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Javier Hernandez: Mexico's Issues Up Front Shouldn't Be Blamed on Chicharito

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Javier Hernandez: Mexico's Issues Up Front Shouldn't Be Blamed on Chicharito
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When a team is struggling to score goals, the common knee-jerk reaction is to blame either the team's forward or best goalscorer—both of which, in Mexico's case, are Javier Hernandez. 

But castigating Chicharito for Mexico's recent mediocre spell—a 2-1 loss in its Confederations Cup opener against Italy on Sunday and two goals in its last four matches—is just lazy. 

When given the opportunity Sunday, the 25-year-old was actually quite productive. 

He scored Mexico's only goal. It was via a penalty that was drawn by Giovani dos Santos' tireless work, sure, but it was a calm, clinical, world-class finish nonetheless: 

GIF courtesy of 101 Great Goals

That is simply what we've come to expect from Chicharito, whose efficiency in a Mexico shirt is nothing short of astounding, per ESPN's Tom Marshall and Craig Norwood:

He's still playing as well as he always has with the national team, but he just isn't getting enough help around him. 

On Sunday, according to WhoScored.com, Hernandez fired off a team-high three shots, one on goal and one key pass. He also drew four fouls and was accurate in his distribution. 

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Yet he got just 37 touches, the lowest among anyone who played the full 90 minutes. 

It's not uncommon for forwards to see less touches, but Hernandez, who still managed to make plenty of positive things happen, needs to have the ball at his feet more. 

But Italy controlled 59 percent of the possession, with most of it being on its attacking half, and even when Mexico possessed the ball, it had trouble moving forward and linking its midfield with Hernandez. 

Teams are making El Tri move the ball down the sideline, and its seriously hindering their attack. 

Hernandez cannot do it by himself. 

Don't get me wrong: Every player on Mexico's roster needs to be better. It is struggling immensely in the final third and needs to start showcasing some more of that toughness that dos Santos gave a glimpse of when he forced the penalty. 

But to blame the goalscoring problems on the best goalscorer just doesn't make sense in this instance. 

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