It seems that Hearts manager Craig Levein can’t let losing to Celtic go as he fired another volley of paranoid pish in the direction of Celtic skipper Scott Brown.
Brown, who schooled the Hearts defence at the end of January in their 3-1 win at Celtic Park, seems to have picked up a crazed stalker in the guise of Levein whose permarage is evident for all to see.
Hearts may have ended Celtic’s amazing unbeaten run earlier in the season, but it seems that Levein is more interested in firing potshots and pointing the finger than looking at closing the gap on city rivals Hibernian, who are seven points clear of them in the Scottish Premiership.
Levein targeted Brown last week when he claimed that youngster Harry Cochrane was targeted by the Celtic skipper in the game at Celtic Park, adding: “Everybody needs more protection from Scott Brown”.
That undignified outburst saw Brendan Rodgers hand Levein his arse, when the Celtic manager highlighted Hearts’ abysmal disciplinary record.
Following Levein’s comments, Scott Brown picked up a booking for his first challenge in the 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock at the weekend, a booking that Brown claimed was the result of Levein spitting the dummy and running to the press.
Brown claimed: “I was booked with my first foul and I think that is exactly what Craig [Levein] was looking to do.”
But now crazed stalker Levein has made the allegation that Brown deliberately got himself booked so as not to face a suspension when Celtic play Rangers.
Levein said: “Scott Brown said last week that he got booked because of me bringing attention to his proclivity to foul people. I disagree with that completely.
“I think if you look and see if Scott didn’t get booked against Kilmarnock last week and he got booked against St Johnstone then he would have missed the Rangers game. I’ll leave you to deduce what that means.
“I’m just pointing out one thing, that’s all. I’m just pointing it out as a retort to his statement last week that it was me that got him booked.
“I think you’ll find his intentions were to always get booked in that game so he doesn’t miss the Rangers game.
“It happens all the time. Anyone who is sensible would look at the situation if there’s a particular game they want to play in and they only need to get booked to miss a game prior to that. I did it myself when I was playing. It happens.”
So because Levein did it when he was playing means that Scott Brown purposely did it also?
Levein is clearly trying to turn attention and flak away from his own failings because of the natural order of football in Edinburgh being restored with Hearts the second team in the city.
The fact that Levein is acting so paranoid and bitter towards Brown and his dominance of Scottish football pitches, given how the Hearts manager acted as a footballer himself. A man who was banned for 12 games for punching a teammate during a pre-season friendly and who lifted his hands to a Hibs player during the Edinburgh derby this season and opened up another war of words with Hibs manager Neil Lennon also.
The bitter paranoia that oozes out of Levein was followed by a laughable denial that he was not being deliberately provocative and that he was actually acting in his side’s best interests.
He added: “I’m not trying to [get under people’s skin], I’m just pointing out things that are obvious, that’s all. I’m doing what I think is the right thing for this football club, for my football club.
“People say things and have said things in the past that I think are having a go at the club for whatever reason and I don’t like that. I feel my position in the managerial role is to stand up for the club so I’m going to do that.”
Clearly Levein is feeling the pressure and thinks pouring more fuel onto the fire in his war of words with Scott Brown is in the best interests of his football club. A club that trails reigning Scottish champions Celtic by 23 points and newly promoted Hibernian by seven points.
Dry yer eyes Craig it could be worse you could lose the league on the final day of the season…. Oh, wait you did! To Celtic!