Why Chicharito’s Finding Out That The League Bites Back

It would be fair to say Javier Hernandez has not had the best start to the new season. The Mexican despite scoring a goal in last season’s Community Shield made his first mark on the Premier League in Manchester United‘s away fixture at Stoke last season where he scored twice in a 2-1 away win.

On Saturday, United travelled to the Britannia for this season’s corresponding fixture between the teams. Within three minutes, it looked like Chicharito would be tasting his return to the Potters with a goal, but he was unable to get a shot on goal after being fouled by Jonathan Woodgate inside the area. To make matters worse he collided with Stoke’s keeper Asmir Begovic after being fouled by the former Real Madrid defender and was substituted moments later for Michael Owen.

It was a nasty blow for the Mexican who was lucky to avoid serious injury a week earlier at home to Chelsea when Ashley Cole lunged in two-footed on him, in the closing stages of United’s 3-1 win at Old Trafford. A week before Hernandez had maked his first start of the season in style with two goals in a 5-0 rout at Bolton looking as sharp and predatory in front of goal as ever.

Injuries of course are common-place in football, but due to Hernandez’s pace he will like all strikers, be prone to receiving rash challenges from opposition players who usually are too clumsy or good enough to keep up with lightning pace. Hernandez may also suffer from hamstring injuries which have hit team-mate Owen throughout his career and there’s no doubt United’s coaching and medical team will be wary of this.

We all have heard about players suffering from ‘second-season syndrome’ and particularly with strikers who after a good first season (think Marlon Harewood and Mido for example) struggle in their second season and never really recover from it. There’s no doubt that Hernandez is better than those two strikers, but he may well suffer from his success last season, as more defenders will know more about him and will be happy to stop him, even if it means getting booked. I’m still backing him to score 10-15 goals this season regardless.

Adam Dennehey  @ADennehey87

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