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Johnny Be Good
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Season 2011/2012 was a big one for Johnny Heitinga. Having already made a positive impression with his attitude and commitment he also established himself as a vital part of the squad, and ended up being crowned Player Of The Year. No problems, everyone was happy, and off he trotted to represent his country at the Euros.

It wasn't the greatest tournament for the Netherlands, and after two group games Johnny lost his place in central defence to a pairing of Vlaar and Mathijsen. Hardly household names to us, and the demotion must have been a blow to Johnny's pride after the season he had just had. Not sure how much of an effect that tournament had on him, but the Heitinga we got back was not the same one we'd sent out there.

I'll lay my cards on the table and admit straight up that I've always believed that Jags and Distin are our best centre back pairing, (indeed for me Distin was definitely our player of last season, with his one mistake, albeit massive and in a massive game, being the only thing that stopped him winning that award).

I think Johnny can do a job at centre back, but I feel a lot more comfortable with him in front of the back four so that the defence still has time to recover if he makes a mistake. I believe he is a top player, highly skilled, intelligent and committed, but is prone to split second lapses of concentration which have really been highlighted over the last couple of games.

The fact that such an established international would join our club gave him an elevated status amongst the fans before he'd even kicked a ball for us. He came in totally committed and took on the mantle of previous foreigners who were technically gifted and, although you were never 100% sure what they were going to do on the field, you'd definitely want them on your side going into battle. I'm thinking of the likes of Tommy Gravesen or, for those of you with longer memories, Ray Attaveld, (although in Ray's case possibly not as much in the "technically gifted" department).

I'm not sure what's happened to Johnny. All players can go through a dip in form and some can lose confidence, although Johnny always comes across to me as very confident, bordering on being cocky.

One thing I am sure about is that if we want to get back the player we had last season then it won't happen by booing him, or ironically cheering as he is substituted. He's wearing the blue shirt, and Evertonians don't do that, we look after our own. I realise that you've all paid significant amounts of money for the privilege of watching the team and are as much entitled to your opinion as anyone else, but do any of you really believe that negativity towards your own players, team, or manager can help ?

Before you all kick off just have a quick think back to the Summer transfer window when there was a barrage of negative comment directed at one player, with many of you offering to drive him to another club just so he couldn't play for Everton again. Big Vic anyone ??

I'm not saying he's there just yet, but Victor seems to have rediscovered his love for the game, and the blue shirt in particular, despite the torrent of abuse he suffered from fans at games and on web sites such as this. I'm hoping that he doesn't actually read Bluekipper, in the same way as I'm hoping that Johnny hasn't read the response to his performances in the last two games, particularly the Villa one.

If Vic can find his way back then surely Johnny can do the same. We have a small squad and every player needs to be up for the challenge whenever he is called on. Let's make sure we support Johnny through this rough patch the same way we supported him when he rammed home the winner at Bolton.


Comments about Johnny Be Good
Fickle lot us blues. Didnt moan so much when Johnny drove in the winner at notloB!!
Terry, Bootle, 9:10 AM 7/02/2013
Here here, I remember Jags was having a nightmare early last season and Moysey didn't bench him when he should. Heitinga out of form and Jags out of position at his age is unforgivable and should not be tried again. Johnny needs to wait for his chance to impress Im afraid. But Howard also needs to open his gob and come to clear a few easy balls too to help the lads out.
Az, Wavo, 10:32 PM 6/02/2013
I'd rather put a traffic cone in front of the back four.
blue ballz, everton, 9:41 PM 6/02/2013
Been saying this on here since all the slagging off started. Some of it is disgusting, given we are Evertonians and are meant to back our players. Yes his form has dipped, but you could see by his reaction (particularly after the Wigan mistake) that he cares. Get off his back and he will come good.
Luke, IoM, 4:08 PM 6/02/2013
Good point about Vic, I admit I was one of the many willing to drive him to Hull or wherever else, but he has proven us all wrong the last few games and I am glad of that, I hope he continuosly proves us all wrong for a long time to come. He still has a lot to work on, I think his work rate has improved but can still get a lot better and I remember one particular incident against Villa when vic felt he was fouled and but chased down the next ball then waited for it to go out for a throw before voicing his opinion to the ref, in short he played to the whistle, which he often doesn't do enough. As for Johnny I agree that fans booing is not the answer but at the same time the lad needs telling he had a stinker. However that is for Moyesy to do that behind closed doors.
Bored, Work, 3:20 PM 6/02/2013
Totally agree. It's outrageous to boo your own players. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't repeat the things I said on Saturday watching Johnny's performance, but he isn't doing it on purpose. We all have bad days at the office (I'm having one now). Johnny is a class act and will come good as will Jela. We as fans need to get behiind the team and show our support for them, not get on their backs. As for not booing Moyes subs, they do tend to be awful.
Mark , Widnes, 2:55 PM 6/02/2013
And stop the idiots booing Moyes substitutions and be grateful he's still here.
JOHN, CROSBY, 1:24 PM 6/02/2013
He needs to be benched now until Jagielka or Distin become injured or suspended, rather than Moyes trying to fit all 3 into the same 11. I almost think Heitinga plays when he wants to, as in he seems to think he's too good to play against the likes of Villa or Wigan. When he does play in the bigger games he seems to up his game and seems reliable.
Ged, Maghull, 1:14 PM 6/02/2013
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