Manchester United: Why Chicharito Will Put Together Another Fantastic Season
After failing to win the Premier League in 2009-2010, there were lots of questions focused at Manchester United going into the 2010-2011 Premier League campaign.
Despite questions over the eventual replacement of Edwin Van der Sar and the health of certain players, the biggest question dealt with the striking core of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and newly acquired Mexican striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.
At the beginning of the season, Berbatov surprised many with some of the best performances by any striker to start off a Premier League campaign.
Berbatov was able to register a hat trick against Liverpool (which included an overhead kick as the winning goal) and also had hat tricks against Blackburn and Birmingham City. However, despite being the joint winner of the Premier League golden boot last season, Berbatov's play fell off at the end of the season enough that he wasn't even selected to play in the Champions League final.
The case of Rooney was a little more surprising. Rooney continued his stretch from March for not scoring in open play and he requested a transfer in October. However, Rooney decided to cancel his transfer request and signed a five-year contract to stay at Old Trafford until 2015.
But the most consistent striker for the Red Devils absolutely was Chicharito. From the beginning of the season it was obvious that he was not only a player that desired winning, but he was also a goal poacher.
Chicharito was able to net multiple winning goals in the Premier League along with Champions League goals against Valencia, Marseille and Chelsea.
At the end of the season, it was Chicharito's giant goals against Everton and Chelsea that were able to secure Manchester United a record 19th league title and the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
Following the end of the Premier League season, Chicharito starred for Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Altogether Chicharito scored seven goals, easily the most in the tournament and the most in the Gold Cup since fellow countryman Zaguinho scored 11 goals in 1993.
Chicharito's play helped Mexico to win the Gold Cup over the United States and secure a berth in the 2013 Confederations Cup.
However, Chicharito has since suffered a concussion on a return from training and it is a lingering question among fans how he will play once he returns.
Despite the concussion, I feel that Chicharito will not only return as a player that he showed us at the end of last season, but that he will improve even more.
In the case of Chicharito, he is a player that will be able to continue to develop due to his strong desire to win.
While watching Chicharito in the Gold Cup, that desire was increasingly obvious with every match that he played. Chicharito's appetite to win the final against the Americans on U.S. soil was so great that his play caused the American defense to weaken up considerably.
Chicharito ended up not scoring a goal in that final, but there was no doubt that he was one of the deciding factors in Mexico's win.
However, Chicharito's growth towards the ending of last season indicates that he will only continue to improve.
The fact that Chicharito was able to shine in some of United's biggest matches indicates that he will be a bigger pest to defenses across England and Europe this season.
A major reason why Chicharito was able to do this was that his positioning continued to improve as the season went on.
When someone watches some of the matches that Chicharito was playing in, they could see that Chicharito's awareness of his teammates passes was perfect in huge European matches and in the games that decided the Premier League.
This season, Chicharito will be marked much more closely than he was last year but Chicharito's agility and awareness makes him hard to cover for even the best defenders.
When you watch his goals against Chelsea and against Marseille, you see a player that knows how to free himself up from multiple defenders and give Man United crucial goals that advanced their run in Europe.
Considering how much he has improved in the last season and with United improving their overall team with some smart transfers over the summer, I expect Chicharito to have an even better second season in the Premier League.
For more insight, follow me on Twitter! @Andrew_Jordan
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