Three things we learned from Hearts 0-0 Ross County

Here are three Hearts-related observations from the goalless draw with Ross County.

Saturday, 10th August 2019, 5:44 pm
Aidan White came through his first match since January 2017.

Jittery Zlamal

Zdenek Zlamal remains a fine shot-stopper, but the goalkeeper is clearly struggling with aspects of his game at present. He looked unconvincing when dealing with crosses and incurred the wrath of the home support in the second half when an over-hit kick-out went straight into the arms of his opposite number Ross Laidlaw. Following on from his error of judgment in the cup final in May, the Czech is struggling in the early weeks of this season to convince supporters he is in control of situations around his goal, and it seems to be having an unnerving effect.

Rusty Uche

At this time last year, Uche Ikpeazu was the toast of Tynecastle after a swashbuckling start to his Hearts career, but the big Englishman currently looks a pale imitation of the player who arrived on the scene to such impressive effect. After a disrupted pre-season, he appears short of the sharpness and confidence required to play at his bustling best and it was no surprise that he was subbed in second half after another underwhelming performance against County.

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White the big winner

While his team may have ended up being booed off, Aidan White deserved all the plaudits going for lasting the full 90 minutes of what was his first competitive match since January 2017, a time when Ian Cathro was still in his early days as Hearts’ head coach. The Irishman looked composed throughout and, until the closing stages when he was cramping up and gave away a penalty, he didn’t look like a man who had just battled his way back from the brink of premature retirement.