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What Heitinga actually said

By Erik Dols :  15/10/2010 :  Comments (30) :
First of all, I'd like to point out that I don't think that Heitinga will play for Everton the rest of his career, he will move at some point in time and I think he sees Everton as an appreciated stepping stone. A nice, comfortable, very much appreciated stepping stone... but a stepping stone nonetheless. I am not trying to prevent the impression that Heitinga is in it for money and a bigger deal at some point in time, because I am convinced he is.

And second of all, I want to say that Heitinga should not answer any question about a potential move the week before the derby. When is he going to learn his lesson about handling the media?

The original interview consists of ten questions. I will try to translate as literally as possible to be clear about what he said; that may result in some strange constructions or use of odd words...

First question is about the Dutch national team; I won't translate it as it is not interesting.

Second question is"Where do you play January 2011?" Suggestive question... but here is Johnny's answer, word for word:

"I have a contract at Everton. I signed there for five years last year, so I expect to stay. I don't have to leave and I don't want to leave. I'm having a great time in England, both on and off the field. I'm just at the right place right now." ? Perfect answer, Johnny.

Next question (actually question three and four combined): "What do you or does your agent know about the interest from Wolfsburg? (...) McClaren [their manager] is looking for defensive reinforcements."

"I heard about it from English media and I just googled about it to see what I would find."

"And, any news?"

"The situation about Wolfsburg is like this: last summer, when I joined Everton, they came to me. In England I can develop my footballing skills more and from day one I felt at ease. Everybody is nice to each other. I learned how to defend and play more sober in England. In the English League, you don't take any unnecessary risks, you'd rather hoof it out of the stadium if needed. Nobody has a problem with that." [For those who don't know: to hoof a ball out of the stadium, in the stands or just up field blindly is considered a crime in Holland.]

"Last summer, after the World Cup, Wolfsburg came around again, they came straight to me. I told them I wanted to stay in England. I had and have a great time at Everton. Wolfsburg are a nice team, I know they won the German league in 2009 and had a fall-back last year and want to mount a title challenge again. But I don't see Wolfsburg as a challenge." [I don't know how to translate this exactly; he means to say that Wolfsburg is not a step up the ladder.] ? Again, full points for Johnny, so far he keeps saying he has a great time at Everton and likes England and has no intention of leaving.

Fifth question: "What do you think about the interest of Bayern Munich?"

"That club hasn't made any contact with me. Not with the club and not with me. I cannot say if they have any interest and how serious they are at this time. I don't mind being linked with teams of this calibre, however." ? Why does he have to add that last sentence? Why couldn't he just leave it at "I don't know anything about this"??

Sixth question: "So do you consider Bayern Munich a challenge?"

"I'm open to it. I can imagine they are looking for defenders if you see where they are. Bayern are a very big team. I won't say no to Bayern." ? There we go... He clearly states he would move to them if he had the option.

Question Seven: "What is the role of Louis van Gaal [Bayern Munich's manager] in all this? He tried to get you to Alkmaar some years ago and is trying to get you now."

"I did not talk to him about a move. With nobody, actually. I do know him, however; he was our coach at the Youth World Cup in Argentina in 2001. The point is: Bayern Munich play in the Champions League. I would be eligible to play as we ended in 8th place last year with Everton and don't play in Europe this year. As a footballer, you always want the highest. Next month I turn 27. So yes, never say never, especially in football and nothing can be excluded." ? Oh, so now it's about the Champions League all of a sudden?

Q8 and Q9 are about the playing time he is getting these last weeks, asking about him not being in the squad/starting eleven or being substituted. He repeats two times that he has had some minor injuries, that he likes to be at Everton and that he will have a place in the starting eleven when he is fully fit again.

Q10 is about the World Cup and that a lot of players have a set back after that, nothing interesting.

So, while in the previous answers I always could defend the lad as in the Dutch versions he hadn't said anything wrong, this time he says he would like to move to Bayern Munich, even though they have not shown any interest in him. On one hand, that doesn't surprise or shock me, it is the idea I had about him in the first place. And to be really honest: I'd rather see him leaving for a foreign club than to another Premier League team. On the other hand, I think it is disgraceful to talk about moving to another club so openly, especially so close to a derby. Shame on you Johnny.

I'd think it would be in all parties' best interest if Heitinga stayed for the remainder of the season and then gets sold to a foreign team for silly money...

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:19:43

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Thanks Erik. I've made this a new thread because I think the context puts a somewhat different light on things... especially when you throw in the Dutch cultural factors you've described before.
Dennis Stevens
2   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:19:58

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Just the usual storm in a tea cup, as far as I can see.
Nathan Ward
3   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:20:29

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Cheers Erik - good to have the proper translation and not just the sensational parts.

In fairness to him he was given some seriously leading questions but as you've pointed out he does say that a move to Bayern would be nice.

Bit of a divy really but not the childrapistmurdergrannystabber he was made out to be yesterday.

And for my money would still be in my first XI even if Jags & Fellaini were fit..........
Erik Dols
4   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:48:01

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No problem lads. And Michael, thanks for improving the lay-out.

I must admit the questions are really leading him into saying something about a move away from Everton. It is strange that when a players states clearly he has a great time at his current club and isn't looking forward to moving, you keep asking him about other clubs. On the other hand: he is a professional player and should know how to handle the press.

I don't know if Arteta, Rodwell or Cahill would have made comments like this, I really would be bugged, but Heitinga has the short-term sign written all over him if you ask me. He's a good player nonetheless and I just hope we sell him at the right time for the right price.
Eugene Ruane
5   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:53:13

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Good stuff Erik, great to know what was actually said instead of the usual bullshit interpretations.
Ray Robinson
6   Posted 15/10/2010 at 18:06:05

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Thanks Erik. he may be naive but he isn't agitating for a move - just being honest really. As long as he busts a gut when playing for Everton, I'm not too bothered.
Tony McNulty
7   Posted 15/10/2010 at 18:29:15

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In the light of this , shouldn't the Shite have someone on hand to translate just in case Jamie Carragher gets interviewed before Sunday?
Peter Anthony
8   Posted 15/10/2010 at 18:22:42

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Call me shallow, but if he keeps Torres and Stevie Me quiet, then rockets in a pile-driver 30 yard screamer winner this Sunday... well, not only will I scream, "Oh, Johnny Johnny, Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny Heitinga" til I'm horse, I will also turn up for work on Monday wearing an orange wig, Everton socks, and fuck all else...and I'm quite shy normally! Bring it on!!! COYFUCKINGBLUEBOYS!!!!
Pat Finegan
9   Posted 15/10/2010 at 18:22:49

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Ok, let's not think about this from a supporter's perspective.

I saw an interview with Brede Hangeland from Fulham yesterday in which he was questioned about whether or not he would be interested in a move to a bigger club. He deflected the question. The answer is probably a yes and can you blame him? I remember thinking 'hmmm... Fulham or Inter Milan? Tough decision.'

Perspective is everything. We are supporters so we think it is the worst thing in the world when one of our players says he would welcome a move to Bayern Munich. I assure you there are more guys than just Heitinga thinking a move to a big club would be nice. The only thing Heitinga did different was say it out loud.

He should have deflected the question in order to not cause a controversy but he really isn't to blame here. Until Everton get some investment, we're not going to have too many guys who want to stick around for their entire careers.
Karl Masters
10   Posted 15/10/2010 at 18:57:09

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Too honest for his own good really.

He has 4 years left on his contract so either he stays or we can demand a big fee.

Less to worry about there than say Pienaar. Interesting that Gueye openly says Moyes wants him to play like Pienaar. Maybe we'll see Magaye released against the Yankshite on Sunday?
Oliver Molloy
11   Posted 15/10/2010 at 18:40:14

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Peter Anthony @ 8..

That would just be FANTASTIC!!,but I'll settle for anybody in our team sticking the ball in the net more times than them.
Biggest derby in years and one I hope all Evertonians everywhere will remember for years to come.
Will we ever have a better opportunity to heap more misery on our fiercest rivals than this coming Sunday.
A football match we must simply win.
Lee Kidd
12   Posted 15/10/2010 at 19:06:58

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It's quite simple. He's a footballer, he's not an Evertonian and he's open to improve in his chosen career given the chance.

He's not a mercenary, he's just saying he'd move to Bayern Munich if they come in for him. Which 99% of footballers would do.
Kevin Roberts
13   Posted 16/10/2010 at 03:23:50

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Great translation. In some respects you can't blame him for wanting to play at the highest levels, anything from the World Cup Final is a bit of a come-down. It sounds a little that the reporter was trying to get a reaction but he should have shown some restraint in his answers. But all these players that want to play at "The highest levels" should start trying to achieve it with Everton rather than on the back of another team.

I know that I'm biased with my views but if a player doesn't want to play for us fine but be honest and upfront about and put in a transfer request.

David Price
14   Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:54:07

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And Jags won't be playing in Holland anytime soon either.
Philip Jones
15   Posted 15/10/2010 at 20:02:54

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Thanks Eric for the translation, if any interviews are in welsh I'll duly oblige to translate. As far as Sunday's game goes, all you match day going Toffee's prepare to riot. Dont ask me why but I've a feeling! 2-0 Everton and Hibbo - back of the net! Well here's hoping anyway.
Mike Dillon
16   Posted 15/10/2010 at 20:09:17

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"...I learned how to defend and play more sober in England."

'Kinell, if that's his idea of sober...
James Byrne
17   Posted 15/10/2010 at 20:12:05

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Thanks for the translation Erik and making this whole issue a lot more understandable.

I don't personally see what all the fuss is about; after all he is Dutch and will always be a lot more forward (culturally) then what we are used to. He is also a foreign footballer; he's not an Englishman/Scouser and he is certainly not a "Boyhood" fan of the club - what I am getting at is most footballers don't give a toss about the clubs they play for but will still give a decent service while contracted to play.

I agree his timing could be better regards to interviews but as long as he does his bit on Sunday and we win it won't really matter.
Danny Broderick
18   Posted 15/10/2010 at 20:48:46

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"...I learned how to defend and play more sober in England."
Good job Shandy Van Der Meyde wasn't about, his learning experience might have been a bit different!
David Hallwood
19   Posted 15/10/2010 at 20:47:42

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This is a typical journalist lead interview, and it has been said ad infinitum on this website. Take no notice until you see the player in the shirt or waving the scarf. Why shite like this continues to wind people up after last summer's 'comings & goings' god only knows.

The interview technique is along the lines of ?So you say that your manager?s perfect, but to quote the old saying nobody?s perfect?
Usual divvy footballer ?Oh I agree nobody?s perfect?
Journo sensing the kill ?Give me an example of that in your manager?
And if the player answers the question guess what the banner headlines will be in the morning papers.

Anybody that knows journalists will recognise the technique, they need a story and how they get it is irrelevant.
Jay Harris
20   Posted 15/10/2010 at 21:18:54

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I see nothing wrong in that at all,

Thanks Eric, my faith in Heitinga is restored and my lack of faith in journalists reinforced.
Tony Dove
21   Posted 15/10/2010 at 23:02:40

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Never had much time for JH.As I have said before he is nowhere near as good as as he thinks he is.He and Piennar are original mercenaries the only difference between them being we have had some payback from SP.
Matt Traynor
22   Posted 16/10/2010 at 00:14:27

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"[For those who don't know: to hoof a ball out of the stadium, in the stands or just up field blindly is considered a crime in Holland.]"

David Price (#14) and Moyes won't be managing Jags there either!
Richard Dawson
23   Posted 16/10/2010 at 02:23:19

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For me this whole debate misses the point.

While Moyes' new first name on the teamsheet, Koko the Clown, is getting picked ahead of him alongside Jags at centre back every week, I don't blame Johnny for a word he says about anything, I think my transfer request would already be handed in if I was him.
Chad Schofield
24   Posted 16/10/2010 at 10:45:13

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Thanks Eric.

Context is a funny thing eh? Being asked whether you'd like to play Champions League football when your team finished in midtable obscurity last season and currently hovers above the relegation zone... Yeah, what a cunt.

As with the Barcelona quote, I wish he would learn his lesson, but also some of the fans. Shock horror journalist provides leading questions and provides out of context quotes shocker.
Rob Murphy
25   Posted 17/10/2010 at 16:12:39

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Shock horror...a player admits he'd join one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't ."
David Moorcroft
26   Posted 17/10/2010 at 21:17:02

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For me the lad has been fucked about by Moyes.He was i would say one of the best defenders in the world cup.Then he comes back to us and then he is asked to play out of position in the defensive mid role.Then when he is percieved not to have played well,He is dropped.So if i was Moyes i would have had him alongside Jags always.But if i was Jonny i would want out.
David Moorcroft
27   Posted 17/10/2010 at 21:17:02

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For me the lad has been fucked about by Moyes.He was i would say one of the best defenders in the world cup.Then he comes back to us and then he is asked to play out of position in the defensive mid role.Then when he is percieved not to have played well,He is dropped.So if i was Moyes i would have had him alongside Jags always.But if i was Jonny i would want out.
Afzan Yusuf
28   Posted 18/10/2010 at 05:01:56

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Hoofing out the stadium is a crime?? Jagielka will be in trouble then in Holland...
Alan Ross
29   Posted 18/10/2010 at 13:00:19

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Hoofing the ball upfield is a crime but not hoofing a player, apparently. As for playing a more sober game didn't seem to work for Shandy Andy.
David Cornmell
30   Posted 21/10/2010 at 04:50:30

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Footballer in wants to play at highest level shock!

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