Chicha: No egos here
Javier Hernandez believes a distinct lack of egotism in United’s first team squad and a willingness from the players to work for each other is key to the Reds’ excellent recent form.
Sir Alex Ferguson is managing a large squad of players, all of whom want to be involved on a regular basis. There is healthy competition for places but Hernandez says individual glory is never placed above collective success.
“It’s a real strength of this team that there is such a good atmosphere among the players,” Hernandez told ManUtd.com. “Everyone gets on and there are no egos.
“I don’t think, ‘I only have my job and that is what I concentrate on’. Here we want to win trophies and if we want to do that then we need to help each other and be supportive. You don’t just look out for yourself, you look out for your team-mates and each other.”
It’s an admirable and encouraging approach considering Hernandez is competing for match minutes with Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck in United’s attack. But the four forwards get on and urge each other forward.
“When I play with Robin, Wazza or Danny, we always talk a lot about positioning, movement or our defensive duties,” Chicharito explains. “You need to communicate and encourage each other. The strikers all play for each other – there were a few passes I gave to Danny against West Ham, and Robin and Wazza are great when I play alongside them, looking to pick out my runs.”
That attitude brings a freedom to the way the players and the team performs. “In the history of Manchester United, the team plays a very direct, attacking game,” Chicharito adds. “We want to get to the goal as quickly as we can. We play and whether it ends in a goal or a goal-kick, we want to play with speed. But the important thing at this club is that we can express ourselves.
“We don’t feel too much pressure because every time we go out on the field the gaffer tells us, ‘Go out, enjoy yourself and do your best’, and we do what we do on the training ground because if you watched some of our training sessions the quality is so high. That’s been important to us doing well so far this season. But we are not saying that it’s over [in the league]. We have a lot of confidence but we know there are a lot of difficult games coming.”
Hernandez hopes to get plenty more football with the FA Cup, league and Champions League all opportunities to continue his good record in front of goal this term. The Mexican striker hit 20 goals in his first season at Old Trafford and this term he has netted 12 times – matching his tally for the entire 2011/12 campaign. Progress and personal development are never far from Chicharito’s mind, although he discusses it in a team context.
“I am always looking to improve my game, whether that’s my play outside the box or inside it,” he says. “I’m not saying I’m the perfect player inside the box. There is still work for me to do and I try to improve there. I’m learning all the time but the reason I want to improve is so that I can help the team.
“It’s not just that I want to score more goals, I want to be able to help the team and whether it’s me scoring or someone else I don’t mind. It’s a group sport and so I want to do what I can to help us get the right results every week.”