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Johnny Heitinga, Proud Evertonian

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Well, as Heitinga is entering the World Cup Final as a "proud Evertonian", just wondering what people's opinions are of him now?

End of May, he was a cult hero and marked by fans as probably our first choice centre-half. In June, opinions changed when he came out about "biking to Barcelona with a flag on the back" as well as mentions of Ajax, City and Liverpool, many fans immeadiately said get rid!

Now, it seems all to have been lost in translation ? or has he worded his words carefully (after perhaps hearing about fans' discontent?) to avoid a backlash when he returns after the World Cup??

What will Heitinga's reception be like in the first home game??
John Crook, Preston     Posted 08/07/2010 at 13:25:41

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Fran Mitchell
1   Posted 08/07/2010 at 14:56:21

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Great player... why fans want to get shot of one of our best players becasue of some vague quotes in an interview is over-reacting just a tad.
Steve Mink
2   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:02:41

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I don't expect players to make sham displays of undying loyalty - they clearly aren't undyingly loyal. Foreign players in particular don't get the whole loyalty thing.

If he plays as well next season as he did last then that will be good enough for me.

James Stewart
3   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:10:34

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Well the real test will be the final for him. Sadly I can only see one outcome. A Spanish victory. Netherlands can consider themselves very lucky to have reached the final if you ask me!
Dick Anderson
4   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:08:20

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First of all, Heitinga made suggestions that he could play for another English club (Liverpool/Man City), then he gave a direct quote that he would bike to Barcelona with a flag on his back.

I'm sorry but I don't forget or forgive that easily.

I won't boo Heitinga and I'm willing to give him another chance (something I will never give to either Rooney or Gosling) but my faith in Heitinga has been severely weakened.

Frankly, if Moyes had any balls he'd call Heitinga into his office and say "there's your bike", "there's your flag", "now fuck off".
Kevy Quinn
5   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:11:56

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Definitely proud.

Johnny was my favourite player last year, love the way he plays. He is still an Everton player so I'll be cheering him on. (Me having £20 on the Dutch at 11/1 has nothing to do with it!)

Plus, worst case if we do have to sell him, getting to the World Cup Final will add several million to his price tag.
Tony Rice
6   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:43:53

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Opinions are like arseholes... everyone has one! I remember when he signed, several posters called him the "Dutch Phil Neville " ... Phil wishes !

Good luck to him. He's playing well for club and country. I hope he stays... but he's a professional footballer. The lot of them will switch shirts for a payday.

Nick Broadhurst
7   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:42:44

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Bit of an overreaction that Dick. He's now twice come out publicly to sing the clubs praises and how he considers himself an Evertonian. I don't know what else he needs to do to satisfy some people in all honesty...
Neil Patten
8   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:44:05

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Dick, if Moyes told that to every player who flirted with the idea of moving clubs then we would have no one left.

Some people need to get real about footballers. It is a job to them and nearly every one I have ever spoken to treats it as such. It is no different to you or I considering another company as far as they are concerned.

Heitinga is quality and I hope he stays with us for years to come, daft comments or not. We need more like him not less.

Liu Weixian
9   Posted 08/07/2010 at 15:51:06

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I reckon Heitinga will be given a positive reception by the Goodison faithful in our first home game of the season. Given the propensity of Dutch players to talk without thinking, I wouldn't read too much into what he said.
Tony J Williams
10   Posted 08/07/2010 at 16:34:24

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Liu, I hope we get the chance to.

If they win the Final, you can bet his agent will be jizzing in his kecks and looking for a lucrative deal elsewhere.
Michael Brien
11   Posted 08/07/2010 at 16:27:32

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Steve Fink - Foreign players in particular don't get the whole loyalty thing. - I think that is a bit of a generalisation there. Loyalty is not just the preoragtive of a British born player. When Tim Cahill scored against Millwall in the Cup a few seasons ago - he didn't make a big thing of celebrating as Millwall were the club that gave him his big chance as he put it. That's a big contrast with a certain Mr Gosling.
There have been other instances of foreign players reacting in similar fashion. And in terms of loyalty Zola was a great example of that at Chelsea.
Kevin Jones
12   Posted 08/07/2010 at 16:32:28

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Just heard Steve McLaren was the original interpreter and Johnny actually said. " I want to stay at Everton for the rest of my career without a payrise"
What Steve heard was "I'll rideish to Barcelonaish on a bikeish wavings my flagish"

Howse you say Bullshitish
Charles King
13   Posted 08/07/2010 at 16:40:05

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This is what we want to hear, a potential world champion lauding our mighty blues.
I think he's great, won't have a word said against him, possibly the best centre back in the world, I think we should double his money..........today.

just keep an eye on him though

Ian Hughes
14   Posted 08/07/2010 at 16:43:35

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I don't understand the problem with his comments in the first place.
I think he was just telling the truth - rather than stirring or eyeing a move away.
It's mildly annoying but can anyone blame him for saying he'd like to play at Barcelona or another bigger club? He's not from the UK, has only spent one season at Everton and has never been affiliated with the club in the past.
Tony J Williams
15   Posted 08/07/2010 at 16:50:25

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Dick, the problem we, as fans, have is that we will never see the interview on camera. The writtwn word has no inflection. The interviewer may have said. "What would you do if Barcelona came calling", to which he replied, "Effing Hell, I would ride there on a bicycle etc etc" The same way if someone asked me if I wanted a threesome with Lucy Pinder and Sophie Howard, I would have a cheesy grin on my face and say "Effing Hell, I would take a cheese grater to my sack and bicycle etc etc" I know it wouldn't happen in my life time (without a massive lottery win) but if that asnwer was put down in words and the missus saw it, I would be in trouble but it wasn't the way I meant it.

Anyway, if he is still playing for us next season, I will be as happy a fan with him as I was last season.
Chris Butler
16   Posted 08/07/2010 at 17:07:38

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He's certainly a hero in the street end as he's always making gestures to the fans to urge them to sing louder even at Stamford Bridge. Nice guy and really give it a rest boys he's Dutch, anyone stupid enough to believe that he should feel great affection for Everton is misguided. Let's say that Jack Rodwell moves to Bayern Munich should he think twice if Barcelona come in for him, the simple answer no. Rooney and Gosling's moves were totally different as Rooney was an Evertonian and Gosling was just stupid.
David S Shaw
17   Posted 08/07/2010 at 17:16:17

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He's ambitious that's all. Can't have a go at him for that.

If you want loyalty and playing for the shirt that's where international football comes in.

While Everton pay his wages all we can expect is he does his job to the best of his ability.

I'm getting tired of fans expecting all players to be die hard Evertonians forever. Grow up.
Charles King
18   Posted 08/07/2010 at 17:11:16

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@ Tony J

Your inflection is coming through big time, make sure your missus ain't reading this cos when you're asleep if she goes down to the kitchen and you have'nt hidden that cheese grater, oohh err.
Ray Robinson
19   Posted 08/07/2010 at 17:14:25

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Massive over-reaction to a bloke who was probably being honest (an admirable quality) but who nevertheless seems to give his all when playing for us. Can't ask more than that. He'll get my support unless he really does say something actually derogative about the club meanwhile.
Karl Masters
20   Posted 08/07/2010 at 17:14:40

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Over-reaction by fans on Toffeeweb?
I can't believe it!

People should remember that only about 1 in 200 'likely' transfers you read about in the press ever happen. Or put another way 199 times out of 200 it's bullshit.

Hysterical abuse aimed at Pienaar, Heitinga, even Fellainia and Arteta on here in the last week by a few sad people. Time to grow up. The Club will survive and most players that leave Everton see their careers go into sharp decline. That's a fact. Some players just take a while to realise it.

Chill and enjoy the lovely weather. A cold beer in the garden, play football with your kids, watch the Tour de France, hot steamy sex with your woman, whatever, just stop wasting time worrying about things that are out of your control and probably won't happen!
Brendan O'Doherty
21   Posted 08/07/2010 at 17:26:38

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As John suggests in the OP, he may have been wording his statement carefully: "I am playing in a World Cup Final as an Evertonian." Excellent. But let's hope he's also playing in the Premier League next season as an Evertonian as well...
Andy Crooks
22   Posted 08/07/2010 at 18:33:57

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Players are transient employees of the club, supporters are with Everton for ever. Sad, but a fact.
Dermot Ryan
23   Posted 08/07/2010 at 19:34:14

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I'm with Ian (14). His comment about Barca was annoying and I wish he had kept his mouth shut (if he actually said what he's translated at saying), but let's get real here.

What player who has just played one season in a new club that is NOT in the Champions League, and that is frankly unlikely to win the Premier League in the next year, wouldn't want to play for the greatest team in Europe at the moment (and possibly one of the greatest European teams of the post-war era)? Would it were not the case and let's hope Everton will be a dominant European power house in the next number of years (but let's face it, this is hardly a certainty).

Are we annoyed because he thinks this way or speaks this way? I think his most recent comment is an implicit acknowledgment that he has spoken out of turn and he is offering the club and the fans kudos. Give him and a break and move on. We're lucky to have him (and all the great players in our squad).

Derek Thomas
24   Posted 08/07/2010 at 21:19:45

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From his whole attitude last season he had ' Captain sans Armband ' written all over him.

For all I know he might be like that where ever he goes, be it Barca or Barnsley.

So we have to my mind at least TWO examples of Good and positive Vs one maybe mis-translated, construed out of context quote.

I will go with speaking as I find and onwards and upwards.

IF! and big if it is clever management by his connections, well after the Gosling fiasco we could do worse than hire them.

But, the doubting Thomas in me leaves room for a 10% probability along the lines of...

If you can fake sincerity....

Erik Dols
25   Posted 08/07/2010 at 21:49:03

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For the umpteenth time: I read the whole original interview and speak Dutch fluently.

Heitinga literally said he would NOT move to Liverpool. He was asked about Man City and called that club "ambitious". He didn't say he wanted to move to them, nor did he say he does not want to move to them. He just didn't say anything at all about moving to Man City, he simply said something about that club. I don't think calling Man City "ambitious" is far from the thruth. His reaction about cycling to Barça with a flag was very clearly tongue-in-cheeck. Furthermore, in the same interview he stated he was looking forward to another season at Everton, expecting to make a big push towards Europe. When you read the article you can clearly see that the journalist was just shooting some clubs at him at the end of the interview and Heitinga gave no serious reaction to that, apart from making clear that he WILL NOT move to the RS.

Apart from that, as others have stated, you can't expect Heitinga to be as loyal as we fans would be. I do not want to defend him just for the sake of it. If he wins the WC and some big Italian or Spanish team, or dare I say Chelski or Man Utd come around, he will be tempted to leave. I am just really annoyed that people keep claiming Heitinga said he wants a move to the RS or Man City or Barça. Because he never said that, he actually stated in the very same interview that he was looking forward to another season at Everton.
Eugene Ruane
26   Posted 08/07/2010 at 22:14:21

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Tony Rice (6) you say that everyone's got an arsehole, but for years there's been rumours suggesting Joanna Lumley is totally without a 'tea-towel holder.

The rumour is something to do with her having had so much arse-action (including anal coke 'snorting') that she had to have a plazzy rusty sheriff's-badge fitted (but I not going to go into detail because I hate rumours and those that spread them).

Surely you would be on safer ground with "opinions are like heads".

John Crook
27   Posted 08/07/2010 at 22:24:49

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Cheers Erik - I remember your name on one of the previous articles. I'm glad a fluent Dutch speaker can tell us the real meaning of the article rather than a Google translation engine.
Spragg Johnson
28   Posted 08/07/2010 at 22:33:46

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Yes - thanks Erik. Some pragmatic Dutch reason amid a torrent of balderdash. Johnny's only been here 5 minutes ... and he was my vote for player of the season. I just hope his contract wasn't cocked up. If we find out he can leave for 5p due to a loophole I'll be very angry ... Johnny is a pitbull - best suited alongside Jags at CB but just as good at defensive midfield or even right back. A top signing who will now expect silverware. The boy's in a WORLD CUP FINAL ... and only Ray Wilson has been there before GO ON JOHNNY ... GET IN THERE SON (and feel free to take Torres' ligaments out as well).
Brendan O'Doherty
29   Posted 08/07/2010 at 22:41:25

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No need, Spragg:-

1) Torres probably won't be playing

2) Torres probably won't be an RS player next season
Guy Hastings
30   Posted 08/07/2010 at 22:55:27

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If I recall, we didn't mind taking World Cup winner Alan Ball off Blackpool... thank God it was us and not Leeds.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
31   Posted 09/07/2010 at 01:51:37

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Thanks, Erik for reiterating your Dutch view of what went down. We are truly fortunate to have someone like you providing a sensible, balanced and knowledgeable assessment of what was said ? taking full account of the tone, intonation and inflection in the native language.

I appreciate you taking the time to explain this to those Evertonians who are receptive to the value of your contribution.
Simon Watts
32   Posted 09/07/2010 at 02:53:15

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Erik. Glad you could translate that. It seems to make sense. Hope Evertonians don't give him a hard time if this is the case. I think he is a class player.

More important, Gosling; it appears he has cost not just Everton but Plymouth a lot of money. How can someone do that? I always thought he looked quite dumb. He is obviously quite selfish and slimey.

Matt Traynor
33   Posted 09/07/2010 at 03:10:31

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Erik, thanks for that. Hopefully that will satisfy Mr Anderson.

I wouldn't hold your breath though.
Jason Lam
34   Posted 09/07/2010 at 04:06:53

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The proof of the pudding will be Heitinga in the new Everton jersey come August.
Tony Lockett
35   Posted 09/07/2010 at 04:20:32

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Well, I totally agree with Dick Anderson. How some guy from Holland who has been with Everton for only 6 months could ever contemplate playing for one of the 3 biggest clubs in world football (and one which is synonymous with great Dutch players) is a bloody outrage. We should sell him straight away, and never ever again sign a player from another club, because we don't want any player who doesn't show 100% loyalty to his current employers, do we?
Gerald Foo
36   Posted 09/07/2010 at 04:59:52

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We have to understand that football players do not have loyalty to the club they play for. This might be developed over time if the player stays at the club for like 5-6 years... but, on the whole, no-one joins a club and then shows total and utter devotion to it like the fans do.

They are just like us. Normal human beings, albeit with more technical skill in the sport. If anyone of us (Everton fans) get a contract to play for Wigan (no disrespect intended), and then Man Utd, Arsenal or Chelsea come along, NO-ONE is going to say No.

So be a tad more realistic. Just cos a player plays for Everton doesn't mean he needs to show undying loyalty to the club. He is expected to honour his contract and not agitate for a move. But no player is going to come out and say that he won't jump at the chance to move to some of the biggest clubs in the world.
Matthew Mackey
37   Posted 09/07/2010 at 08:52:21

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Call me a "doubting Thomas" but I don't believe there will be a "first game". Heitinga will be gone before the start of the EPL because I have always sensed, from the very day he signed for us, that he regards Everton FC as a stepping stone to something bigger in the EPL.

God help us if he goes to the Trash with Cash commonly known as Citeh, or even worse to join up with his fellow compatriot and annoying little shit Kyut on the dark side.

Don't get me wrong, I think Johnny is a fantastic player, the sort of player Everton need and certainly my choice for captain of the first team, but I think he may be a fish that is too big to hang onto now.

Marc Williams
38   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:18:27

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We often moan about the profile of our club, so let's just celebrate the fact : WE HAVE A PLAYER IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL !
It's not happened before during my lifetime, so I'm just going to enjoy it.

On Sunday it's Everton defender against Redshite ladyboy striker, so : GO BRIGHT ORANGE !!!
Mike Allison
39   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:43:03

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Can I add to Michael's thanks to Erik by saying thanks for saying it AGAIN as I'm sure I've read it several times before and still it gets ignored.

Dick, I don't know what Heitinga's done to your missus but he clearly didn't say what you're so angry about, I've seen you write about this on several different threads now and you don't seem to be willing to listen to anyone about it, what's the problem?!
Gavin Ramejkis
40   Posted 09/07/2010 at 09:46:07

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Simon Watts re Gosling, most players are thick as mince and I suggest the real slime is the lowlife scum aka agent that has given him some bullshit which he has fallen for as a young kid reminding him of his goals against the RS and ManU and filling his head with tales of he can get lots of money elsewhere.
Michael Evans
41   Posted 09/07/2010 at 10:31:06

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Erik - Many thanks for clarifying that.
Ciarán McGlone
42   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:12:29

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This statement is clearly a carefully worded PR rectification of his earlier statements...

Lets get this straight...his comments about Barcelona were ill-advised. No player should be talking about other clubs when he is only one year into a contract. There is no mitigating that - Whether he was lead in the questions or not..

Hopefully he's realised his comments were inflamatory (tongue in cheek or not)...and is going to stay here....

Anyway..those Dutch bikes are very ropery and would never make a cross continent journey...his front wheel would come off somewhere in the Alps.
James I'Anson
43   Posted 09/07/2010 at 13:29:01

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The press are constantly trying to unsettle our players like we have no right to someone of ability.
I think it speaks volumes that Johnny never responded to all the shite in the press as he no doubt would have had his words mis interpreted or twisted again.
Peter Webster
44   Posted 09/07/2010 at 14:22:52

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There was a famous quote from Tony Curtis when he was asked what kissing Marilyn Monroe was like. Curtis said 'it was like kissing Hitler."

For years this was assumed to mean that the goddess had a hairy top lip.

Coupla years ago I saw an interview with Curtis when he explained the remark. He said the initial question was so stupid (what was kissing Monroe like?) that he gave a sarcastic answer - it was kissing Hitler, what d'you think it was like!

See how things can be misinterpreted?

I'll be cheering for Johnny Rock come Sunday.
James Flynn
45   Posted 10/07/2010 at 03:07:04

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Johnny - Good luck to you and get back safe to Goodison. It's a big , big season this next one and you'll be one of the reasons.
Ian McDowell
46   Posted 11/07/2010 at 21:50:28

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He's just been sent off by H Webb.
Ian McDowell
47   Posted 11/07/2010 at 22:03:54

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Wasn't Webb the ref when we played West Ham at home and he gave them a dodgy pen and didn't give one when Saha was blatantly brought down?

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