He is into his third season at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, but it only seems like moments ago that JavierHernandez was the English Premier League’s new boy who shocked us with his talents.
When news broke that Fergie had rushed into buying this seemingly unknown footballer from Guadalajara, many (including myself), were left wanting to know who this boy was and what he would bring to one of the world’s greatest teams.
Of course we didn’t have to wait too long ‘Chicharito’, was one of the rising stars to feature in the 2010 World Cup. With the excitement of witnessing some of the world’s greatest players competing for the best prize in football – it was a shock when Hernandez stole the limelight, scoring two goals and becoming the quickest player in the tournament.
Simply watching him darting around the field got many fans excited to see what he would bring to Fergie’s team, and I think its fair to say he exceeded the expectations of many. Even Fergie himself admits, “I really didn’t expect Hernandez to have this impact”.
The ‘little pea’ scored on his competitive debut in the 2010 FA Community Shield with that famous shot that deflected off his face and into the net. He ended his first season with United in style, his tally of goals making him the first player since Ruud van Nistelrooy to score 20 goals for the club in his debut season.
However, I must admit his 2011–12 season was a bit of a let-down for me, with Hernandez only scoring 12 goals he seemed a little weaker and lack-lustre compared to his outstanding start to the Premier League. Many sensed that the demands of playing for his national team for consecutive summers were finally catching up with him. This caused Fergie to take action. He made a deal with the Mexican national team that Hernandez would not be considered for the Olympic Squad, which is why I have high hopes for his third season with the Reds after a summer of recuperation.
He is reaping the benefits of Fergie’s demands. Despite a successful partnership between new signing Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney that restricted Hernandez to the bench, this has not stopped him from striving to equal the success of his first season. His vital goals against SC Braga and Chelsea hinted at a return of “the little pea” we know and love, and his performance against Aston Villa confirmed this with Hernandez coming off the bench to score a hat-trick, ensuring another win for his side.
Javier Hernandez is an instantly likeable character. This clever youngster from Mexico would spend his time dreaming of Old Trafford and playing alongside the likes of Giggs and Scholes on his PlayStation – he never expected to get such an opportunity, and whenever interviewed he expresses a sincere sense of humbleness. His essential goals and passion for the club come across even in his goal celebrations. The fans see how grateful this young boy is, and that he joins them in recognising Manchester United as being one of the best football clubs to grace the Earth and the importance of its history as he once said, “We’ve never given up in the history of Manchester United…That’s what the gaffer and all the legends show you. You learn the game is 90 minutes, so you fight to the end.”
His enthusiasm and hard work are evident whenever he steps onto the pitch which is just one of the reasons why the fans love him so much – you can’t dislike him, especially when we are presented with his well-known smile and positive outlook on the team. He scores when it matters, with many of his goals this season being vital and have saved United from some embarrassing blunders!
One thing Hernandez has not lost in his move across the Atlantic is his work ethic. He is a natural finisher and a ‘goal-poacher’. Chicharito takes up positions within the box so easily, he has an instinct to move around players and his timing and speed are simply remarkable. He is by far one of Fergie’s best signings in the past few years, and I have a feeling that he will continue to prosper in Manchester and will make a full transition from the Mexican boy nobody really knew to a well-known, well-respected marvel…if he isn’t already?