Where did Javier Hernandez go wrong at Manchester United?

Can Chicharito hit the heights of his first season in England?

Can Chicharito hit the heights of his first season in England?

Anyone who has seen a Rolling Stones gig in the last few years may have noticed a technique Mick Jagger uses to make the audience go home happy. He can’t bring his A-game to the table for the whole duration of the show any more because he’s 70-year-old man, and therefore has the physical fitness and stamina of a 70-year-old man. So, he’ll start slow and relaxed, producing a low-energy performance, before finally pulling out his signature moves for the final five or so songs. All in all, it won’t be a great display, but what do you expect? This decent finale, though, does usually overshadow the underwhelming start, so sticks in the memory.


Javier Hernandez made the fatal mistake of doing things during his Manchester United career the wrong way round. Rather than starting slowly, then picking up towards then end, it seems that he spent all of his allotted number of tap-ins during his first couple of seasons at the club, so was subsequently forced to fall back on the other aspects of his game – of which he has none.

Even in his first season, Hernandez was, metaphorically, all about the big, energetic finish. It was pretty apparent from the time he kicked the ball against his own face in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea that Little Pea might be a little pish. However, luckily for Hernandez, a) Vine hadn’t been invented then, and b) the ball ended up ricocheting into the net, so all his profligacy and needless offsides were completely overlooked. As with Jagger – if you drop the big moves at the right time, that will be what the crowd remembers. Hernandez’s (often late) goals essentially masked the fact that he wasn’t, and isn’t, very good at actually playing football.


Real Madrid v Elche Betting Odds:

Real Madrid win – 1.07

Elche win – 23.00

Draw – 10.00

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)


In fairness, that first season probably kept him at Manchester United a lot longer than his ability deserved; had he spent 2010/11 being bullied out of cup games by League One defenders, Alex Ferguson probably would have sent him packing pretty sharpish. Hypothetically though, had he saved his designated allowance of one good season for his final term at Old Trafford, Hernandez may have ended up as more of a cult hero; think Anderson spending this last year of his contract still being generally not good enough, but scoring a few late winners and maybe a goal in a title-decider – he’d be loved, albeit patronisingly, forever.

However, Hernandez’s problem now is that he initially set expectations too high. After a year of performing above himself, the Mexican has spent the following few seasons disappointing those who expected more from him. Though strangely, this summer’s move to Real Madrid has sparked another fast start, with the Mexican scoring two goals in the 8-2 demolition of Deportivo. Will the past repeat itself this season?


It’s difficult to tell whether United fans would consider the 12-18 months of boasting to their mates about how Chicharito was world class, and a snip at £8million was worth the far more recent jibes of “oi Dan, remember when you called Hernandez the signing of the century? Good one mate.”

The answer is probably no, it wasn’t worth it. And this is ultimately who he’ll be remembered as – the bloke who scored a lot of goals one season, before being found out.  Really, Javier Hernandez isn’t Mick Jagger, he’s Lee Ryan: someone who is skilled enough in one particular niche area, but terrible at everything else, so has spent the last couple of years embarrassing himself every time he enters the public eye – to the point where it is pretty funny, but also quite sad.


Betting Instinct tip Chicharito to open the scoring against Elche is 7/2 with Coral


 CAOLAN COSGROVEcaolan_avatar writes about football, especially all things Arsenal-related, for BendtOverBackwards, Sabotage  Times and others. Follow him on Twitter.


3 thoughts on “Where did Javier Hernandez go wrong at Manchester United?

  1. That stat ignores how many of the goals were scored early in his United career – he never matched the total in his first season, and last year only got 4 in the league. Would be great to see him bring back that 2010-11 form for Real, though

  2. Look at the stats. You’ll see that it is only one year where CH did really bad (2013). That year coincided with the world cup qualifiers which put the player in a difficult position. I am not saying he’s a crack, but given the minutes played vs goals made I think he deserves a more balanced critique. Look at the total of minutes played vs goals. Factor in all games (PL, Champions, Qualifiers, etc) and see how the player is doing.

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