JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 10: Carlos Vela of Mexico in action during a Mexico training session ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa at Soccer City Stadium on June 10, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Real Sociedad left Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on Sunday with an unfortunate 1-4 loss against CF Granada. The visitors played a man down for 50 minutes after Asier Illarramendi’s red card just before the end of the first half.
Six days ago, with Carlos Vela in the starting eleven, Real Sociedad convincingly defeated Míchel’s Sevilla FC 2-0. Vela scored the first goal and assisted the second. Against Granada, Vela played only 25 minutes in the second half, and the scoreboard read 1-3 in favor of Abel Resino’s men when Carlos stepped onto the pitch.
El quintanarroense came in late and was unable to do much in Granada territory. His role on the pitch was to snatch a loose ball and create danger, but to his dismay, Granada’s defense and goalkeeper kept the tempo high from the first minute to the last.
On Thursday, Javier "Little Pea" Hernández made his debut in Europa League and managed to leave his name on the score sheet. The goal came after a splendorous and electric counterattack, in which Rooney, Valencia, and Hernandez closed out the Round of 32 series against Ajax with an exclamation point on an authoritative 2-0 win at Amsterdam Arena.
Chicharito, after a rough and injury-plagued start to the season, seems to be returning to the level that awed England and Europe around this time of the season last year. Defenders now see Chicharito with different eyes, perhaps more poachable (i.e. Ashley Cole, just to mention one). It has taken some time for Hernandez to develop formulas to elude the new schemes created exclusively for him and his movements inside the box.
This week FEMEXFUTs website posted the list of Mexican players who have been chosen by Chepo de La Torre and his staff to play in a February 29th friendly that also marks José Néstor Pekerman’s debut as Colombia’s head coach. The list includes the following players from outside Mexico's domestic league: Giovani dos Santos, Efraín Juárez, Carlos Vela, Héctor Moreno, Jonathan dos Santos, Andrés Guardado, Pablo Barrera, Javier Hernández, Francisco Javier Rodríguez, Guillermo Ochoa, and Rafael Márquez.
Carlos Vela’s return to Mexico’s national team is revitalizing news. Having another well-rounded player to play the forward position for Mexico is always golden. At 22, Vela has jumped around from club to club, never finding a place to call home. His professional contract stipulates he is an Arsenal FC player, but Emirates fans only recall him for his fabulous chip-ins in FA Cup or Carling Cup games, and his scarce appearances in Champions League games, in which he scored once the game was practically resolved.
Vela’s goals are always explosive; few strikers have his prodigious left foot. Chicharito’s goals are not spectacular, but effective. Little Pea has worked his entire career to perfect his consistency, while Vela has worried too much on making everything classy. Vela’s name appears on love magazines like TV y Novelas, while Chicharito’s name appears in magazines like Four Four Two.
In conclusion, both are excellent strikers with a long list of stories to tell at a young age. They are also strikers that offer different variables on the field. Many questions float in the air: Are these two players compatible? Will we commonly see a Chicharito-Vela tandem in upcoming national team games?
Both players know each other fairly well, so it will be interesting to see if Vela can learn anything from Chicharito during the training camps. And as surprising as it might seem, Chicharito may also learn from Vela.