After a simply remarkable first season that exceeded everyone’s expectation, can our favorite Mexican build on the success in his second season?
Maybe it’s the pessimist in me, but I’m inclined to believe that we’re going to be a bit disappointed. For a player to come to England and be exposed to the rigors and physicality of the style of play while still playing as many games as he did, he must undoubtedly have been drained by the time he stepped out on the field at Wembley.
Now, take into account the fact that he went immediately from England to the USA to represent his country at the Gold Cup and ended up started all 6 games for his country. Not only did he start every game of the tournament, he also played 533 out of the 540 total minutes (plus stoppage time) that Mexico was on the field. That’s an extra 6 competitive games that add further strain on his ability to recover.
Obviously, Sir Alex was well aware of this and has allowed Chicharito an extended break before rejoining the team midway through their schedule of preseason friendlies in the States. Whether or not he’ll feature in any of the games remains to be seen, but there will surely be hordes of disappointed fans if he doesn’t suit up for any of the games Stateside.
I would like to be wrong on this obviously. Maybe he won’t have a second year dip in form, but will instead be faster, stronger and even more clinical with his finishing. Yet, it’s hard for me to imagine him scaling those heights in his sophomore season without a full summer to recover. My best guess is that he starts the season off a little sluggish due to fatigue and teams being more prepared for him, and that he eventually rediscovers his best form after the Christmas break.
United seem to do the same anyway. And we haven’t done too badly for ourselves. So, maybe that isn’t the worst thing in the world.