A little while ago I did a piece on why we as Manchester United fans are so infatuated with Javier Hernandez, since then he has done his reputation no harm with 7 more goals.
He has proved especially useful in games against Blackpool where he played a part in the dramatic comeback with the equaliser and Southampton where he got the winner as we came from behind as well as a headed goal against Liverpool that made the scoreline that little bit more respectable and last night his brace saw us through to the quarter finals of the Champions League but it’s not just the goals that are proving useful.
Much was made of his partnership with Dimitar Berbatov and how it could spell trouble for Wayne Rooney who at the time was playing rather poorly but Rooney has slowly found his feet and I don’t think it is any coincidence that it has coincided with him playing alongside Hernandez.
The two have struck up a partnership that has proved mutually beneficial; Hernandez’s movement drags defenders all over the place, he preoccupies them thus affording Rooney the space and therefore the time to pull the strings for the team, something I remarked about after the Chelsea game and there has been a number of examples of how fruitful their partnership is in games since then. A fully firing Rooney is a problem for any team, last season we saw what he could do in front of goal but I prefer when he isn’t the main man and he plays slightly more withdrawn, roaming and the whole team benefiting from his undeniable ability, something we saw last night with the first goal where it was he who played the ball to Giggs, collected it then played it to Hernandez who opened the scoring.
To put it simply the two work well together.
Javier Hernandez has been called an impact sub, as I have remarked his pace and movement causes problems for defenders and is even more effective late on when tired legs and tired minds are more likely but in his current form how do you drop him? And if you can’t drop him what does it mean for Dimitar Berbatov?
Sir Alex might not have seen this situation coming and neither would any of us as we couldn’t have imagined Hernandez coming on as well as he has, Sir Alex remarked on this after the game to MUTV saying:
“We thought he was a young lad who was going to progress and maybe have to get used to our training and English football, but he’s been an absolute star and a real bonus for us”
As the season has progressed Sir Alex maintained it is a problem he enjoys and realistically every manager would enjoy having 3 strikers as talented as ours on their hands but how do we keep all of them happy?
Against Marseille Hernandez grabbed his 14th and 15th goals of the season (not including the community shield) and his 5th in 5 games, he is in form and as I have mentioned is enjoying playing beside Wayne Rooney which can only mean bad things for Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian striker, despite being our top scorer this season, has started just once in our last 6 games and hasn’t scored since he grabbed a brace against Blackpool at the end of January.
When the team was announced today I saw complaints regarding Berbatov’s exclusion and it’s not the first time either and it’s understandable as he is our top scorer and too has scored important goals but the situation again begs the question how do you drop Hernandez in the form he is in? As crazy as it sounds and as talented as he is at this current time the bench seems the only viable option for Berbatov.
It has long been said that for defenders, Javier Hernandez is unplayable and there are a long list of them that will agree having been left exasperated by his sneaky movement and torn asunder by the speed of his runs. Goalkeepers too will not enjoy facing him as when you see him and the ball in the vicinity of the goal there is a very good chance it will end up in the back of the net and him running away celebrating but whilst I’m 100% sure there is nothing but healthy rivalry between them, Dimitar Berbatov can’t be too enthused at seeing Hernandez’s name on the team sheet either!
Javier Hernandez is causing us problems but thankfully they are the good kind and are the sort that will make both Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov raise their game. Rooney said he enjoys playing beside Hernandez so that is likely to continue seeing him perform at the level he has been recently whilst Berbatov will be desperate to get back into the team so will be looking to impress on any opportunity given.
Should prove fun for us the fans!