Irish midfielder Glenn Whelan has spoken following his surprise release from Scottish club Hearts outlining that he feels he was thrown under the bus by manager Daniel Stendel.
Whelan departed Hearts earlier this week despite only joining the club in the summer after being told he had no future at Tynecastle by Stendel.
The former Barnsley boss publicly questioned Whelan’s leadership in the media before dropping him from the squad fully for games against Hibernian and Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Whelan opened up on his release from the club outlining that he feels let down and that from the very start he felt that Stendel wasn’t a fan of his.
“I do feel let down. The way my name is out there now it feels like I have been thrown under a bus,” he said.
“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.”
“When the new manager came in, the first person he spoke to was me. 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 had started Stendel’s first game in charge, a defeat to St Johnstone, but was dropped for the clash against Celtic, coming on at half-time and taking the brunt of the manager’s ire following the loss.
It was after that defeat when Stendel took to the media to hit out at Whelan who also outlined his disappointment at learning he would not be involved in the squad for the Edinburgh derby.
“So they played Hibs on St Stephen’s Day and I wasn’t involved. I had the kids up there with me, I was more than happy to go and be part of the game.
“Things were being said about me, that I didn’t fancy it, I was laying down the tools. No way was that the case on my part.
“I don’t think he was watching the games if the manager felt like that.
“My form was good for the last few months but the manager came in and wanted to show his power, show the other players that he’s the boss, he’s the main man.”
The 35-year-old explained that he attempted to chat with Stendel following the Hibs game but the manager was having none of it.
“I went in to train on the 27th, there were two groups: a recovery group of the lads who had played and another group of players who hadn’t played and those not in the squad. I wasn’t in either group. My name wasn’t even on the sheet,” he says.
“I went to the manager to try and have a word.
“He was watching videos of the Hibs game and said he didn’t have time to speak to me.
“I went to the gym, did a bit of work on my own, got showered and went back to my apartment. That was the last of it for me at Hearts.”
He concluded by explaining that he heard nothing from Hearts following his exit with the club.
“They call themselves a professional football club, but I never heard anything from anyone at Hearts,” he says.
“On Monday night, I got an email from someone at the club with the contract details, asking me to sign so we could go our separate ways.
“I didn’t ask for any money, I was happy to just go. But it was all very amateurish from their side.
“When I left Villa, they went on to the Premier League and I class that as a success, I’d class my time at Stoke as a success.
“New managers can come in with new ideas, that’s football, but to be let down the way I was and be treated the way I was, with no one at Hearts having the decency to speak to me or give me a call: that’s disappointing.”
For Whelan, it’s a disappointing end to what looked to be a promising move, with his next choice of club crucial if he is to feature for Ireland in March’s Euro 2020 playoff against Slovakia.