Javier Hernandez was likely a nervous wreck as the game kicked off between Mexico and New Zealand in their 2014 Brazil World Cup play-off last night but as the full time whistle blew for Mexico’s landslide 5-1 victory, he would have been breathed a sigh of relief.
Mexico were lucky to be there. Ironically, USA saved Mexico as their last gasp goals against Panama took them to the play-off. Without them, their 2014 World Cup campaign would already be over. For Chicharito, the result tonight would have been the perfect tonic for his current situation.
Back in Mexico, Hernandez’s bad form hadn’t gone done well with the fans and his lack of playing time at Manchester United was blamed for his dip. He was partly held responsible for Mexico’s struggles in the qualifying. They were right on both accounts but with a four goal cushion, Mexico are hot favourites to book their place in Brazil and for Chicharito, that will be a huge weight off his shoulders.
If Mexico did not qualify for the World Cup, the knock-on effect on Chicharito would be dramatic. He loves playing for his country probably more so than United and would carry a burden of responsibility for failing to qualify that would really impact on his usually infectiously upbeat attitude.
From a United perspective, Mexico qualifying is the best possible news. It will give Hernandez the vigour and drive to work even harder to make sure he takes his opportunities when he gets them. Either that or he may seek a move away in January but that seems unlikely.
There’s no question that a Chicharito without a World Cup to play towards will be weaker and David Moyes needs the whole squad to be as strong as possible.
As much as Mexico thrashing New Zealand is good news for Chicharito, it is potentially great news for United.