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Bad Boy, Johnny Heitinga

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Unlucky Johnny, you had a quietly effective World Cup. Don't know how you managed to get sent off for those two fouls considering what went on from Van Bommel and De Jong before you. Let's hope you return to the Blues ready to go in August.
Ian McDowell, Fareham     Posted 11/07/2010 at 22:37:31

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Brian Waring
1   Posted 11/07/2010 at 22:47:45

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Made up the Spanish won it. The Dutch were just a bunch of whingeing, dirty thugs, got what they deserved in the end.

Heitinga knew what he was doing, so can't have any complaints.
Gavin Ramejkis
2   Posted 11/07/2010 at 22:53:05

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Van Bommel was far worse than Johnny; a proper dirty bastard right the way through the competition and agree the early doors karate kick from De Jong into Alonso's chest was a red card in any bloody league in the world. The better footballing side won with a good goal from Iniesta but the Dutch could have scored twice (Robben) who on the second occasion stayed on his feet rather than getting Puyol an early bath. A fairly shit final but the right result on balance.
Dave Smith
3   Posted 11/07/2010 at 22:57:56

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Heitinga's second yellow was very harsh. And very inconsistent with the way Webb was refing the game. Although I agree that Holland deserved to be down to 10 men, and I think the boos Webb got at the end were unfair.
Matteo Rosingana
4   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:09:21

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Johnny's two bookings were for offences that were nowhere near as bad as others on his team committed. He made a choice to make the professional foul for the second, and walked without complaint or protest.

I thought he had a decent World Cup, looked a class act at times, was caught out on occasion, but I'm still very happy that he's playing for us next season. I thought Webb dealt with the game as well as any ref could have.

Nick Broadhurst
5   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:23:30

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Still proud of the guy ? great World Cup overall for him. I actually thought his bookings were quite harsh, especially when you consider the other events that transpired. I hope it doesn't knock him too much and he welcomes the new Prem season with fresh resolve.
Ian McDowell
6   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:20:43

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I completely disagree Matteo about Webb. I thought he was poor, I know he was refereeing the World Cup Final and wanted to keep it 11 v 11 but as so often happens when someone who should be sent off, doesn't receive a red card, someone else does. Had Van Bommel (who could have been sent off twice already in this tournament) been shown red, then it would have made a statement about kicking hell out of players and maybe the rest of the game would have been better.
Simon Thorne
7   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:31:47

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Johnny's two fouls were by no means the worst in the game but he had to be sent off for the second after already being on a yellow. Proper professional foul. By the way Iniesta eventually took his chance, he would've taken that one too. Johnny took one for the team... if Holland grabbed a goal or won on pens, he would be a hero in Holland as Suarez was in Uruguay.

I remember Heitinga's comment before the derby where he said he would do anything to stop a player getting through on goal, and at that stage of the game it was well a risk worth taking. If it was half way through the second half I don't think he would of done it.

Unlucky, Johnny; hopefully you can pick up a winner's medal next season with Everton!
Matteo Rosingana
8   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:30:23

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Difficult circumstances, though, Ian... and I don't think he saw De Jong's high kick. Yes, I absolutely agree that he was trying to maintain 11 v 11, maybe a red would have changed the nature of the game for the better. Ah well, we'll never know!

Maybe he'll let Johnny off with one or two things this coming season, just to balance things up, haha?
Brendan O'Doherty
9   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:13:36

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Holland's attitude was an absolute disgrace to the game. Their attempt at thuggery should have resulted in them being down to 7 or 8 players. Van Bomber committed at least 6 bookable offences and should have gone early. De Jong should be locked up for his assault on Alonso. Robben should have had a 2nd yellow and gone. Sneijder should have had 2 yellows and got none. JH was far from the worst offender but he deserved to go.

Why did all this not happen? THE REFEREE BOTTLED IT.

And the fucking irony of it is, he had lost the plot so badly by the end of the game, that the Dutch were enraged by him not giving a blatant corner to them for the free-kick which came off the wall, and then the questionable non-foul on Elia before the goal.

Although he was not helped by the players, Webb lost the plot by not wanting to be the referee who sent a player off early in a World Cup Final, lest he be accused of ruining the match.

I accused Van Bommel of 'going round kicking people' on another thread a few days ago. I was slaughtered by Mike Allison who defended Van Bommel and said I had been "brainwashed by FIFA". Apparently my view was based on an interview by some FIFA official which I've never seen, and not what I saw with my own eyes on the television during the previous rounds.After tonight's game, your patronising comments Mr Allison, now make you look like a prize dickhead.

So glad justice was done in the end.

Ian McDowell
10   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:41:16

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Yes, Matteo, it was very difficult circumstances and looking back with hindsight, it's easy for us to say.
Tommy Gibbons
11   Posted 11/07/2010 at 23:46:47

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Johnny boy had a decent World Cup, was up against the best team in the world (apparently), held his own all night, was unlucky with a couple of headers in Spain's box, dealt with Pulyol when he came forward, he twatted Torres (which is no bad thing) and was unlucky when he placed his hand on Iniesta's shoulder (who went down like he was shot)... and was comfortably the best player from Merseyside in the World Cup!
Dick Anderson
12   Posted 12/07/2010 at 00:31:29

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After that display, I think he'll need more then a bike and a flag to join Barcelona.
Brendan McLaughlin
13   Posted 12/07/2010 at 00:58:30

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Did anybody else pick up on Mark Lawrenson's obvious delight when Johnny H was sent off? Fuck, he practically jizzed in his pants! Of course my anger quickly subsided when "Ladyboy" Torres knackered himself. I'm just hoping that perhaps they didn't renew their deal with the devil in writing within the stipulated timescale.
Jamie Sweet
14   Posted 12/07/2010 at 00:43:55

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I cannot believe Robben didn't go to ground when Puyol tugged at him when clear. His one chance to do what he's best at and sling himself, arms flailing to the floor, and get a player sent off and he stayed on his feet! Unbelievable! The breath of another player usually knocks him down! What a time to decide to try and play football rather than pull out the flying fairy act!

Ultimately, Holland got what they deserved for trying to turn the World Cup final into a kung-fu movie!

Unlucky Johnny... best knuckle down and win some domestic silverware instead!
James Stewart
15   Posted 12/07/2010 at 01:16:18

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The kung fu kick on De Jong was a disgrace. A straight red. Webb has never been the greatest at spotting anything, though... so why is anyone surprised he bottled most big decisions?
Jamie Sweet
16   Posted 12/07/2010 at 01:01:27

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Quality Brendan! I heard the that although the devil had verbally agreed his contract, he ultimately thought that he didn't get enough game time last season, despite doing very well coming off the bench in both derby games and generally being their most influential player for many years!
Brendan O'Doherty
17   Posted 12/07/2010 at 01:30:46

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Don't bother yourselves about the 'lad with the haircut'. He will be gone from there soon by the sound of it.
Liu Weixian
18   Posted 12/07/2010 at 05:13:10

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Tommy (post 11) was spot on when he said Heitinga was the best player from Merseyside. The guy hardly put a foot wrong. He was a bulwark in defence and I thought he was desperately unlucky to get sent off when other players were guilty of far more cynical offences. Spain would not have scored if Heitinga were on the pitch.

I don't understand why people are criticizing Holland for the way they played. Spain had arguably the most creative playmakers in the world and it was necessary to stop them. The Ducth played a very tactical game and if Robben had put his chance away people would be lauding it as a tactical masterplan instead of using words like 'cynical', 'disgraceful', 'dirty' to describe the Dutch and go on about how Spain deserved to win.
Steve Pugh
19   Posted 12/07/2010 at 07:30:23

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Isn't it strange that everyone, in the media as well as on here, remembers all the bad things that the Dutch did, but nobody has commented that Busquets should have been sent off for retaliating, that the Spanish were not exactly blameless in the disgraceful tackling, nor that some of the Spanish playacting was reprehensible. Johnny H barely touched Villa as he went past him, yet the Spaniard went down as if he had been shot and rolled around clutching his shin and screaming.

I know that the Dutch played dirty, but then we knew they would before the game started, but hardly a tackle was lost without the Spanish throwing themselves down screaming for a booking and a free kick. To me neither team deserves praise for that game.
Michael Brien
20   Posted 12/07/2010 at 07:14:57

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I watched the game on the BBC and I was rather disappointed by the very biased attitude shown by the pundits.

1) At the end of the game, Hansen admitted that he was "desperate for Spain to get a winner". Funny how when he played behind Souness I can't recall him doing too much complaining.

2) Shearer had similar opinions ? yet I can't recall him being very critical of one of his former charges at Newcastle, Kevin Nolan. On our last visit to St James Park we ended up with 2 players being carried off and both being put out of the game for nearly a year. I can't recall any cries of "thuggery" from any of the BBC pundits.

Yes Spain are a very fine team, but they have hardly lit up the World Cup with a series of brilliant performances have they? The matches v Portugal and Paraguay spring to mind. They have relied very much on a player who is one of the best strikers in the World at the moment ? David Villa.

Yes the Dutch were overly physical, but I think the use of such language as 'thuggery' is rather emotive. On the one hand, Hansen labels the Dutch as cheats, yet both he and Shearer condoned the actions of Suarez in punching the ball off the line and clearly denying Ghana a goal. The universal comment of the pundits was "every player would do that in that situation". Had England been the innocent party in that situation, I am sure that the comments would have been very different.

I found it rather strange that Robben ? a player who I admire for his skill, but dislike for his attitude ? received very little credit for the fact that he didn't go to ground when clearly fouled. It was a free kick just outside the area, yet he received no credit for it.

By the end of the match I had turned the sound down. I thought Hansen and Co showed double standards ? how many times do they comment on Arsenal when they are complaining about being "roughed up" with comments along the lines of they need to add more steel to their midfield?

Liam Reilly
21   Posted 12/07/2010 at 08:04:55

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JH can have few complaints, it was a bookable offence and he had to go. Other than that he put in a decent stint.

I thought Webb put in a good shift too. Can he really be blamed for not sending off a player in the first 20 minutes and ruining the final? He should have pulled both captains aside and gave final warnings, then it's up to the players.
Lee Kidd
22   Posted 12/07/2010 at 08:11:00

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Best part of that game by a country mile was Torres crocking himself again.
Iain Love
23   Posted 12/07/2010 at 08:09:08

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Michael (#20) I agree.

I thought Webb made two mistakes: De Jong should have gone for the kung fu kick on Alonso & it was a corner not a goal kick. But I wouldn't slag him off, he did ok in a very difficult match.

Johnny knew what he was doing, about 10 mins before he didn't foul Iniesta when he broke past him as there was still time, yet when he went past him again Johnny decided he had to take the chance. If that was for Everton, I would be ok about that.

Poor match; Spain are beginning to bore me ? great passing side but little excitement... only Robben's runs got me going.

Garry Corgan
24   Posted 12/07/2010 at 09:19:48

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Why is it, nowadays, that sending a player off (especially early in a game) equates to ruining the match?! If a player deserves to go, he should go. And I've seen just as many matches improved by the disparity in numbers as I have seen ruined by it.

It would have taken something pretty special to ruin last night's final anyway. It was a stinker.
Liam Reilly
25   Posted 12/07/2010 at 09:24:33

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"Why is it, nowadays, that sending a player off (especially early in a game) equates to ruining the match?! "

Because it inevitably means that the disparity in numbers requires one team to sit back and defend, whilst the other attempts to break them down. It's not rocket science that this doesn't lend itself to a decent contest.

The Dutch are capable of playing much better than they showed last night, sending one of them off early would have damaged the contest. The fact that they proceeded to do this anyway with their strong arm tactics is beside the point.
Steve Pugh
26   Posted 12/07/2010 at 09:50:59

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If players know they won't be sent off early in the game, doesn't that give them license to kick out early on?
Gareth Humphreys
27   Posted 12/07/2010 at 10:26:25

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Webb had an absolute stinker. How can people blame players for going down if, when they stay on their feet despite being tugged back, they get nothing?

Puyol should have walked for Spain but he should not have been the first one. Webb did not have the balls to make the big decisions in a big game.

John Schrempft
28   Posted 12/07/2010 at 11:05:07

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Robben probably stayed on his feet to try and reach the the penalty area where he'd more than likely have claimed a penalty...

Video evidence and technology should be brought in as soon as possible
A) to show whether a goal is valid or not (during the game);
B) To suspend players who cheat, or commit fouls such as those from De Jong (a DARK red if ever there was one) and from Van Bommel (after the game).

Yes, I know that football is a physical game etc etc and whether the rough stuff and cheating has worsened over the years is a point worth discussing.

Howard Webb had a very difficult game to referee. Fortunately, justice was done in the end.
Liu Weixian
29   Posted 12/07/2010 at 11:21:06

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Gareth (post 27) made an astute observation on why players don't want to stay on their feet when they are tugged back. One can hardly blame these 'divers' when many teams employ systematic fouling and more often than not, the ref fails to give the hacked player sufficient protection.

Puyol should have walked. If he had made better contact his challenge would have looked exactly like something out of WWE.

Instead of criticizing De Jong and Van Bommel for being thugs, maybe we should look at why they were allowed to hack down their opponents with impunity. The ref simply wasn't strict enough and when these 'thugs' saw that they could get away with murder they saw no need to pull any punches (or kicks).

Holland were simply imitating what Inter did to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. I applaud them for the effort. They were not as entertaining as the Germans, but their mental fortitude was definitely something to be admired. If our boys adopt this kind of attitude in every game, nobody will relish playing us.

Just a question for the those who disdain Holland's brutal tactics. If the Blues did the same thing against the Shite and we won the Derby, would you complain?
Mike Green
30   Posted 12/07/2010 at 12:51:28

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To be honest, I thought Webb did remarkably well to ensure that a game of football limped to a conclusion last night despite Holland's best attempts to stop it throughout.

What a horrible bunch of tosspots ? and as tedious as the Spanish approach is, fair play to them, they didn't lower themselves to the Dutch's antics and in Iniesta have a match winner deserving of winning a World Cup Final ? had Robben gained that mantle instead, it would have been a sour end to a pretty forgettable tournament all round.

Roll on Brazil 2014 ? don't think it's even worth us getting on the plane for that one!
Colin Gee
31   Posted 12/07/2010 at 13:29:53

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Why was Johnny booked in the first place? From what I recall, Webb played on, he didn't give a foul, it was only when David Villa was rolling round like he'd been shot by a sniper from the stands that the Dutch put the ball out of play, he then booked Heitinga but no free kick was given as the Dutch just booted the ball down field.... So, if it wasn't a foul in the first place, why did he book him after?
Alan Clarke
32   Posted 12/07/2010 at 14:55:35

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I was embarrassed by Heitinga last night. It's a real boast for our club to have a player in the World Cup Final and he gets sent off. Heitinga should have been paraded round Goodison for being part of a team that reached the final but now it will hardly get mentioned.

He looked far too slow and his passing was awful. Every time he went in for a tackle it looked like he'd get himself booked and then sent off. Heitinga can have no arguments whatsoever about being sent off, he was part of an appalling game plan by the Dutch and they should all hang their heads in shame. I'm no fan of Webb but he did well.

Going off last season, I think Heitinga is vastly overrated. Our defence looked shabby and Heitinga played for the majority of the season in that defence. Then he comes out with all that bollox about Man City (I don't think too much got lost in translation, the Dutch language is not that complicated). He can fuck off if he thinks anyone wants to sign him after that showing last night, you've let your club down Johnny.
Dave Roberts
33   Posted 12/07/2010 at 15:12:44

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Re Liu (post 18)

Are you serious mate?

Just because the opposition has the most creative players does not mean that trying to kick them out of the game (or ending their career possibly) is legitimate 'tactics'!

Like Brendan above (post 9) I called Holland (especially Van Bommel) a gang of thugs and in my opinion the worst team ever to reach a World Cup Final, on another thread. Everything I saw last night confirmed my view. They were an absolute disgrace.

Older guys like me may well remember a great young player we once had called Jimmy husband in the sixties. His career was effectively ended by Dave Mackay, a player of the same ilk as Van Bommel after a tackle very similar to De Jong's on Alonso. That was a tragedy for a young lad on the verge of the then England team and the bastard wasn't even 'booked'as it was then.

We don't want those days to return.

We left all that kind of shite behind us in the 70's and it is a great disappointment to me that a team like Holland, who have done so much historically to enlighten the game, chose, in a World Cup Final, with the whole world as an audience, to resume those 'tactics'.

Tactics they may be but they have very little to do with football and it is worrying that there are people out there, like yourself, who believe it is acceptable.
Dave Roberts
34   Posted 12/07/2010 at 15:40:05

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As for Johnny Heitinga, his best position is not centre -back it is defensive midfielder, where he plays for us. I thought he played very well there for us last season.

Regarding last night, I thought he was unlucky in a way. It could be argued he deserved to be sent off for two yellow offences but on the other hand there were at least two Dutch players who should have gone much earlier on straight reds.

I think Webb had let so much go earlier in the game that when he felt he had no option but to send somebody off it just happened to be Johnny, for offences that were innocuous compared to what had been perpetrated earlier in the game.

Bad luck Johnny.
Mike Green
35   Posted 12/07/2010 at 15:50:07

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Dave Roberts - spot on on all counts.

I genuinely got the impression that Johnny saw it the same way too and was more than prepared to be the one to "take one for the team".

I'd lost count but did they have 5 players (?) in the book by half time? It was obvious they werent going to take the hint from Webb and a red was just a matter of time. Shame it had to be Johnny but as a collective they'd bought into the game plan, headed up by Van Bommel.

Their approach might have got them to a World Cup Final but it's cost them a large chunk of their reputation - the question the Dutch public will be asking themselves this morning will be "was it worth it?"
Colin Potter
36   Posted 12/07/2010 at 16:27:57

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Webb bottled it from start to finish, he is and proves it in the premiership every week a gutless bastard. That must have been one of the worst examples of refereeing in final ever seen. And I hope the FA fuck him off, but I won't hold my breath, as they are another bunch of gutless bastards
Rob Murphy
37   Posted 12/07/2010 at 17:23:09

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This tournament has confirmed what I was fearing for some time now-I've officially fallen out of love with the game.

The nutters are well & truly in charge of the asylum.

Webb was atrocious last night and the general standard of refereeing in the game is atrocious. It's killing the game.

Players today are going out to cheat, kick opponents, dive and commit blatant fouls in order to gain the upper hand on the opposition because they know the refs are bottlers. It's more a case of if you can't beat um, join um & the Spanish were equally to blame for last night's dismal match.

Yes the Dutch were dirty last night and throughout the tournament but the diving and play acting from some of the Spanish last night, including Andres Iniesta, was digusting. Both teams should be ashamed of themselves serving up such a disgraceful game of football last night.

Henry's behaviour in November and this World Cup only serve to prove the disease within the game.

From the totally incompetent joke that is Sepp Blatter at the top, right down to the very few kids who actually play footie on the streets these days down, our beautiful game dying a slow, horrible death.
Charles King
38   Posted 12/07/2010 at 23:00:23

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@ Rob Murphy,

Hear, hear this world cup has confirmed my thoughts on football as being crap entertainment, if I had'nt been born into a football loving family I would'nt give the present day game a passing glance.
I did enjoy the experts backtracking on the Premier League being the best, its not, its just confrontational which has a certain Roman Coliseum excitement but in terms of skill its bollocks.

Regarding the devils spawn across the park am i alone in hoping Torres stays, he is their Owen Hargreaves and if the press are right they've just waved goodbye to 70million.

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