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Why Chicharito shouldn’t start at the World Cup

Wigan Athletic v West Ham United - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has had many memorable moments in his career, from his 2015 Champions League Quarterfinals goal against Athletico Madrid, to winning the English Premier League with Manchester United and even breaking Jared Borgetti’s goalscoring record for El Tri.

Mexico v Croatia - International Friendly
Dos Santos and Javier “Chicharrito” Hernandez celebrate Hernandez’s record setting goal.
Photo by Omar Vega/LatinContent/Getty Images

Recently, however, he has been hitting some low points in his career, only scoring four goals for West ham this year after his big transfer from Bayer Leverkusen. Recent news even had him joining Besiktas during the winter transfer window.

With that being said, here are five reasons why Chicharito shouldn’t start for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup.

1. He’s not as prolific as he once was.

Javier was the fastest clocked player at the 2010 World Cup. Hernandez completed his transfer to Manchester United after said World Cup and was prolific scoring-wise, netting 59 goals in three and a half seasons with the Red Devils. A lot of those goals with him coming on as a substitute.

Manchester United v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off First Leg Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

He’s not as fast as he once was, and he will be 30-years-old when the World Cup kicks off in the summer. Yes, he did break Borgetti’s scoring record of 47 goals for the Mexico national team, but since, business has been slow for the Mexican striker, only scoring eight goals from last May until now for both club and country. That’s a long span, and it only makes it longer when you realize last summer was the Confederations Cup and Chicharito only scored once against Portugal in their 2-2 draw.

2. Chicharito doesn’t show in big tournaments.

There’s a difference between showing up domestically for your national team and showing up on the international stage for the national team. Domestically against weaker competition, Hernandez has been lights out in World Cup qualifying and Gold Cup tournaments. Past examples are his hattrick against El Salvador in the 2011 Gold Cup, the same tournament in which he was the top scorer with seven goals and was named MVP of the tournament.

FBL-WC2014-QUALIFIER-USA-MEX Photo credit should read Paul VERNON/AFP/Getty Images

Against higher caliber teams, Chicharito has struggled. In the past two World Cups, Javier has only scored three times. In 2010, he scored goals after coming on as a substitute against France, also scoring against Argentina in Mexico’s 3-1 defeat in the round of 16. In the most recent World Cup, Chicharito scored against Croatia after coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute, but in all due fairness, he came on as a substitute every game because Miguel Herrera Herrera felt Oribe Peralta was a better option. His best international showing was his three goals during the 2013 Confederations Cup, and he also scored against Portugal in the 2017 Confederations Cup. This brings his grand total of goals scored in international tournaments to seven, the same amount he scored at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011.

3. If he doesn’t score a goal does he even contribute?

The reason that he has received the “super sub” name is he can’t contribute to successful build-up play the way a more gifted number can. Things like dropping lower to receive the ball and hold-up play. Javier is known for his time in the box, making runs, and being in the right place at the right time. Watching some games of Chicharito trying to find a teammate or dribble past his defender usually end up with his team losing possession. Every now and then he will show the competence to make that kind of play work, but very seldom is he doing that on a consistent basis.

4. Mexico need to think about the future.

Chile - Germany: FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Chicharito has been great for El Tri, but when do we start thinking about the future of El Tri? The FMF needs to do a better job of phasing in and phasing out players. This has been a huge issue, as Mexico are still trying to replace Rafa Marquez who is still in contention to make the 2018 World Cup. It’s honestly embarrassing they can’t take notes from countries like Germany. FMF has had so much success at youth levels and still struggle to let it translate to the senior national team.

5. Mexico are stacked on offense.

Hirving Lozano scores a spectacular goal against Russia in 2017 Confederations Cup.
Photo credit should read ROMAN KRUCHININ/AFP/Getty Images

With more talented attacking players than ever, Juan Carlos Osorio will have a tough time deciding who starts and who doesn’t. Players like Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, Tecatito Corona, Raul Jimenez, and Giovani Dos Santos are all capable attackers. That’s not even mentioning the young players on the rise like Henry Martin, who was just called up for El Tri and scored a hat trick this past weekend against Lobos BUAP. With a plethora of options to choose from, Osorio shouldn’t have Chicharito as a lock. He can include him in the mix and coming off the bench, but he shouldn’t start at the 2018 World Cup.