Błażej of Glory; Callum’s Shark Tales
Evening all. The main focus of today’s piece was meant to be Callum Paterson swimming in a tank of sharks and the various thoughts he had during that experience, which ranged from the Tynecastle atmosphere to Danny Wilson’s alleged dubious career moves. More on those later, however, as there are more important things to kick off with, namely the club’s first summer signing, news of which broke only a few hours ago.
After weeks of rumours, guesswork and fictitious bollocks across various social media platforms, today confirmed that Robbie Neilson and Craig Levein will always be one step ahead of us when they unveiled (largely unknown) Polish centre back Błażej Augustyn as the club’s first summer signing. Considering I was unaware of Augustyn’s existence until a few hours ago, I cannot pass a great deal of judgement on him as a signing, but those who have heard of him appear to be rather positive about his arrival:
This is certainly good enough for me. On the face of it, he seems to fit the bill: experienced, cultured, obligatory centre back’s beard. What’s not to like? And besides, none of us had heard of Alim Ozturk a year ago and now he eats last-minute, 40-yard thunderbastards at Easter Road for breakfast. So welcome to Tynecastle, Błażej. You’ve made a splendid career decision.
On the topic of career decisions, former captain Danny Wilson’s potential move back to Rangers was a topic of conversation for Callum Paterson as he took a dip in the Deep Sea World shark tank recently. While the Daily Record’s headline of choice would have you believe Paterson had launched into full-scale criticism of his former teammate, the jist of what he said was far more diplomatic.
“In Scotland there are a limited number of teams that would represent a step up — but he was previously linked with Fenerbahce and Galatasaray and other sides all over the globe…Of course Hearts playing in a higher league is a step up but maybe it is personal… It is about personal decisions for everyone and what works best for themselves. Players get linked with teams all the time. But if he moves there, best of luck to him.”
Having said he was leaving Hearts to further his career and seek new challenges, a move to Ibrox would represent a bizarre U-turn for Wilson. After absolutely smashing the Championship last season with Hearts, attempting to do so again with another club is hardly the path to self-improvement for a player with ambition.
Of course, as the Paterson quote above suggests, there could be other reasons why Wilson would sign for Rangers: personal, financial or otherwise. Since he was appointed manager at Ibrox, Mark Warburton has implied that much of his focus will be on youth development, as he looks to rebuild the Govan club’s fortunes.
On that basis, there is every chance that he sees Danny Wilson as a potential flagship signing — a player who knows the club, returning to help steer them towards Championship glory. If nothing else, it would be a sound marketing strategy, something we’ve grown accustomed to in the past year at Tynecastle.
Speaking of Tynecastle, Paterson’s interview also made mention of the atmosphere generated inside the stadium, which will host a record number of season ticket holders next season after sales recently broke the 13,000 mark, something the right-back believes will prove advantageous to Hearts in the Premiership.
“You go to Celtic Park sometimes on a Tuesday night and it has 20,000 people in it. It is a massive stadium and intimidating in itself, but it is not great when you see it as empty as it can be. When you play at Tynecastle, it is not a massive venue, but it is always packed to the rafters with fans cheering the team on. It is different and players in other teams will be a bit scared of it.”
Hear, hear Callum! And on that note, I shall bid you goodnight. Next season’s Scottish fixtures are announced tomorrow morning, so hopefully I’ll manage a bit of reaction to this news over the weekend. Considering we’ve played them on the opening day three times in the past five seasons, my money is on St Johnstone.
Originally published at maroonspecs.wordpress.com on June 18, 2015.