NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 19: Javier Hernandez of Manchester United reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on April 19, 2011 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
The ball heads into the first row of Red Devil fans at Old Trafford. Javier "Chicharito" Hernández has again missed a great chance to get his name on the scoresheet in a game that ultimately concludes in a 2-0 victory for last year’s Premier League champions.
Manchester United now enters the last game of the season tied for first place with Manchester City, both with 86 points. Mancini’s boys stand first with a goal differential of + 61, compared with Manchester United's + 53 margin. The Citizens can also boast that in both Manchester Derbies during the current season they finished with the victory.
The Mexican forward, who no longer will take part in the London Olympics, has scored a total of 12 goals throughout the season, compared to the 20 he tallied last year. Sir Alex Ferguson disapproved of the Olympics participation, claiming that Hernández needs to rest this summer in order to fulfill a successful third season at United.
His name on Ferguson’s starting eleven sporadically appears, and when he is on the pitch, he overthinks his predatory instincts. Attempts to embellish the play through an extra pass or dribble only conclude with a poor shot or another wasted opportunity to put the team on the scoreboard.
Hernández’s dilemma is beneficial, rather than counterproductive. He is searching for his true footballer identity in a season that Manchester United has coped with some out of the ordinary moments. It's been an evolving year for both the team and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The early and surprising Champions League elimination served as a preamble to the Red Devil’s inconsistent season. The team’s vulnerability came to the world’s attention thanks to spectacular games by Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao at Old Trafford and San Mamés during the Europa League series.
Yet, after suffering these defeats -- and Manchester City’s 6-1 at Old Trafford -- Manchester United is battling to finish atop the league once again. The essence is not mere coincidence, as to be a Red Devil means you intricately have some gene in your DNA that makes you a different footballer from the millions of other players.
Manchester City closes the season playing in front of its home crowd at Eastlands against Queens Park Rangers, a team battling relegation status. Mark Hughes, a former Manchester United player, former Manchester City manager, and current QPR main man, could help light up an unprecedented Sunday evening.
A week ago in Spain, journalists like @maldinisport and @Sergio_Santome debated on how many goals Manchester United had to score against Swansea City in order to go into the last game of the season with a legitimate chance. Some said four, others said six, but the reality is that Manchester City has to win its match to become champion; a tie or a loss could prove costly.
Sir Alex and his boys fly to Sunderland and must win at the Stadium of Light. With the confirmation of Chris Smalling and Danny Welbeck’s injuries, the name of Chicharito takes the spotlight one last time this current season.
This season, Manchester United has not demonstrated a style of game that makes you fall in love. The last minute goals have been rare, the creation at the heart of the pitch has been uncommon, and the passes from the wings are rarely deadly. Only few members have enchanted with their play, and as a collective unit the team needs to significantly improve this upcoming summer.
The team is experiencing an important transition, and whether victorious or not tomorrow evening, Sir Alex Ferguson and his team will change for the better. One of those members is Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, whose dreams today more than ever, are colored red.