Craig Levein and Michael Stewart are back at it with another public disagreement.
The Hearts manager and the former Jambos player have argued plenty of times in the past and this latest one comes from the latter’s criticism of the former’s treatment of new Tynecastle striker David Vanecek.
The Czech Republic striker only joined Hearts this month, but was hauled off 34 minutes into his second appearance for the club at the weekend.
Levein then labelled his performance as ‘rubbish’ – something BBC and BT Sport pundit Stewart disagreed with.
Now the Jambos boss has said Stewart isn’t ‘intelligent enough’ to be a manager and that his criticism will be ignored going forward.
But why is there so much tension between the pair? Here’s a brief history:
2004 – Levein Signs Stewart
Levein took Stewart on a loan from Manchester United in 2004 – with Hearts believed to be contributing £1 per week to his wages. But he struggled for consistency in that season, with injuries meaning he was sent back to United at the end of the season.
August 2017 – ‘Mismanagement of the Highest Order’
After Hearts sacked Ian Cathro just seven months into the job – and before the 2017/18 Scottish Premiership campaign kicked off – Stewart described it as ‘mismanagement of the highest order’ and believed Levein was a negative in pursuing a quality replacement for the sacked gaffer.
December 2017 – Stewart Continues His Criticism of Hearts
Stewart wasn’t shy in criticising Levein for the start he made to his second spell as Hearts manager. A 0-0 home draw with a struggling Ross County led Stewart to again criticise the Jambos and that was the breaking point for Levein.
December 2017 – ‘It’s Personal’
Following Stewart’s continued criticism, Levein told the media of his belief that it was personal and how he would complain to BBC Scotland about his former player. Levein said Stewart was ’embarrassing’ and making a ‘fool of himself’ before going on to say the ex-Manchester United player was his worst value signing ever despite paying just £1 per week in the loan deal.
December 2017 – Stewart Denies Agenda
Stewart denied Levein’s accusations and claimed he didn’t have an agenda. Instead, the BBC pundit said he was calling it as he saw it and wasn’t alone in criticising what had been happening at Hearts.
January 2018 – Stewart Questions Levein’s Dignity
Levein insisted ‘natural order’ in Edinburgh had been restored following Hearts’ 1-0 Scottish Cup victory over Hibs at the start of last year – a comment that angered Neil Lennon. Stewart said there was no need for Levein’s boasting, but claimed the Hearts manager couldn’t help himself instead of taking the dignified route when celebrating a victory.
January 2019 – ‘Poor Management’
Stewart described Levein’s treatment of Vanecek following the defeat to Dundee earlier this week as ‘poor management’.
January 2019 – ‘Mr Stewart is Not Intelligent Enough’
— talkingbaws.com (@talkingbaws) January 25, 2019
Levein spoke to the media today and said Stewart wasn’t ‘intelligent enough’ or ‘brave enough’ to try management so why should the Hearts manager listen to his comments. We’d be shocked if Stewart wasn’t to issue another response to Levein so you can expect this feud to continue.