other end of the M8, events in Edinburgh last night demonstrated that the only Premier League in England that Scottish clubs could aspire to be in is the one containing Grimsby Town and Forest Green Rovers.
Spurs, a side so besieged with injuries that they named two keepers amongst the reserves and a side that had yet to play a competitive match this season, were too quick, too fast, too strong, too clever, too clinical and just too good for Hearts.
“Outclassed. Outfought. Out of their depth. Out of their comfort zone. Out of Europe – Big Ben will strike 13 before Hearts trouble the Europa League group stage this season,” wrote the Daily Record in their summation of the Europa League qualifer first leg.
“In the return leg next week Hearts will become the most gullible and gormless travellers to visit London since Dick Whittington tied his worldly possessions into a bundle on a stick and set off expecting to find the capital’s avenues paved with gold,” added reporter Gary Ralston.
With the Fringe Festival in full swing, the visitors even had to spend the night around an hour away from the city and if those festival goers don’t think much of the comedians in Edinburgh, there should be plenty of tickets for them at Tynecastle.
They might not be the only Scottish side out of the competition and even the more reputable Old Firm were doing little for the name of Scottish football. Rangers will have a 2-1 deficit to overturn against NK Maribor whilst Celtic will fly out to Switzerland after being held to a 0-0 draw by the minnows of Sion.
Of course, money played its part in last night’s embarrassment. The budget on which Spurs will operate on this season eclipses that of the one being worked on at Hearts and Harry Redknapp was quick to point out the fact.
“You have to be fair and realistic, we have obviously got better quality players who earn a lot more than their players,” he said. “We go to Old Trafford on Monday and we will see a different game.”
But there is more to it than that. This was supposed to be a night when the hostile Tynecastle atmosphere was to turn the Spurs superstars into shivering wrecks, a night when blood wouldn’t show on a maroon jersey and a night when all 22 players were equal once they crossed that white line. English fans have become accustomed to Scottish sides raising their game when they take to the stage against Premier League opposition, keen to show that the SPL isn’t the joke that it is perceived to be. Hearts offered nothing.
Post-match, Hearts winger Andrew Driver admitted the gulf in class between his side and Tottenham was a shock to the system and in truth, it was probably a shock to the millions watching at home. We had no idea that the SPL was this bad.