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Heinze and Huntelaar – A Look at the Two H’s

These are two players in the news these days that have transfer rumours concerning United. Both of them have been under long time speculation. One is linked with a move away and one is linked with a move to United.

Let’s take a look at the players and how likely their departures/arrivals may be to United.

We have talked about Gabriel Heinze plenty of times, on him staying at United next season. But these reports wont ever go away, will they? Well, we are not his spokespeople so we’ll have to bear with them.

It wasn’t quite as worrying when the Sun ‘broke’ the news, TribalFootball followed suit and a host of other football blogs followed suit posting the same stuff verbatim. But then The Guardian also joined in the fun. I had some respect in the past for the Guardian. They do have some good writers, mind you. But recently they seem to be dropping down in standards more noticeably, so I regard their news with some reservations. I don’t trash them totally. But I might if the shit becomes more frequent and difficult to filter out.

Anyway, back to the Heinze gossip, his presence in Madrid makes things difficult to say at the moment. I had thought, with all the team bonding going on during goal celebrations, title winning celebrations and many more, that a character as tough as the Argentine might give another season in United a go. A season where he would start fully fit after a refreshing break. (depending on the workload at Copa America) An injury ridden season, and Evra’s form reduced his playing time to a stop-start level early on. You see, one needs to be playing week-in week-out for a certain period of time to accurately assess his performances. Something we couldn’t get out of him in the early half of the season. In the later half, I agree he made certain high profile mistakes, but I believe that to be a loss of form rather than a drop in class. (I am tempted to quote that “Form is temporary, class is permanent” cliche here). An in-form Heinze is a bloody good player, something other big clubs also realize, with all the rumors linking him.

I would like him to stay in the club for another season to see if he returns to his old no-nonsense style. More than anything, it will be fair to the player. Evra may have had his times, but Heinze’s defensive strength is a far greater asset on the European stage – especially when Sir Alex says that he intends to get back to winning in Europe pretty soon; and given that SAF is not going to stay on for too long, it could be very soon.

And I am not even touching on other things such as Fergie giving him the captain’s arm band and Ronaldo’s friendship with Heinze. (It’s not just Ronnie who’s good friends with him, I assure you.)

About the other chap, whatsisname? Ah, yes. Huntelaar! The rumours seem to come and go. He seemed a great prospect in the 2005/06 season when he won the European golden boot, scoring goals left, right and centre. Now who doesn’t look good when he scores goals? Kezman looked good too didn’t he, crazy hair notwithstanding? In fact he did well in two seasons. I saw Huntelaar play in the U-21 Euro Championships where he was extremely impressive. He is a terrific finisher. Give him a whiff of the ball and he will score, in the mould of Ruud. But this season has been subdued by the high standards that he set earlier.

The problem with him is that he seems to lack strength. How he will cope with the Premiership’s centre backs would be a major challenge. Another flaw is his lack of movement. He can go anonymous for long periods of the game. In a fluid United attack, the one that played this title-winning season, the involvement of the striker in the build up is of prime importance. In that kind of system you need the striker to contribute in one-twos and holding up the ball at times. Not just for the final touch into goal. Otherwise, the Premiership’s defenders would not be troubled in the slightest bit to be able to mark him and play him out of the game.

It all remains to be seen, how true the Huntelaar rumours are. I would look for a more proven striker instead of getting him. Otherwise, we might be better off blooding Rossi in.

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