Is Javier Hernandez A Young Michael Owen?

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I’m guessing I wasn’t the only United fan to say “who?” when Manchester United announced the transfer of Javier Hernandez. Since the signing, I like many of you have eagerly awaited the World Cup and Mexico’s warm up games. Having now watched Hernandez feature in five games a fairer assessment can be made. From what I have seen Hernandez is very much like a young Michael Owen.

My first look of Hernandez came as a second half substitute against England. Although his appearance was brief and limited (Mexico was starved of possession) we were able to gain a first impression.

I stated the following in the first impressions article:

“He likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender; he has good movement (always looking for space in between central defenders) and has pace to burn. We will have to wait on Hernandez’s finishing ability as he had no shots on goal.”

Since their friendly against England I have watched with interest Mexico’s remaining warm up games. Against Holland, Hernandez created space with an intelligent run which allowed him to score unmarked with a clinical header. He scored a further two against Gambia, both typical goal poaching goals. Although Hernandez failed to score against Italy, I remember a world class turn in the penalty area creating a chance for himself. We also saw an improvement in his ability to link up play which had been lacking in previous warm up games.

The opening game of the World Cup now had extra spice as Mexico faced the host nation. To my dismay Hernandez started the match on the bench. I found this strange as he had started the majority of Mexico’s warm up matches. He eventually made an appearance late in the second half but failed to make an impact.

Following the poor display from Mexico’s forwards against South Africa I had hoped Hernandez would start against France. He eventually had his chance to shine as a replacement for Franco and shine he did! Most of you have probably seen goal, how impressive was his ability and composure to finish so coolly? The first one on one opportunity for Hernandez I’ve seen and he didn’t fail to deliver. Perhaps highlights the missed opportunity from Heskey…

My opinion has altered little from the initial impression. Hernandez and Owen share similar attributes: both have natural striker’s instinct; their movement is simply world class, always on the move looking for space dragging defenders this way & that way. Hernandez has pace to burn similar to a young Owen and seemingly both are capable of finishing when an opportunity arises.

This lad wasn’t bought to sell shirts in Mexico, he is the real deal. I’m really looking forward to see how he performs in the red shirt of Man United.

What do you think?

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17 Comments

  1. I know some of our coaching staff have compared him to Solskjaer in terms of his finishing and reading of he game.

  2. Jason Freeman on

    Good article mate. Hernandez is the reason why I think Michael Owen has to stay next season, the amount of things he can pass on to him is incredible. I don’t think he will start much in the first half season, I think he’ll be eased in to the very tough Premier League, but anything he lacks in physicality, he’s got in pace, the amount of defenders I can see pulling him down by his shirt is a weapon to behold.

  3. I’ve been very impressed with him in all the games I have seen him play in. He has a good touch, his movement is excellent and his goal was very well taken – good composure. I hope he gets plenty of games at United next season.

  4. good finsh by herna. agree his gong to be the new owen. i was watching your on sky sports last nite. and the a monment of stick rooney got was un call for. it is not his fault the survice he is getting is crape. thaths whiy i hate england fans and the media. if i or wayne i retrie after the world cup e might be saying is he of his head no scholes did it. and looks at him now enjioying football and enjoying life no media perssure. i hope england wont wi the world cup after what they said about wayne. you might disagree with me thats how i feel. i am every set over wayne is not a one man team

  5. I think he is fast, moves well… and I was impressed vs france by his reading of the game, especially playing the offside trap for his goal, and a couple of occasions where he was only just offside.
    And also his mentality, in mexico there were calls for him to start vs france, instead of being big headed and sulking because he didn’t he came on and worked hard, and took his chance well.

    I think that mentality will be really beneficial at United where his chances might be sparing at first. If he keeps working hard and takes his chances, I see him being No.3 striker quite soon, or at least sharing that job with Kiko if or when Berba/Owen leave. His fitness will be important, as we’ve seen with Kiko having frustrating niggles for the first half of the season when he should have been playing more of a part. I think if he hadn’t have been injured as much we wouldn’t have missed rooney quite so much (!) Having both Kiko and Chico waiting in the wings will up the games of the three main strikers too, especially Rooney i think.

  6. Hello again!

    I agreed on your original post re: this kid. I was a bit disappointed to hear someone on TV make a statement that Mexico is a great merchandising market. Not sure if it was during the France game or not. Maybe I misheard it, but it was a bit misleading cos this kid will be a regular in a year or two for club and country. Again, I dont think it was aimed at this siging in particular but it got my back up a little. He is level headed, is a 3rd generation player and has legendary parent figures to keep his feet on the ground too. I like this guy, a lot. Potential is there.

    On a cautionary note, and without sending this post onto a different topic (let’s not bring up last night’s game, please!!), I’m not sure how Rooney will play with this guy. Defoe, Crouch and Owen don’t play well with Rooney, nor does Berbatov. I think of him as more than a bench prospect but it all comes down to how he gels with Rooney. Right now, Rooney for club and country seems to be a lone ranger who desperately needs a 4-3-3 United style in order to score. Hernandez doesn’t fit into that formation me. Fergie has found yet another gem and the value and pre-W-cup signing seems justified. How much would we pay now?

    Ps on the value of the marketing in mexico…

    http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=6649824

  7. that link doesn’t seem to have pasted properly!

    the reports on the official United site, 16/06/2010 08:02, Report by Steve Bartram called Mexico embraces United.

  8. Hmmmmm. Making a judgement on a player after watching him for 120 mins??? People like you need to chill out and don’t put any pressure on the boy. This happened to Forlan when he was here, maybe it people wern’t to quick to label players we would still have him.

  9. i here today were in for wesley senijder. i think he be a great sing. plays the ganme on the deck. scores goals makes goals. takes free kicjs corners. good defenvise player as well. it is jiust what we need to life in up old trafford.

  10. Alexis Sanchez’s agent claims Manchester United want to sign the Udinese forward.

    “My partner is currently in England working on the transfer of Alexis,” Felicevich told Setanta.com.

    “Yes, we have spoken to Manchester United, but not just to United. We have also held talks with other English teams. We are trying to do the transfer this summer.”

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