Football | Glenn Whelan “thrown under a bus” by Hearts

Glenn Whelan says he was thrown under a bus by Hearts after he left the club by mutual consent.

Hearts announced Whelan’s departure in a curt 35-word statement on their website on Tuesday.

“Glenn Whelan has today left Heart of Midlothian Football Club by mutual agreement,” it read.

“The Republic of Ireland midfielder made 17 appearances during his four-month spell in Gorgie.

“The club wishes Glenn well in the future.”

Whelan had signed a one-year deal with the Scottish club, but is now a free agent again just four months after being released by newly promoted Premier League side Aston Villa.

The 35-year-old departs a club who are rooted to the bottom of the Scottish league with only 13 points from 21 matches.

Dubliner Whelan began the season in excellent form, earning plenty of plaudits, but a managerial change before Christmas heralded a dramatic turnaround in the veteran midfielder’s fortunes.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Whelan says he feels let down by the Scottish side.

“I do feel let down,” he said.

“The way my name is out there now it feels like I have been thrown under a bus.

“There are a lot of players at Hearts who have not been fit, I have tried my best with the quality that is around us and if that wasn’t good enough, it was certainly not my fault.”

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has been vocally critical of Whelan since replacing the sacked Craig Levein in December.

Stendel questioned Whelan’s leadership, suggesting the Irish international “couldn’t handle the situation at the club”.

“When the new manager came in, the first person he spoke to was me,” Whelan revealed.

“He was already having a bit of a go. My reaction was, you have just walked in the door, you’ve not seen anything.

“In training, I think he did things to show the other players, especially the younger players, that he was the boss, he was nit-picking with things I was doing in training.”

Whelan will now be desperate to find a new club this month ahead of the Boys in Green’s upcoming Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia in March.

Hearts also announced the appointment of Jorg Sievers as Stendel’s assistant manager on Tuesday.