13 Hearts and Hibs signings who overcame slow starts to become heroes
We're a few weeks into the 2019/20 Scottish football season and that means we're already at the period where certain summer signings are being written off by supporters. It doesn't take long for fans to make a judgement, particularly these days, though these naysayers should be warned: it isn't always possible to tell the worth of a player after just a handful of matches.
By Craig Fowler
Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 6:01 pm
Zal and Griff
Here are 13 Hearts and Hibs stars who hardly gave a good first impression but would ultimately prove the doubters wrong.
Vehemently disliked by a section of the support who saw him as the poster boy of Vladimir Romanov's interference when he signed in 2006, he would go on to captain the club to their 2012 Scottish Cup final victory over Hibs.
The German was poor when he first arrived as he was used at centre-back. Things changed when he moved into the centre of the park and became a mainstay of the team.
Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter
Didn't score for months after arriving from Dundee United in the 1998/99 season, he would finish the season strongly after finally breaking his duck and was top goalscorer the following campaign.
The lightning-quick winger barely appeared in his first eight months and, barring a couple of fleeting moments, didn't impress too much. Then he bagged a hat-trick at Ibrox and became one of the most threatening attacks in the country.
The tricky Spanish winger appeared to be one of several dud signings made in the summer of 2009, but he improved immensely after Jim Jefferies returned to the club and would be another to play a significant role in the 2012 triumph.
Boyle started slowly after signing from Dundee in 2015 but would improve season on season until he was feared by most full-backs in the nation.
One from the current squad, Mulraney didn't do much of note after pitching up from Inverness last summer and was then out of the team for months. Came on to a game in the latter part of the season and now first-choice.
The on loan Wolves striker didn't score in his first eight games after moving on loan in 2011. He would prove himself a useful player by the end of the campaign, though it was the following season he really announced himself.
Club captain for a number of years, Pressley got off to a slow start at Tynecastle after his arrival from Dundee United saw him positioned at right-back until the Weir-Ritchie partnership was broken up.
Sent off on his debut, Bamba struggled a little for form after initially moving to Easter Road from Dunfermline. He'd soon settle and became a useful player both in the back four and at the base of the midfield.
He wasn't terrible, but he hadn't lived up to the pre-signing hype and was looked upon as something of a liability. That changed when Paulo Sergio took a keen interest in the player. Won man of the match in the 2012 final.
This refers to his second of three stints at Easter Road. Signed to help fire the club to the title, the former hero underwhelmed in the second tier. He did, however, come alive in the cup, scoring twice against Rangers in the 2016 final.
A huge fan favourite in the end, Hartley didn't do much of note in his first few months as he mainly played on the right of midfield or sat on the bench. Once he was in the centre of the park he started to shine.