Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Javier Hernandez became the first of his countrymen to play for Manchester United and has he made Mexicans proud or what!
While a lot has been said and written about Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney or even Michael Carrick (who is no more an unsung hero, especially the heaps of praise ushered on him) and their contribution to the team; Hernandez, with a moniker Chicharito, is calmly doing his customary job without making any big fuss, i.e. scoring goals and lots of goals.
Hernandez has only made 15 Premier League appearances this season, but out of which nine were from the bench. The Mexican international has scored 15 goals so far in all competitions that include some match changing performances too, most notably against Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
In 2010/11, that is his first season with United, he scored 13 league goals for the club and outshone Dimitar Berbatov, who also had a great season, finishing with 20 league goals. In fact, Hernandez was chosen in the Champions League final while the Bulgarian was left out.
While Hernandez clearly was not to blame for the shambolic defeat at the hands of Barcelona, but it became increasingly clear to Sir Alex Ferguson that he needs a striker who would bring much more to the game, apart from goal scoring.
Probably that’s why the Scotsman was so determined to land the former Arsenal skipper in the summer. While Van Persie adds an extra dimension to United’s game, Hernandez is best used when plan ‘A’ is not working. He, therefore, performs the role of a typical impact player.
Hernandez is a natural goal poacher and therefore when defenders get tired down towards the end of the match, he takes the best advantage of it. The best example in case, is the match against Newcastle, where he scored a late winning goal taking full advantage of a tiring Toon defence in a rain-soaked night at Old Trafford.
Likewise, he scored the winning goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League where he was introduced at a time when the hosts were struggling with a man down.
Credit should also go to United’s man-management system as well. While Edin Dzeko of Manchester City, who performs more or less a similar “super sub” role, complains for not getting enough regular starts, one would never hear Hernandez whining about the same.
In that respect, he is somewhat becoming a player in mould of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Players like him are an asset for any team.