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Cole: Chicharito will keep scoring
Published : 23 Jul 2011 13:13:00Rss feed
Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole is confident Javier Hernandez will survive the notorious "second-season syndrome". Hernandez's introduction to the Premier League went far better than even manager Sir Alex Ferguson expected. A goalscorer on his debut against Chelsea in the Community Shield, the 22-year-old went on to snaffle 20 goals and produce performances that earned him a starting spot in last season's Champions League final, ahead of both Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen. After being given three weeks off to recover from his country's triumphant Gold Cup campaign, in which he finished top scorer with seven, it is anticipated Hernandez will join his new team-mates in New York, where they will fly to immediately after Saturday evening's encounter with Chicago Fire at Soldier Field. It marks the start of a three-game countdown to United's crunch Community Shield clash with Manchester City at Wembley on August 7 and that start of the true test of Hernandez's talent. Cole, who bagged 12 goals in 12 Premier League games during his first half-season at Newcastle, then followed up with 34 in 40, has no doubts Hernandez is up to the task. "Why shouldn't he withstand second-season syndrome?" said Cole, who was carrying out an organised signing session at the home of United's sponsors Aon. "He is very fortunate. He wants to learn and become a better player. If you have that attitude, you have a great chance." Cole does accept next term will be the "acid test" of whether the former Chivas player will confirm himself to be a player of true Premier League quality. Even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, to whom Hernandez is so often likened, struggled a little bit. Cole though thinks Hernandez earned himself plenty of breathing space with his efforts last term. "If he plays half as well as he did last season and scores half as many goals, everyone would be absolutely delighted with him," said Cole. "He has already proved people wrong. No-one expected him to do so well. "It was a new team, a new culture and new football. But the way he turned it around was phenomenal. "The thing is, in the Premier League, if you have good movement, you always have half a chance and I love his movement. "He pulls defenders into areas where they don't want to go. "You don't see a lot of central defenders working the centre-backs but he does. That is why he gets so many chances to score." And, the additional by-product is that because defenders are so scared of Hernandez's pace, Wayne Rooney is afforded more room to terrorise as well. "Defenders have to think," said Cole. "They are worried about Javier's movement which allows Wayne can do what he does. "It is nice to see and when they are playing well, it is very hard to stop."