Sunday, 29 March 2009
How Good a Super Hero is Herita Ilunga?
Well to begin, I have to nail my colours to the mast - Herita is a Horatio of mine if only because it was his arrival that facilitated the departure of The Beatle, which in turn prompted Turds to jump ship without a compensatory life jacket. For that alone, he deserves Hammer of the Year! No, sod it, for that alone, he deserves to be enrolled in the West Ham Hall of Fame! One day they will write comics featuring the superhero Herito Man who, with the help of his sometimes seen sidekick Lopez Man, saves Boleyn City from the curse of the arch villian Turds who had sent the entire city into a deep sleep destined to last for a thousand, million years! Herito Man, we love you baby!
So perhaps I am just a little bit biased here. I would send the guy out in a shirt bearing the name "Turds Slayer" on the back and call him Man of Every Match before kick off! But what about his footballing ability?
Hold on to your hats because this is going to seem controversial: in my opinion, he is the best West Ham left back I have ever seen. What? Tea spat over computers! Lap tops thrown through windows! Union Jack Bull Dog tatoos with Dicksy Rools bared for nervous wives to see! Calm down lads, calm down, it's only an opinion! Let me explain.
Now, assessing the whole player, of course "Julian West Ham to the Core Except When I Joined Liverpool Dicks" gave the team much more than Herito ever will. He scored goals. And not just goals... but screamers. Dicksy's record is awesome and, apart from the contribution of Tonker Stewart, will always be beyond compare. But I am not talking about the whole player, I am talking about the position of left back.
Transport Julian to the 'here and now' and he would struggle as a left back. Yes, there will always be a place for a player with a hammer of a shot like that, but how many games would he actually finish as a left back in the yellow and red card frenzy of the modern Premiership? Not many!
Herito does the job of a left back, plain and simple. Apart from slaying the demonic Turds, he is not the team's Superhero and has no aspirations to fulfil that role. He seems a humble soul, a good, honest, take me for what I am, confident, competent, composed and consistent defender who will get forward and offer an attacking option when the situation allows. He maintains good positional discipline, he reads the game well, he tackles well, he retains possession well. He is a left back, plain and simple, and is just what the team needs.
Konch recently reminded us all of how good a left footed screamer can be, but would anybody take Onecap in exchange for Herito? I doubt it! And there, in a nutshell, is why Herito is the best LEFT BACK I have seen in a West Ham shirt, because that is his position. Julian was always a rampager first and a full back second, a pirate rather than a naval rating, serving his own instincts rather than the discipline of the Navy. It was great to watch when it worked but how many goals did Dicksy cost us because, when possession was lost, the left back was absent without leave?
Those tats have been bared again haven't they? I can see the growling teeth! Ladies and Thugs, I give you the League Cup semifinal against Luton. Remember the piggy back ride Dicksy took to give away the penalty? I don't think Herito will ever do that, he relies more on the superhuman powers of staying in position, closing and covering! Not the most exciting super powers I give you, but just what Commisssioner Nani ordered when he got on the Bat Phone!