Heitinga has Credentials to fill void left by FellainiBy Max O'Collins • Mar 2nd, 2010 • Category: Fan Articles |
When the out-of-favour Dutchman was signed from Atletico, no one was really sure where Moyes was going to use him. for the national team Heitinga had played right back or centre back, for Atletico he was spread all over the park playing central midfield sometimes, and that’s where he started for us blues back in September when Neville was victim of the horrific tackle that were to keep him out for the first few months of the season.
However, he looked a bit out of his depth. Lacking in ability he was not, possibly just first match nerves. He was terrier like yet didn’t seem to do much. You couldn’t fault his enthusiasm. Nor can you fault his palpable commitment. His celebrations after certain goals have been that similar to mine and yours.
The 26-year-old was moved to centre back following the departure of Lescott and injury to Distin. He partnered many a player including Lucas Neill. But it were to be the pairing of Johnny and Distin that proved the most solid after the tumultuous affair that surrounded Lescott’s departure.
He’s played over two thirds of the league games this season and cemented his position in the side albeit in a weakened squad. And since Fellaini’s absence I feel that he is capable to step up and play a more forward, more technical role than required when he was utilised at centre half.
He can head, he can pass, he has a hammer of a shot on him and most of all he’s determined to get stuck in. What else do you want from your man in front of the back four? The Dutchman can play a forty yard pass with such nonchalance you would have thought it an innate skill.
In the game against spurs we were given a sight of what Heitinga had to offer as a defensive midfielder and I was nothing but impressed. He broke up promising attacks and retained possession looking composed on the ball. He ran his socks off to chase anything that looked threatening. We caught a glimpse of his shot as a fairly average effort by his standards was held by Gomes. The Dutchman whipped in an awesome cross that Jagielka couldn’t capitalize on. All round the park he just did the business.
Fellaini is out for six months, and to be honest he may not be able to get his place back if John does as well I feel he can do. Well I’m praying he can as if he can’t who else will Moyes turn to, the world beater that is Phil Neville…