Hearts will interview Slovakian Vladimir Weiss over the weekend with regards to the current managerial vacancy at Tynecastle, according to the man himself. “Hearts are a great club, a big team with a big history. I have a meeting with the boss of Hearts, Mr Romanov, in Edinburgh this weekend, so I cannot say any more until that meeting takes place”, he told the Scotsman newspaper.
The man whose only experince of British football is when he led Slovakian side Artmedia Bratislava to a 5-4 aggregate win over Celtic in the preliminary stages of the Uefa Champions League in 2005. “I regard this opportunity as a big step-up in my coaching career, so I am very interested”, said the former Czechoslovakian international.
Weiss joins Gudjon Thordarson, currently the manager of Icelandic side Akranes, and Belarussian Andrei Zygmantovich, who already works for Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov at MTZ-Ripo and Kaunas, on the shortlist to replace caretaker manager Stephen Frail.
Hearts supporters would have been expecting a more British based shortlist with the likes of Craig Levein, currently at Dundee United, Jim Jefferies current boss of Kilmarnock and former Hearts player and manager, and Billy Davies, who has been unemployed since he was sacked by Derby last season. However, Thordarson has British experience – he managed Barnsley, Stoek City, and Notts County – and has shown in the past that he will not stand for chairman interference, something Mr Romanov is renowned for. Further, if Terry Butcher was to take over as assisstant to Thordarson then this may be enough to allay the hostility coming from some in the Hearts supporters towards the Romanovs. Butcher had a fairly successful spell within a limited budget at Motherwell for four years between 2002 – 2006 but has failed to hold down a regular job since with spells at Sydney and Brentford.
The Hearts fans probably feel, looking at this shortlist, that Romanov has gone back on his January 1st promise of a British manger with experience of British football but I am sure they would all accept whoever is in charge as long as it brings results.