❖ (lovelyeli) wrote in ontd_football,

lovelyeli
ontd_football

An Article on how awesome& holy Chicha Christ is.

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When it comes to strikers, the football world's attention may well be focused on Merseyside and west London as one club makes a desperate big-money, last-minute attempt to rescue their season and another tries to cling onto a high-status player who guarantees goals.

Meanwhile, at Old Trafford they already have a top-class international striker who cost very little but is currently making it very big.

Call him Javier Hernández Balcázar or call him 'Chicharito' - either way, he's quietly going about becoming a very important player for Manchester United in his first season in the Premier League.

Perhaps because he's an unobtrusive character, he's almost gone unnoticed except when he pops up with an important goal. There hasn't been the level of hype you would normally expect for a striker with 11 international goals in 20 games.

With 11 goals already scored in just 26 United appearances (most as a substitute) he's putting the lie to one of the hoariest old Premier League clichés - that an overseas player needs time to adapt to the pace and physicality of the league - and in doing so, he's virtually ended Michael Owen's first-team career.

With his truly extraordinary backwards header against Stoke City he has already scored one of the great outlandish goals of this season and it was no surprise to see him once again score the winning goal on Saturday. It's what he does.

Here is a 22-year-old who arrived from a very different football continent to play in one of the most pressured roles in British football; striker for Manchester United. It's a gig that comes with so much pressure that it has crushed many excellent players before him like Ted MacDougall, Gary Birtles and Alan Brazil (yes, he was a very good at Ipswich, honest) not to mention the now-much-in-demand Diego Forlan.

Yet Hernandez has fitted right in from the start. He simply looks at home. This is no small achievement.

Sir Alex Ferguson has eased him into the side judiciously and has been rewarded with a number of significant and winning goals. This is no mere scorer of cheap goals - he doesn't just put in the fifth in a 5-0 win. No, he's a scorer of important goals - as this week alone as proven.

This has increased his value to the side exponentially. His cool head when under pressure to score those winning goals betrays a superb attitude to the game. Ferguson has spoken about his level-headedness and professionaliam and how his ability to speak English has been a great asset. It sounds as if Javier is smarter than your average footballer, or smarter than your average English footballer, perhaps. It'd be hard to see, say Carlton Cole going to Mexico, learning to speak Spanish and fitting right in, wouldn't it?

When some of his other overseas stars such as Rafael have shown the impetuous, hot-headedness of youth, Anderson has had his time off the rails andwith others such as Chris Smalling not quite looking the part yet, Hernandez looks 100% what he is - a top-notch goal-every-other-game international striker.

Anyone who has watched Mexican football will tell you it is different in both style and quality to the Premier League. You could forgive Little Pea if he'd taken some time to slot into his new club. Time and again we're told that players need time to adapt to the league, but I've never really seen why this should be the case.

For a game or two you can accept some adjustment, but if it's quicker, surely you simply learn to just run faster and do what you do a bit speedier. If its more physical, then you toughen up or you learn to look after yourself. It can't and shouldn't take a whole season to work out.

The fact is, in football as in life more generally, if you offer someone an excuse for failure then they'll take it rather than accept the blame onto their own shoulders.

But a top-class professional footballer's talent should translate from one country to another quite easily. It's the same game after all and at its core, it's not that complicated. Yet how many Johan Elmanders and his like do we see who only start playing well after a season, or perhaps more significantly, when their contract is to expire within six months? Plenty. Too many in fact.

It would seem that Hernandez' success in one of the most pressured roles in British football is born out of a calm, enthusiastic attitude which though thoroughly professional, has none of the arrogance, hubris and pomposity that some players drag around with them. He's a top striker at one of the world's biggest clubs sitting top of the league but there is no sense of him larging it up at all.

At just 22, his dog days surely still lie ahead of him. His game will mature and become more sophisticated but he is already a fully-formed striker whose game is predicated on speed of thought, rock-solid technique and a cool, cool head. He's clearly been coached superbly from an early age, not just in his technique but in how he approaches his whole game on and off the field.

If Little Pea was an English striker, his talent would be acclaimed as possibly world-beating. He'd already have been put on a pedestal and would already be primed and ready for a backlash. But he isn't, he's Mexican and so doesn't have to tolerate such nonsense and can just get on being quietly bloody good.

And for all connoisseurs of top-class strikers and for Manchester United, that is surely a wonderful thing.

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sauce
Tags: chicharito (javier hernandez), club: manchester united, legit and awesome, mexico: si, oh god please yes
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