He mightn't have the pace, but he more than makes up for it with his other attributes.
Agree, and the main attribute that he makes up for a lack of pace is he has the same "time" that Hird, Jobe and Pendelbury had/have.
Heppell is one of my favourite players but he currently does not have the 'time' that those players had/have.
This is one of those myths that for some unknown reason is starting to gain legs amongst some sections of the supporter base.
He may develop that awareness and skill in time but right now what he has is basically the opposite of what you are suggesting.
What is not in question is his ability to find the ball. He would be almost our best at getting hands on the ball behind Jobe.
What Jobe has though (obviously developed over time) is far better hand and footskills on both sides of the body, Heppell is horribly one sided right now and that combined with his serious lack of legspeed see him under pressure almost constantly. His disposal efficiency is often poor and that is because he does not have the 'time' to dispose cleanly (nor can he make that time right now).
Still, I rate him as our 2nd best midfielder and in his 3rd year that is pretty impressive.
Needs to work on his skills though.