Javier Hernandez will face up against Robin van Persie and Louis van Gaal tonight when Mexico take on Holland in their World Cup round of 16 match.
Hernandez will more than likely be on the bench once more for Mexico, despite scoring in the 3-1 victory over Croatia, whereas Van Persie will be in the starting XI after his suspension for Holland’s final group game.
It is a stark contrast in fortunes from the last World Cup where Van Persie was nowhere near the striker he is today and Hernandez was the bright new thing.
Coming into the 2010-11 season, Van Persie had endured yet another injury plagued season at Arsenal whereas Hernandez had secured a move to Old Trafford and highlighted himself as a prospect to be wary with two goals in the World Cup compared to Van Persie, who managed just one, despite starting every game into the run up to the final.
And now, after earning a place in the starting XI after the 2010 World Cup, Hernandez once again finds himself on the bench, with an uncertain club future, whereas Van Persie has found happiness with a manager who he enjoys a special relationship with. It has been something of a “Moyes effect” for Hernandez.
The striker, although not a regular in the starting XI under Sir Alex Ferguson, started a lot more games in his final season than he did under Moyes, despite scoring two winners against his Everton side in recent years.
In the end, with the lack of faith shown in him by Moyes, Hernandez scored just nine goals in 35 matches with four of those coming in the league in 24 games. All in all, he started just 13 games throughout the entire season, five of those in cup competitions.
His lack of confidence and poor form has led to him being dropped in favour of the 30-year-old Oribe Peralta for Mexico.
It has been a different story for Van Persie who, despite having several fallouts under David Moyes, remains first choice for both United and Holland.
After being dropped following a disastrous Euro 2012 tournament, Van Persie trained hard to get into Van Gaal’s good graces.
Since then he has been named captain of his country, become the the record goal scorer for Holland and has a manager who he would walk on hot coals for.
Van Gaal’s faith in Van Persie has been rewarded with three goals in the opening two World Cup games. In the last two World Cups, he only managed two goals in total. That is what having a manager who has faith in you can do.
With a place in the quarter-final of the World Cup to play for, both Hernandez and Van Persie will pull out all the stops to prove that they do deserve to have their names go down in history.