GORDON SMITH: George Is Just a First Step on Roman Road

The Mirror (London, England), July 4, 2005 | Go to article overview

GORDON SMITH: George Is Just a First Step on Roman Road


Byline: GORDON SMITH

GEORGE Burley's appointment is the first step in Vladimir Romanov's Hearts revolution but there's still a long way to go.

When the Lithuanian became majority shareholder at Tynecastle he was full of soundbites the supporters were desperate to hear.

Mind you, he could have said whatever he wanted - the fans were just desperate to get rid of Chris Robinson.

But when Romanov claimed he wanted to shatter the Old Firm's dominance of Scottish football it was music to the faithful's ears.

I doubt if Burley was in his grand plan at that stage because when John Robertson was shown the door, the new Hearts gaffer was still in charge at Derby County.

Burley's sudden availability may have been sheer luck but Hearts have to be applauded for bringing him to Scotland.

However, now Romanov must back his manager with serious money.

So far that has yet to happen as more players have headed for the exit door. Burley faces a daunting task rebuilding the squad.

Patrick Kisnorbo, Mark de Vries and Alan Maybury have joined former boss Craig Levein at Leicester while Lee Miller snubbed the Jambos to sign for Dundee United amid the managerial uncertainty.

Romanov's next step has to be giving Burley the cash to sign quality replacements.

THERE have been rumours the manager will get a transfer war chest of around pounds 3million and the fans will be hoping this is true.

Burley flew to Lithuania to meet with Romanov before taking the post and must have liked what he heard. But he will need to move quickly to get quality players in and gel them into a team.

Losing Miller to United was a big blow and the board must shoulder the responsibility.

Bringing in the striker on loan from Bristol City last season was a shrewd move.

Miller was superb in his short time at the club and his form was rewarded with a Scotland call-up. …

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