Jamie Just Jambos' Scapegoat for the Mess Left by Cathro; Scott McDermott's VERDICT

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), August 6, 2017 | Go to article overview

Jamie Just Jambos' Scapegoat for the Mess Left by Cathro; Scott McDermott's VERDICT


Byline: Scott McDermott

Jamie Walker's head is a mess alright. But the only club responsible for that is his own.

At Parkhead yesterday, for the second weekend on the spin, Hearts found themselves in the ridiculous situation of leaving their best player at home.

For what? Not signing a new contract at Tynecastle? He's not the first and certainly won't be the last young Jambos player to do that.

Jason Holt, Callum Paterson and Sam Nicholson did likewise, meaning Hearts got next to nothing for kids they had nurtured when they moved on.

But they weren't ostracised by the club in the way Walker has.

He's been hung out to dry by the Hearts hierarchy and director of football Craig Levein.

Made a scapegoat, if you like, for what has gone wrong in Gorgie since the catastrophic appointment of Ian Cathro as gaffer.

The facts are Ann Budge and Levein have known since December that their 15-goal wideman had no plans to extend his stay at the club.

The boy's mind was made up that he wanted a new challenge.

But it didn't stop him excelling in a maroon shirt for the rest of last season. The Tynecastle punters will testify to that.

By demean There's a notion, perpetuated by Cathro last week and interim boss Jon Daly, that because his "head's been turned" Walker's attitude has been poor. But that's nonsense.

Walker is not the type to put the tools away under any circumstances.

Ask any of his teammates or coaches. Ask Jack Ross who worked with him at Hearts previously. You won't hear a bad word against him.

He's one of the most hard-working, unassuming players in the country.

That's why when Cathro pulled him at training last Friday and told him he was being left out of the Hearts squad to face Dunfermline in the Betfred Cup, Walker was astounded.

The claim his performance level had dropped and his head wasn't right just didn't stack up.

Let's be clear. After some impressive pre-season displays - particularly against Newcastle - Walker was deemed to be in the right frame of mind to face Peterhead on the Tuesday night at Balmoor. …

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