Craig Levein has been reliving his 1986 nightmare and blaming St Mirren for the fact that Hearts didn’t win the Premier Division title.
Radio Scotland provided an unquestioning platform for the Jambos legend to recycle the sort of paranoia that has surrounded Hearts for 34 years.
Hearts had the title in their hands, a draw away to Dundee would have provided them with the title regardless of how many goals Celtic rattled past St Mirren.
Going into the second last weekend of the season Hearts lead by four points as they faced Clydebank at home, a four or five goal win would have almost certainly have pushed them over the line.
In front of 27,000 at Tynecastle Levein’s side won 1-0, a nervy performance that left the door open to Celtic who beat Dundee 2-0 at home the same day. In midweek Celtic won 2-0 at Motherwell but they went into the final weekend two points behind with Hearts having a three goal advantage in terms of goals.
With Levein missing out due to a really sore tummy Hearts hung on for a draw at Dens Park, using the sort of tactics that will be the former Scotland boss’ managerial legacy.
At Love Street St Mirren put up a spirited performance but were swamped by Celtic hitting top gear midway through the first half. Playing a brand of football that no team in the country could live with. It was 4-0 at half time and 5-0 at full time.
At Dens Park Hearts collapsed in the last 10 minute. 0-0 would have given them the title but two goals from substitute Albert Kidd denied them the title. Celtic were champions, level on points but had turned the goal difference around to lead Hearts by three.
Levein recovered from his really sore tummy to play in the Scottish Cup Final seven weeks later with Aberdeen strolling to a 3-0 win at Hampden.
Incredible comments from Craig Levein on @BBCSportsound last night. Alluded to St Mirren “not doing their best” against Celtic on May 3rd, 1986. What was Craig doing that day? Bottling out of playing for Hearts at Dens Park. Is that doing your best, Craig? @kennymacsport
— Paul Larkin* BLM (@paullarkin74) September 15, 2020
Great memories ?? pic.twitter.com/qp174kJVc6
— paul (@greenwhitehoops) September 15, 2020
I remember at the time there were similar claims. Anyone who witnessed that game saw a rampant Celtic performance from the off, St Mirren couldn’t get near them. Of course Celtic’s performance would have been irrelevant if Hearts hadn’t got beat. Still spewin 34 years on ?
— tiffer67 (@tiffer67) September 15, 2020
It’s a losers show presented by the biggest dud on radio
— JL (@Manresssa) September 15, 2020
Don’t mind guys who’ve had success etc but when u get guys who treat media like shit when in jobs get sacked for failure and the cycle continues back to media! Then have cheek to criticise formations, teams etc when they’ve had nothing but failure ??????
— The truth (@Thetrut54051138) September 15, 2020
I was there . One of the best league performances I have ever witnessed. Also one of the best goals ive ever seen ,although it was finished off by the man who’s name we do not mention. Unstopable that day. Love the fact after 34yrs Levin is still hurting.
— Peter Mcadam (@PeterMcadam6) September 15, 2020
My son is friendly with a Hearts legend who played in that game and he confirmed that Levein bottled it on the morning of the match.
— Brian Conway ??????????? (@BrianConway60) September 15, 2020
If only Hearts had “done their best” at Dens Park.
Surely 34 years is long enough to learn to take responsibility? Apparently not in his case…
— Soctty123 (@Soctty123) September 15, 2020
Craig forgets that had Hearts won at Dens then it made no difference what happened at Love St. Hearts bottled it and lost. Good to know that his disappointment and anger still burns deep 34 years on. We blew St Mirren away that day with great football worthy of champions.?
— Barrybhoy (@barrybhoy99) September 15, 2020