One goal this late in a season shouldn’t, but it still might change the perception of what has been overall a horrible experience for Javier Hernandez with Real Madrid, before his loan deal ends and he heads back to Manchester United and an unknown future.
Instead of finding himself starting for a big club or maybe an even smaller one but most importantly playing, Javier Hernandez has been reduced to small minutes and garbage time substitutions over the last two years, both at Old Trafford and obviously at Real Madrid, where it was always quite evident that he wasn’t going to make it.
Chicharito seemed like he was going to be a European football star, something that Mexico, a nation obsessed with football, hasn’t had in a very long time. But after doing very well in a super sub, efficient close range scorer for Manchester United, came the changes that derailed his career. First came David Moyes, and then came the loan, instead of being sold to Juventus or any other club that has the ability to give him more minutes.
Hernandez hasn’t turned into a fringe bench player just because of bad luck or coaches not liking him. He is a flawed player, limited in a great number of ways. He is a very mediocre passer and has almost no long range shooting ability. He doesn’t do much with the ball unless he’s in the box. Yes, he has fantastic positioning and quickness, but his misses can make you pull out a good chunk of hair almost every time.
But maybe his 88th minute goal against Atletico Madrid, helping Real Madrid avoid another 30 excruciating minutes of playing against a club that tries to suck the life out of every match they’re involved in, and make the Champions League semi final, be a late kickstarter to what seems to be a fading career and a failure of a season.
Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are out for a couple of weeks. If Hernandez isn’t going to make the most of this opportunity now, he’ll have nothing to show for when he goes back to Manchester United, where already it seems like a very difficult job of actually finding himself in the Van Gaal rotation.