Javier Hernandez netted another 2 goals, leading Mexico to an unexpectedly easy victory over Paraguay. The 3-1 result at the Oakland Coliseum gave all the fans, over 65,000 of them, reason to prolong their celebration. Okay, they really didn’t need a reason, but it was a nice excuse.
Ho hum, another day, another brace for the guy who just seems to always be at the right place at the right time. Isn't that what his critics say?
It appears that the more he scores, the more some folks are trying to discredit his efforts. It’s as if all he does is camp out next to the goalie and hope that the ball makes his way.
He is working a little harder than that, though. I would have to think that there might be just a little skill involved when a player tallies goals with the right foot, the left foot, the back heel, a standing header, a flying header, and his face -- all while beating or out muscling defenders to gain position.
Over in Manchester, Chicharito is the first to arrive for training, and the last player to leave. He does his homework and has hit the gym. “My secret is to study opposition defenders and work out their weak points. I try to outwit them with my speed and anticipation in the area. So my goals are not down to luck.
”Physically I have gotten a lot stronger, I go to the gym a lot. It is not because I like it. It is something I needed to do because the English league is quicker and more physical."
I enjoy watching Hernandez play because he always seems to do so with a smile on his face. He loves the game and he loves playing it. It has to be contagious. I know I am afflicted.
And despite all of his success, both in Mexico and in Manchester, he is the first to remind us all that he is merely part of something bigger. "The most important thing for me has always been the results of the team. Goals are merely a consequence of the work everyone does.”
And if his humility isn’t enough to convince folks of the character of Mr. Chicharito, perhaps this story will.
If Chicharito, the player, can one day live up to Javier Hernandez, the person, we might have the pleasure of watching a pretty decent striker.