2006–07 Heart of Midlothian F.C. season

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The 2007–07 season was the 110th season of competitive football by Heart of Midlothian. It is the 9th consecutive season of play in the Scottish Premier League in which Hearts have competed since its inauguration in 1998–99. Hearts also competed in the Champions League, Uefa Cup, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup.

Heart of Midlothian
2006–07 season
Chairman Lithuania Roman Romanov
Manager Lithuania Valdas Ivanauskas
Russia Eduard Malofeev
Russia Anatoliy Korobochka
Stadium Tynecastle Stadium
Murrayfield Stadium
Scottish Premier League 4th
UEFA Champions League Qualifying Round 3
Uefa Cup First Round
Scottish Cup Fourth Round
League Cup Quarter Final
Top goalscorer League:
Lithuania Andrius Velicka (9)
All:
Lithuania Andrius Velicka (12)
Highest home attendance 32,459 V AEK Athens Champions League 9 August 2006
Lowest home attendance 15,912 V Inverness SPL 26 August 2006

Managers[edit]

Valdas Ivanauskas was confirmed as head coach on a permanent basis during the summer of 2006 following the Scottish Cup victory.

Following an inconsistent start to their League campaign, head coach Valdas Ivanauskas took a sabbatical from his role on 23 October. Eduard Malofeev was appointed interim head coach until Valdas Ivanauskas later in the season although he only resumed the role for a short time before beomeing director of football one again an interim head couch was required and previous director of football Anatoly Korobochka took charge of the team.

Matches[edit]

Pre season[edit]

Hearts travelled to Austria for a pre season tour

Champions League[edit]

Hearts played their home 2006/2007 European Champions League games at Murrayfield Stadium, rather than in their home ground Tynecastle. A combination of Tynecastle falling short of UEFA requirements in terms of pitch size and hospitality facilities, and Murrayfield's greater capacity, meant that Murrayfield was the preferred choice for the Tynecastle board. Hearts won their second round qualifying tie against Bosnian champions Široki Brijeg 3–0 on aggregate, but were defeated 5–1 on aggregate by AEK Athens in the final qualifying round. The Greek side won 2–1 at Murrayfield due to two late goals and then won 3–0 in the Athens Olympic Stadium. Hearts had one player (Bruno Aguiar) sent off in the first leg and two players (Julien Brellier and Neil McCann) sent off in the second leg.

Uefa Cup[edit]

Main article: 2006–07 UEFA Cup

The loss in the final qualifying round meant that Hearts dropped into the UEFA Cup first round against Sparta Prague. In this competition they lost 2–0 at a muddy Murrayfield in the first leg and they were eliminated after a 0–0 draw in Prague in the return leg on 28 September 2006.

League Cup[edit]

Scottish Cup[edit]

Scottish Premier League[edit]

Following an indifferent start to their League campaign, head coach Valdas Ivanauskas took a sabbatical from his role on 23 October. Club owner Vladimir Romanov, who stated "I have full confidence in Valdas and look forward to his return",[1] appointed the club's sporting director, Eduard Malofeev, as interim head coach. Further off-field disruption ensued four days later when Romanov warned his players that they would all be put up for sale if Hearts did not win their match against Dunfermline Athletic the next day. Captain Steven Pressley, flanked by senior players Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon, responded with a statement voicing the players' unhappiness at affairs at the club, stating in a pre-match media conference ahead of Dunfermline's visit that there was "significant unrest" in the dressing-room.[2] The game was drawn 1–1.

The repercussions from the press conference stretched over several months and eventually led to the departure from the club of two of the so-called Riccarton Three.[3] Pressley was dropped for a match against Falkirk on 13 November[4] and named as an unused substitute for a 1–0 defeat by Rangers on 19 November.[5] Hartley was only used as a substitute in the former game. Pressley eventually left Hearts on 9 December, with accompanying press releases stating that this was an amicable agreement. He joined rivals Celtic on 1 January 2007 and captained his new squad to a 2–1 victory at Tynecastle on his first return to Edinburgh. Hartley also moved to Celtic during January 2007, in a £1.1 million transfer on 31 January. This only left Gordon, who was dropped for matches away to Dundee United and Rangers in December and January respectively, as the only member of the trio to remain at Hearts beyond the January transfer window.

Hearts failed to win a game under the management of Eduard Malofeev, who took control during Ivanauskas' sabbatical. Hearts lost at Celtic and Hibernian – a result which eliminated Hearts from the CIS Cup – and at home to Rangers. He remained as caretaker manager until late November 2006 when, despite media reports anticipating the appointment of Eugenijus Riabovas,[6] Ivanauskas returned to resume his duties as club manager.[7]

A 1–0 loss in the Scottish Cup at Dunfermline on 3 February 2007, with Gordon on the bench, ended Hearts' chance to retain the trophy. Later that month, Ivanauskas was moved to a director of football role,[8] with director of football Anatoly Korobochka assuming the role of interim head coach on 2 March. An improved run of form towards the end of the season witnessed Hearts challenge Aberdeen for third spot in the League and UEFA Cup qualification. The Dons scored a last minute equaliser in a head-to-head confrontation between the two teams at Tynecastle in May, and eventually finished four points clear in third place.

Final table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Celtic (C) 38 26 6 6 65 34 +31 84 2007–08 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round
2 Rangers 38 21 9 8 61 32 +29 72 2007–08 UEFA Champions League Second qualifying round
3 Aberdeen 38 19 8 11 56 37 +19 65 First round
4 Heart of Midlothian 38 17 10 11 47 35 +12 61
5 Kilmarnock 38 16 7 15 47 54 −7 55
6 Hibernian 38 13 10 15 56 46 +10 49
7 Falkirk 38 15 5 18 49 47 +2 50
8 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 38 11 13 14 42 48 −6 46
9 Dundee United 38 10 12 16 40 59 −19 42
10 Motherwell 38 10 8 20 44 57 −13 38
11 St Mirren 38 8 12 18 31 51 −20 36
12 Dunfermline Athletic (R) 38 8 8 22 26 55 −29 32 Relegation to Template:Fb competition 2007–08 Scottish First Division

Source:[citation needed]
Rules for classification: .

  • Dunfermline gained UEFA Cup place as fellow Scottish Cup finalists Celtic had already qualified for Europe via Champions League
  • No Scottish side competed in the Intertoto Cup in the 2007–08 season after Inverness CT withdrew their application
  • After 33 games (at which point each team had played each other three times) the table split into a top six and bottom six, and teams played one further game against each side in their half. Teams stayed in their half of the league regardless of their points total.
    (C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
    Only applicable when the season is not finished:
    (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Transfers[edit]

On the eve of the SPL season, Hearts announced the capture of Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla on a season-long loan. PAOK Salonika's Christos Karipidis and Tiago Costa, a full back from Benfica B were also signed, while in the final week of the transfer window three further Lithuanian players – Marius Žaliūkas, Kęstutis Ivaškevičius and Andrius Velička – joined on loan from FBK Kaunas. Hearts fans still anticipated the arrival of "two World Cup stars" but were left disappointed when the club announced that the final piece of business of the transfer window would be to sign the previously-loaned striker Roman Bednář on a permanent deal.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ivanauskas to take two-week break". BBC Sport. 23 October 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2006. 
  2. ^ "Romanov issues player ultimatum". BBC Sport. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006. 
  3. ^ Riccarton being the location of Hearts training ground, where the contentious press-conference took place.
  4. ^ "Pressley holds talks with union". BBC Sport. 15 November 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006. 
  5. ^ "Hearts 0–1 Rangers". BBC Sport. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006. 
  6. ^ "Ribovas promises Hearts return". BBC Sport. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2006. 
  7. ^ "Valdas Returns". Hearts F.C. Retrieved 27 November 2006. 
  8. ^ "Ivanauskas set for change of role". BBC Sport. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2007. 

External links[edit]