In a few minutes I’ll be off to Centro Coyoacan to watch the big game with a student and his amigos. Mexico versus England at Wembley. I have my England shirt, and am ready to become Mr Unpopular. Or Mr Stupid. Depends how the game pans out. I suspect, as do most Mexicans, that’ll it’ll be the first option. I certainly hope so. The more goals, the more unpopular I will become. I really don’t mind leaving the place as an icon of hatred! So long as I leave in one piece, of course! I’ll hazard a prediction for the final scoreline. England 3 Mexico 1.
There’s a twist to this game though. For as much as English fans will be looking at their own team, seeing as the provisional squad is still at 30, and seven players will be dropped for the World Cup, they will also be looking at the Mexican team. At one player in particular. Javier ‘El Chicharito’ Hernandez, who recently signed for Manchester United, and will join his new team at Old Trafford for next season. There is an article on him in the Times – click here.
He has quality about him, but there are still big question marks over him, on both sides of the Atlantic. Here the debate is about whether he is ready for a World Cup or not. He’s been reasonably prolific for Chivas. Less so, though, for the national team. My belief is…yes. He’s ready. If the adventure of a World Cup doesn’t bring out the best in a player, then they’ll never be ‘ready’.
In Manchester there are questions too. Starting with ‘Who the hell is Javier Hernandez?’. Mexican football doesn’t get any coverage in the UK. The next question is ‘What the hell is a Chicharito?’. It’s a Little Pea. There….now you know. And lastly – is he any good? Have MUFC got the 21st century Hugo Sanchez, or the latest Carlos Vela? No, definitely not a Sanchez. Same position, but totally different styles. He’s a bit more like a Michael Owen. In stature, pace, play and even looks. Hopefully less injury prone though.
Hopefully not a Carlos Vela either. That’s not an insult to Vela’s quality. Just an observation that after two years at Arsenal, he’s still not broken through to the first team. Time will tell. Till then, enjoy this video of El Chicharito in action for Chivas of Guadalajara. His Top Ten goals according to TV Azteca.