What a difference a year makes. Last year injuries were not a big problem for Manchester United. At the beginning of last season both Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were in the stands as the season started, but Tevez and new arrival Berbatov were able to keep things moving on the pitch. Sir Alex even toyed with the idea of unleashing his four horseman of the apocalypse(Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov,) loose on the Premier League, but that never happened. Sir Alex had the luxury of a full stable situation in which playing time became hard to come by. We all know how last season ended. Cristiano Ronaldo finally fulfilled his childhood dream of moving to Real Madrid; And Carlos Tevez, knowing that he would not be the biggest star at Old Trafford, signed qith Manchester City. The point is last season injuries did not cause much turmoil. When Ronaldo was out, following his ankle surgery, Tevez stepped in. The squad was deep with established talent. Lets move to this year.
In an interview before Manchester United and Bayern Munich met in their Champions League match in Germany Franck Ribery characterized the Red Devils as a one star club. I personally was offended. How dare the ugly Frenchman say that. With the way that Manchester United struggled in the second half of the second meeting at Old Trafford credence was given to Ribery’s statement. Evidence of further suffering occurred that weekend as a Rooneyless Manchester United could only muster a draw against mediocre club Blackburn. Rooney was not at his best against Manchester City, but the Red Devils did pull out three points during stopage time thanks to Paul Scholes. A sloppy Tottenham fell prey to a better organized Manchester United squad (without Rooney) along with the voodoo in the air at The Theatre of Dreams. an Injured Rooney will sit out the remainder of the season, as the title race with Chelsea becomes a dead on sprint. The question is what about next season?
Enter hit man Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez Balcazar of Guadalajara Mexico. Javier is the young star from Mexico’s most storried club Club Deportivo Guadalajara, or simply put Chivas. If there is a club on equal stature with Manchester United in the Primera Division de Mexico; it would have to be Chivas. Founded in 1906 by Belgian; Edgar Everaert, an amateur Chivas was comprised of Mexican, French,Belgian, and English players. By the time Chivas joined the professional Liga Mayor in 1943 they were an all Mexican squad, and have remained Mexican since. Chivas has the distinction of being the only club in the Mexican Premier division to never be relegated. Year after year; Chivas finishes in the top three, if not at the top, every season. While the quality may not be on par with the English Premier League, there is no question about Hernandez abilities. Hernandez has proven himself on both Mexico’s, and the world’s stage. Most importantly, the young striker wants to play for Manchester United. No boyhood dreams about running out on the pitch at Satiago Bernabeu. He is at the proper age- experienced enough to be lethal, but not so set in his ways that he can’t be flexible enough to new ideas.
There are rumors floating around about David Villa and Karim Benzema joining Manchester United during the summer, but let’s consider Sir Alex. There is debate of whether the funds from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo were really made available to Sir Alex. Regardless, Sir Alex stated that he would not pay inflated prices. I suspect that the same will hold true this summer as well. If we think about Sir Alex Ferguson rarely overpays. If we think about, no amount of cash will keep Fergie from spending if that is prudent. When we think about the covert operation that saw Javier Hernandez signed with no previous notice; I say look for more of the same. Let Real Madrid overpay for seconds that see more quality time on the operating table, and the tabloids then they do on the pitch.
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