An open letter to Ian Cathro

April 5, 2017

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Dear Ian,

I implore you to brush up on your clichés and to speak like a proper football manager. Usually it pisses me off when managers shoehorn as many vacuous figures of speech as possible into a two-minute interview, but I feel it would be better for all parties concerned if you popped over to Kirkcaldy, spent a day with John Hughes and learned to embrace the cliché.

Hell, ‘threaten’ to slap a female journalist if you want, grab John Barnes by the scruff of the neck and give him a couple of digs. Anything other than this.

I cannot fathom why you’d think saying that your side played well in a 5-0 defeat if you “take away the goalposts” is a good idea. 5-0. Five. Nil. What good do you think that statement is going to do? You’ve seen what the sports media can be like in this country. They were, unfairly, hounding you before you even got the job. Now you just continue to feed them ammunition week after week.

I understand what you are trying to say, Hearts competed well for a while in that match, but you cannot claim that your side was good other than in regards to the most important aspect of the game and not expect to be ridiculed. If results were going well and you’d said that after a 5-0 defeat to a rampant Celtic, maybe you’d just get away with it. Maybe.

The trouble is that you’ve won four of your 18 matches in charge (five if you include the extra-time win over Raith Rovers) and have taken the side from 2nd to 5th (and descending). Before last night, Ross County had won once in 10 attempts. Any idea who that was against?

And, in fact, even if you did take away the goalposts in the defeat to Celtic, Hearts were still awful in certain respects. How many times did they conceded possession in their own half, for example?

We know it’s a work in progress, we know that a lot of key players have moved on or have sustained injuries since Robbie Neilson’s time. The results under you have been shocking but there are signs there that we can put a good side together and, since you arrived mid-season and some of the January signings were temporary measures, I’m sure most sensible supporters are willing to see out this season and allow you a summer and a pre-season to get your own team together. That will be a truer reflection of your ability and will be when the judging really starts.

Until then, can you please just keep a low profile and speak like a proper football manager. I fear that my cringe-pipes will never recover from all this.

Yours sincerely

A wincing Hearts supporter

Written by Craig Cairns (@craigcairns001)

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