Hearts did the 'opposite' to Hibs in how they dealt with Christophe Berra, says pundit Michael Stewart as he claims Jake Mulraney and Craig Wighton train with reserves

Michael Stewart had his say on how Daniel Stendel dealt with Christophe Berra

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 8:51 am

Ex-Hearts and Hibs midfielder Michael Stewart has questioned the way Christophe Berra has been handled by boss Daniel Stendel.

The club captain has been told to find train with the reserves and is free to find a new club.

It led Berra to admit that he had been left "hurt and angry" with the situation.

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Michael Stewart has compared the Christophe Berra situation at Hearts to David Gray's at Hibs. Picture: SNS

Stewart said the decision lacks respect, comparing it to how Hibs have dealt with David Gray and Darren McGregor coming into the latter stages of their careers.

"Berra is a guy who understands what the Tynecastle club is all about," the BBC pundit wrote in the Scottish Sun. "He’s from Edinburgh, he gets what it means to play for them. He’s the type of player managers love for that very reason. You don’t turn your back on guys like him.

"But by binning Berra without giving him a proper explanation? That just looks crass. You have got to tread carefully and just give a bit of respect to certain people who deserve it. But it’s hardly showing Berra the respect he deserves by forcing him to train with the reserves is it?

"Look at Hibs. David Gray and Darren McGregor’s playing days at Easter Road might be coming to an end. So what did they do? They made them club ambassadors to ensure their influence was still around.

Stewart has described the treatment of Christophe Berra as crass. Picture: SNS

"Hearts have done the opposite. They have tried to throw Berra on the scrapheap to save a few bob. So I can understand why Christophe says he’s hurt and angry. You would be, too."

Wighton and Mulraney

While critical of Stendel's handling of the situation, Stewart noted the difficult position the German manager is in with a big squad as he looks to shape his the team in his own style.

He claimed Berra has been joined in the reserves by Craig Wighton and Jake Mulraney.

"The decisions that Stendel is making are all huge calls," Stewart said. "There is no margin for error. They are either going to keep Hearts up comfortably or leave them in deep trouble.

"This is the ugly side of football now. It’s the survival of the fittest. There is no space for sentimentality here. Berra has been told he can go, and he’s joined Craig Wighton and Jake Mulraney in training with the reserves.

"That is a consequence of what has gone on over the past five years at the club — this Hearts squad is a bloated beast."

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