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Chicharito: 2nd Season Stutter?

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.

Summer Fatigue

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.




  1. Rimmerstweets

    July 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm


    Again, totally agree if you’re referring to the PL, but a bit of this talk has emanated from the question ‘how do we beat Barca’.

    Barca don’t play a 4-3-3 like a few ignorant people out there will have you believe. It’s actually closer to a 4-4-2 imo.

    This is my take on how Barca line up:


  2. Stephen

    July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    FU, our midfield is our weakest link, Carrick as I have said has only played well for 6 months in the past two years. Anderson is at best inconsistant and at worst not United quality. Fletch is a decent player but far from World Class in the mould of Robson, Whiteside, Keane and Scholes. Giggs will be 38 in November so lets get real, we have lost Scholes that is one player, Hargo is another and Giggs will be 38. I am all about keeping my fingers crossed about Cleverley but he needs to be broken in gently, yes we need two midfield players in my view.

  3. Rimmerstweets

    July 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I agree with @Stephen.

    Fletcher and Anderson just aren’t good enough. Carrick is good enough but needs some protection.

    Different story for the PL granted, Ando and Fletch will do the job, but I think we’re talking UCL semi-final and beyond.

  4. Stephen

    July 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Carrick for needs needs to play in a 4-3-3, for me we would get the best out of him that way.

  5. donibrasco

    July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I think we are getting ahead of ourselves when we suggest moving Rooney to midfield.This player,like most English players is so over rated we as fans tend to believe the English hype.I have always seen the way Berba is criticized and we forget that for the time Rooney has been here,he has always been a starter and the rest have to adapt to play with him.A number one striker at any top club should at least be a contender for golden boot every season.Not ours.
    At United Fergie plays a big part on who succeeds and who does not.A case in point recently is Tevez.A quality player,better than Rooney in every sense was wasted on the bench,one time i was watching MUTV and some of the so called legends were saying he wasnt good enough.
    We should look beyond the hype and sign players that are really needed,stop the favoritism and let the players earn their places on the team.It is wrong to think a striker can be a long term solution for our midfield problem.

  6. Stephen

    July 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Funny, Rooney in the past two seasons has scored 50 goals in 84 games, Tevez has scored 52 in 81, I can’t quite see how Rooney is so bad and Tevez is so great, but this maybe me….

  7. Rimmerstweets

    July 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm


    Tevez – better than Rooney – are you fishing mate?

    The only time Tevez looked really really deadly were the last few games for United. Reason: He wanted to get the fans onside and use them against SAF for a new contract. It half worked, a few fickle/naive fans fell for it…..SAF didn’t.

  8. Football Uncovered

    July 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    @ Rimmers:
    i agree that is exactly how Barce line up. But we done have the players to play to the “barce style”. i dont believe we should try, i dont think anyone can match Xavi and Iniesta in midfield. So I believe the way to beat them is the way inter did in 2010…its ugly, but the only way if you ask me. We tried that, but missed our combative midfielder, Fletcher, and failed horribly.

    We should of lined up 4-3-3, the way we played in europe the season before.

  9. Rimmerstweets

    July 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    @F U

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating a change in playing style or philosophy here, I’m just playing about with the idea of ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’ like you said.

    Well 2009 and now 2011 sort of speak volumes when it comes down to answering that question for me. We were battered both times and from very early on (ok 2009 we started ok but…) in both games it was clear we were the 2nd best team out there.

    So, all I’m suggesting is that throughout the season it’s not beyond the realms to believe that United could easily beat teams at OT experimenting with an identical formula (I can’t bring myself to use the word formation!). That way when it comes to playing AGAINST it, we’re matched up and can attempt to give a good account of ourselves.

    Let’s face it, there isn’t that much difference between them and us (player v player – except 1-2 world class CMs) it’s just that the style of play puts more bodies in midfield and over-runs us, starves us of space and time thus forcing us into making simple errors.

    The positioning of the two forwards confuses the defence, that doesn’t mean our defence is weak. If our two forwards did the same job I’m sure Barca’s defenders would be confused too.

    Therefore, I look at our personnel and think that actually we’re probably well able to play that and play it effectively.

    David Villa / Pedro – Come from offside positions to play on the shoulder of the last defender after they’ve dragged the defender as far back into his own half as he can. Then pounces. Forgive me if I’m wrong but Hernandez is capable of that. Nani and probably Young also capable of doing this so both sides are covered.

    Messi sits in front of the midfield 3 and scores goals for fun – Rooney does this just as effectively if not as artistically.

    Carrick – Could get in the Barca team imo, needs to be protected but certainly has the same eye for a pass as Iniesta does he’s just not as comfortable on the ball hence the protection required.

    The defence speaks for itself. The names I’ve used on the diagram are not what / who I’m saying are the only players that can beat Barca, there’s others who could be used too. Park and Valencia could also find places in it. Berbatov on the other hand probably couldn’t unless Rooney was injured/suspended, even then he doesn’t work hard enough to do that job effectively for 90 minutes.

    So that just leaves @Stephens point that we need 2 CMs.

    I agree, Fletcher COULD do the chasing but I’m sure there’s better available and Anderson just isn’t up to scratch mentally or physically.

    Remember, the 3 CMs all rotate and help each other so you need a mix of skills in there but one needs to be slightly more defensive minded. Who do United have on their books in that position? No one, absolutely no one (Carrick has been bastardised in there to the detriment of his own game – shame on SAF for doing that btw). Hargreaves is/was awesome at that job because of his brains but those kind of players are not so easily found.

    All-in-all, I think we need to set our season up to beat Barca in May, otherwise they will dominate us for the forseeable future and we’ll still be discussing this in 2020.

  10. AndyCR7

    July 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Nicky Ajose sold to Peterborough! Craig is not gonna be happy 😆

  11. Rimmerstweets

    July 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm


    £300,000 is peanuts for him too. Not bad being able to do your son a favour like that is it! :mrgreen:

  12. webcrawler

    July 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Arturo Vidal and Ever Banega will solve our midfield circus..

  13. Moscow is my heaven

    July 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Real Madrid have signed Fabio Coentrao for 30 million euros.

    And Evra breathes again. 😀

  14. Grognard

    July 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    20LEgend: I think further to your point in post #64 is that in terms of creativity and attack, once Ronaldo showed up, United really emphasized their attack from the outside in. We allowed our wingers, Giggsy and Ronaldo to create and schem rather than the more traditonal and continental approach which has CM’s and AMF’s do that work. That is why many have said on this blog that we do not need an AMF, because in reality, we have played without one for a long time. I actually feel that as a team over the past few years, we resemble more of a 4-2-2-2 or 4-2-2-1-1 outfit. Two deep lying defensive midfielder, two wingers and two forwards or one striker and on CF. We tend to put a lot of our creative emphasis on what kind of space and room our wingers can give us. It works but for me is very one dimensional. I like the idea of a counter attacking team that has wide options but also has box to box central midfielders that cause a team to focus on the entire pitch to defend rather than just the edges and the box. Knowing our central midfielders will play back has let a lot of teams off the hook in defending us, but thankfully our wingers and forwards have been so good, that we still score goals aplenty despite that weakness in our game.

    I think back to the club we had early this century with our wide attack of Beckham, Giggs and our central midfield of Scholes and Keane and remember how much balance and variety we gave an old traditional 4-4-2. I’d give anything to find that balance in attack again.

  15. Grognard

    July 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Football Uncovered: “but I believe we have enough in our squad to deal with Scholesy’s retirement.” I think the last two European finals we have played in and the numerous bad performances over the past two seasons on the road would tell me that we are far from finding the replacement to Scholes, or Keane for that matter.

  16. 20LEgend

    July 5, 2011 at 7:10 pm


    It’s interesting that you feel Barca play 442. It seems like you are looking at where their players start off.

    Having watched them quite a few times, I still think that if we were to look at average touches for their front 6, it would be closer to a 4-3-3.
    Actually, perhaps even 3-5-2, given how far forward Alves gets and how deep Messi drops :mrgreen:

    What ever it is, they over-run teams in mid-field, with the personnel we have, I think it would be harder, not impossible, to beat Barca with 2 in central midfield.

    In terms of Rooney’s role in a front three, I don’t think him dropping deep to pick up the ball, or even pulling out to the left to find that pocket of space between the fullback and the central defender should be a problem as long the other two forwards are constantly interchanging positions with him.

  17. Grognard

    July 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    20LEgend: I agree in part to your theory that movement is instinctive but I also know for a fact that certain teams drill their players mercilessly on movement without the ball and promote a very quick one touch style of play with short triangular passing schemes that are designed to break down defensive walls and man to man marking. Barcelona use thei instinct but short one touch passing and quick movement off the ball is drilled into them and is the basis of their entire attack. It’s hard to beat a team that has all the players nearest the ball constantly moving and making darting runs into space thus giving the player with the ball numerous fast options to utilize. I mean really, we never see this from Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson or Gibson. Once in a while Scholes moves up and gets involved in this kind of interplay with Berba and Rooney and so does Giggs, but clearly not enough.

  18. Grognard

    July 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Stephen: Spending a lot may not be the United way but then again mate, why not do it once in a while? I have no problem spending 30 or 40 million on a player I see is worth it. I could care less as a fan of being fiscally responsible knowing fully that if the money is not spent on players it goes into the Glazer’s pocket. Yes I like the idea of reducing the debt and the best way is to put out a super competitive team that sells out and maximizes it’s economic potential with long runs in cup competitions and Europe. That requires going for great players sometimes and not just projects and kids. Sometimes you need 40 million to replace a Keane or Scholes. I say make it so.

  19. Grognard

    July 5, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Rimmerstweets: I regret to inform you that due to family pressures I am asking for an immediate transfer to Bayern Munich’s top blog in order to be closer to my family here in Canada. Grogito 😉 😉 😀 😀

  20. Grognard

    July 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Football Uncovered: Why do we need two CM’s? Well mate if winning the league or the Carling Cup is all you require then fine, but as for me and others like myself, European gold is all that matters and being top dog looking down on the likes of Barca and Madrid is everything I desire. Arsenal, Shitty, Liverpool and Chelsea are already our bitches. I headhunting for Europeans giants.

  21. Faizanutd

    July 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I took these pictures today when Van Der Sar came to KLCC. I managed to get only few pics as he only stayed for about five minutes instead of the scheduled thirty. I guess the United officials got scared after seeing the huge crowd.

  22. Rimmerstweets

    July 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm


    I don’t think they play 4-4-2 that’s my point about not wanting to use the word formation.

    Personally I’m calling it anything because it’s 4-3-3, it’s 4-4-2, it’s 3-5-2, it’s actually 2-3-1-2-1-2!! haha that’s why it’s pointless calling it anything.

    But, to counter it I think you need to understand it….
    To understand it I think you need to master it…..

  23. RMJ

    July 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    it seems oshea and brown are almost gone to would we need to get a left back as well?

  24. 20LEgend

    July 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Grognard: It would be interesting to see how many of our first team midfielders are drilled about movement. You do highlight a very good point about coaching. This is another area in which I think we have fallen behind Barca.

    I guess the typical midfielder produced by English academies is essentially a player who plays the game in straight lines (except Scholes!!!), whereas the Spain tend to produce players who play in short, sharp triangles.

  25. 20LEgend

    July 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Gibson is a player who sums up the “playing in straight lines” mentality. He generally tends to run up and down the field. His natural instinct is go for the killer pass or the shot. Touch, movement, distribution, tempo are not big parts of his game.

    Gerrard, for mine, is just a better version of Gibbo.

  26. Moscow is my heaven

    July 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm


    When you say Gerrard is a better version of Gibson, do you mean he can shoot, pass, tackle better, has more pace and isn’t shit? 8)

    The one thing I fear above all is the possibility of Anderson and Gibson forming the future partnership of United’s midfield 👿

    I’d also like to say that Hernandez HAS to work on his first touch, passing and dribbling over the summer. I know he’s a fox in the box but he cost himself a lot of promising situations by not being able to control his pace and keeping his composure. I know it sounds demanding after the season he had and the labours of the Gold Cup with Mexico, but he has the potential to be so good it’s actually scary.

  27. RedDevilEddy

    July 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Well, I just got bling in my ear. 😆 Thumbs up for supporting me, thumbs down if you think I’m a stupid dick! 😆 😆

  28. RedDevilEddy

    July 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    By the way, it’s almost like I feel sorry for Arsenal fans. What a sad summer for them, and what a sad future they seem to be going into. Did Wenger conclude a brain-transplant with that French Rap star he was dating, or has he just gone mad??

  29. Tevez

    July 6, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Moscow – Hernandez is not going to improve his first touch, passing or dribbling. As with all players, he is stuck with the technical skills which he has. They are developed in a player’s youth and cannot be improved upon. There will be times where he squanders a chance when played through on goal as he will be unable to adequately control the ball, perhaps because it has been zipped into him quickly or because it has been played to him at an awkward height. Similarly, he will continually lose the ball when played into his feet. Passes into a striker with their back to goal need to be driven, and he will be attempting to hold off a strong centre-half or coming towards the ball aswell. His control simply is not good enough to consistently retain possession in this way. Dribbling is not a part of his game and never will be, and his passing will always be short and simple. He is the new Pippo Inzaghi – a player who’s technical ability is actually frankly not good enough for the level he is playing at, but who justifies his place with truly great goalscoring instinct.

  30. johnsom33

    July 6, 2011 at 1:41 am

    @Rimmers FYI debating Tevez 😈 on this blog is pretty much off limits. We have had BATTLES regarding that guy. I promise you that you dont want to open that debate up again. We locked that debate in a chest and threw it in the Mariana’s trench, please o please lets leave it there. 😆 😆

  31. johnsom33

    July 6, 2011 at 1:56 am

    @tevez I have to disagree with that one. While its true the biggest leaps a player is going to make in his development occurs before the age of 18, it isn’t true that skills cant be worked upon. first touch, passing,and dribbling are all physical traits that can be improved with practice. Things like a players temperment, confidence and the way they see the game are things that are incredibly hard to improve upon when you reach full maturity.

  32. godzilla

    July 6, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Looks like Nasri has signed up for City for 19-20MM. We were also willing to pay that much so seems like he chose City or Arsenal made him choose City between the 2 Manchester teams. the 150K per week salary might be just a coincidence 😉 He wouldve been an ideal AMF for us to fill that spot, especially with the late runs he showed last year. With Luka preferring Chelsea, seems like we are running out of MF players to buy !

  33. 20LEgend

    July 6, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Grognard: Post 114 -> quality

    I agree, its no surprise that some of our most devastating performances have come when we have had more impetus from central midfield, together with the flanks.

  34. PissedOffRed

    July 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Is it really true Nasri is going to City? Kind of mad for Wenger to sell to a team that just pipped him for 3rd spot. Clichy wouldn’t be missed as much as Nasri… Where would Nasri fit in Shitty when they always play with 2 DMF?

    Is it only Sneijder left or we’ve signed our 3 players quota…… 😆

  35. Grognard

    July 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Well if it’s true Nasri chose City then I am relieved and vindicated as well. Relieved because I personally do not like him as a player and also find him soft, and vindicated because I always said that any loser who played for Arsenal would not have the class or good taste to chose us over a shit hole like Man City. Simply put, they deserve each other.

  36. Vignesh

    July 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

    As the situation goes with midfielders available in the market…i think united should atleast sign up charlie adams …either they can’t afford to pay the other players or teams want or these players dont want to play for united 😥

  37. Grognard

    July 6, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Now the problem that comes up when you procrastinate to sign a big name is that after the options dwindle down to just one or two, the teams that own those one or two players naturally hike the price up. Look for Sneijder’s price to go up. At the end of the day Fergie will fulfill my prediction and sign ZERO central midfielders.

  38. PissedOffRed

    July 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Inter have signed Alvarez according to so does it pave way for Sneijder to come to Man Utd? I hope Grog’s prediction is false…….

  39. Peter

    July 6, 2011 at 11:29 am

    What do the people on this site think about Arturo Vidal? I feel that he has the potential to be a Roy Keane type of player. He like Nasri has 1 year left on his contractand Leverkusen manager has stated that they do not want to sell to a local rival (Bayern).

  40. godzilla

    July 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Peter – is a german? If yes, forget about it. For Fergie to sign he has to be british or french or latin with an erection for Madrid.

  41. godzilla

    July 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    🙂 just kidding about the previous post. just despise the german hatred.

  42. Grognard

    July 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    PissedOffRed: I hope my prediction is false but just remember, when it comes to Sneijder there is still the Chelsea factor to consider and they have more money than us to throw at him salary wise. The good news is that Hiddink didn’t take the job or Sneijder would already be there. We are fast running out top options due to Fergie’s incredible ability to prolong and procrastinate until there is nobody left. Then he will come out and say that there is no value in the transfer market, that he showed interest in some players but they chose to go elsewhere and that he likes his team as it is and that we already spend over 50 million. And people wonder why I am cynical and why the Hell I am so fed up with Fergie?

  43. hellboy1

    July 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

    We all know anderson should be paying for a lesser team and why the fuck was carrick given a new contract i mean lets get real he is shit we need two top class midfielders if we are going to match barca in winning cl its fact sneidjer last year said i would love to join man u now this year he demands 250grand a week fuck him now he is being greedy we need players that play for the club first sell berba and few others and buy two midfielders one am and one dm 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

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