Post by Everton News. on Nov 21, 2018 13:16:27 GMT
Article translated from Dutch ......
Heitinga: 'In the player tunnel pure intimidation took place'
In this series, teams from the highest class are screened in the month of English football. Dutch former players outline the team and the time frame in which it moved.
John Heitinga shows his love for English football and Everton in particular in the coffee room at Sportpark De Toekomst. The current coach of Ajax A1 paints a romantic image. 'A lot of old junk, small changing rooms, close player tunnels. In the stands, looking at the field along a pillar, you can just drop your legs or put them in the neck of the person in front of you. The purity, the rawness; I think it's great. Especially in Liverpool. The old neighborhoods, the short distance between the two stadiums, the eternal battle between red and blue. You are born with a red or blue heart, they say, but there are really families where the man is for Liverpool and the woman for Everton. And also the two children are divided. Just eat together at the same table, eh. And together to the derby, side by side in the gallery. At Everton people also worked for Liverpool. They just said that too. It is rivalry, but not pure hatred. "
' Once a blue, always a blue , they say at Everton. And that is true. I am really touched by people there. Masseur Jimmy with a huge tattoo on his leg. On the nerves they were at the club when the derby came. And a week sick when we lost. It was my best time as a professional. I still have a lot of contact with former teammates and people there. '
Heitinga came to The Toffees in August 2009 . 'I had some issues with Atlético Madrid and moved right before the deadline. I had to be the successor of Joleon Lescott, who left for Manchester for a huge amount. Frankly, I had Barcelona in my head, but I always wanted to go to England. Arsenal was my favorite. Yet for football, because of the Ajax training. And for Dennis Bergkamp. Everywhere in England they started talking about his wondergoal against Newcastle United. " Heitinga had to get used to the Premier League. 'In my first three matches I fell out with cramp after an hour. I never had. I had to be trainedand also started as a defensive midfielder, later I only sank back a line. For a defender in England, I was not tall with my 1 meter 80, but positionally I saved myself. '
David Moyes with John Heitinga (left) and Phil Neville.
He made his debut against Blackburn Rovers. "I remember well. Manager David Moyes said during the last meeting that we were half past two on the stadium. We played at three o'clock, I thought he made a mistake. Have also started checking. I was used to it, this reminded me of a collection time of an amateur team. But it was true, it was everyone's own responsibility to eat well and rest. So my wife had to prepare the pasta. Sometimes we also went out for dinner with a few players at a hotel. I lived in Manchester, like many players who played football for Liverpool. We drove a number to the club, including Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Louis Saha, Leighton Baines and Phil Neville. '
Heitinga calls Neville the ideal captain. "He arranged everything, was there for everyone. Phil also took care of me in my first months and went to the players to fill the envelopes with the Christmas for the employees. ' He immediately receives another anecdote. "I had a break with the holidays. Then my brother-in-law (Baudouin Zenden, ed.) Also played in England, but we played on Boxing Day and on New Year's Day. So without your family on those days. We came into such a hotel with a huge Christmas tree and all the presents underneath. I took a box and gave it as a gift to the assistant trainer. I said it was for everything he did for us and that he had to open it at home with his wife in the evening. He was moved to tears and arranged everything. Bottle of wine there. He opened that box,
At Everton, where he came to 115 duels, the 87-time international turned into a reliable and beloved force. It even earned him the title Player of the Year. 'I chose a great honor by the supporters. It was the year in which we lost the FA Cup of Liverpool in the semi-finals. At Wembley, Andy Carroll headed in just before the winning one. The derbies were separate. That atmosphere, hard duels, the You'll Never Walk Alone that you heard in the locker room ... The Merseyside derby was, together with De Klassieker, the best game to play in my time '
'Pure intimidation took place in the tunnel at Goodison Park'
In that Everton often appeared well for the day. 'The big teams always had a hard time at Goodison Park. There was a somewhat grim atmosphere. That already started in the tunnel. You could not walk past each other there. Pure intimidation took place there. We often won at home. Were contests on life and death, really crashing. I ran into a torn eyebrow against Nemanja Vidic from Manchester United. I looked at the referee, who was waving that it was just necessary to continue playing. Sometimes your duels went in with your hands before your eyes. It was clearly the pre-VAR era. "
In 2014 Heitinga continued his adventure with Fulham. 'I should have just drawn in 2013. I regret that, "says the World Cup finalist of 2010." I thought I would take another step in England and wanted to wait. Stupid, now I ran out of my contract. That did not work in my favor. " And that while Roberto Martínez just came up with a trainer with a Dutch football idea. "That made it very double. I was pretty good with him. He was a friend of Jordi Cruijff and also had a nice way of working. Quite remarkable to say about a trainer you hardly played. It was a terrible period. " Heitinga left in January. "I was in my stomach with the World Cup. Louis van Gaal had rightly told me that I had to play if I wanted to go to the World Championships in 2014. I wanted to reach that sixth final tournament, whichclub of a hundred I saw as goal. I did not feel good at West Ham United, I pulled the plug. At Fulham I met René Meulensteen, but when Felix Magath came, everything changed. The door of the gym was locked, we trained for hours on the pitch and in the end we relegated. I had signed up on enforcement. '
Heitinga did not win the World Cup and played a handful of duels with Hertha BSC and Ajax, before he had to quit at the age of 32. "I really could not handle that knee anymore. I have committed robbery on my body. No, I do not regret that. I played everywhere. With spraying sometimes. But I wanted that myself. "
The French defender Sylvain Distin is now 41 years old. He played for Everton from 2009 to 2015 and then moved to Bournemouth, where he stopped after one year. Distin was sixteen seasons in a Premier League player; he previously played for Newcastle United, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Belgian international Marouane Fellaini (31, see box) exchanged Everton in 2013 for Manchester United. Arouna Koné (35), who played football between 2003 and 2007 for Roda JC and PSV, was one of the newcomers at Everton in 2013. He left the club four years later, transfer free for an adventure at Sivasspor in Turkey, where he still plays. John Heitingaitself will be 35 years tomorrow (Thursday). He has been Ajax A1 coach since 2017, after he was assistant coach of Young Ajax in the previous season.
Phil Jagielka (36) has been playing for Everton since 2007, after he first served eight seasons Sheffield United. The English defender was the captain of The Toffees and also, as the first Everton player ever, once wore the tie with the national team. The American goalkeeper Tim Howard (39) is still active with Colorado Rapids in the MLS. Manchester United took him to Europe in 2003, after which he came to Goodison Park in 2006 - first on a rental basis and from 2007 onwards.
In 2016, the 121-fold international returned to the US. The Belgian striker Kevin Mirallas(31) came in 2012 from Olympiacos Piraeus. Five years later he returned to Greece, this season he is active for Fiorentina. The Irish right back Seamus Coleman (31) was taken from Sligo Rovers in 2009. After a short loan period at Blackpool, he worked at Everton as a valued force. Leon Osman (37) comes from Everton's own training and moved to the A-selection in 2000. The two-time international, which had short rental periods at Carlisle United and Derby County, ended his career in 2016. Left back Leighton Baines (33) is still loyal to Everton. The club picked him up at Wigan Athletic in 2007. The Scot Steven Naismith (32) played over 100 duels for Everton between 2012 and 2016, after which he left for Norwich City.
THE VEDETTE Marouane Fellaini, Etterbeek (Bel), 22 November 1987 John Heitinga revealed that if it did not work at Everton, he switched to the Fellaini recipe . 'The ball shot hard forward, then he headed it through.' The Belgian international of Moroccan origin grew up in the Brussels suburb of Etterbeek. Fellaini played in Anderlecht's youth, but as a ten-year-old he had to leave Purple-White . Via the provincial series he still worked himself up. In 2004, the long midfielder signed his first professional contract at Standard Liège as a seventeen-year-old. He made his debut there under Jan Boskamp in the first team and developed into a physically strong box-to-box-player. In 2008 he went to Everton for no less than 18.5 million euros, at that time the most expensive Belgian transfer ever and a record transfer for the Liverpool club. Fellaini drew attention with his powerful play and striking afro hairstyle. Since 2013 he has been a Manchester United player, which has paid more than 32 million for him. He has won four prizes: the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Community Shield and the Europa League, after winning the final against Ajax. With De Rode Devels , for which he finished 87 international matches so far, he won the bronze medal at the WC of last summer.