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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez: What’s happening with our Mexican pace-man?

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Javier Hernandez and Fernando Llorente of Tottenham Hotspur clash during Tottenham’s 3-2 win over West Ham United
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

With the last few games proving scoreless for Chicharito, it’s rumoured he’s becoming rather unhappy under the leadership of West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, and he surely has his reasons too. From being played out of position to being lone striker, Chicharito has had some teething issues to life at the London Stadium, however, it was well and truly shown at the London Stadium in West Ham’s 1-0 win over Swansea City before the international break.

After being substituted off for Diafra Sakho in the 78th minute, the Mexican’s frustration was caught by television cameras as he shrugged to his fellow teammates, presumably after being asked why he was subbed off. Now, in this instance, it may be taken as hearsay, but the striker was clearly frustrated with the decision from Slaven Bilic following this.

West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League
Chicharito battles Martin Olsson of Swansea City
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

His last goal for West Ham United did occur during our 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur where he managed to score inside the box, beating Spurs captain Hugo Lloris, which coincidentally was the last time Chicharito played the full 90 minutes. In saying that, he has been used as a super-substitution as he’s come on to try swing the game towards West Ham’s favour, although without much luck.

In our away clash against Tony PulisWest Bromwich Albion, Hernandez was subbed on in place for Andre Ayew after 76 minutes - a decision we all felt was a positive move for the team at the time, however he was clearly frustrated with the 0-0 draw at the end of the game.

Let’s go back even further to our 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town AFC earlier in September where he was a substitution for Andre Ayew again, after 64 minutes. While in this game, his substitution didn’t have much of an impact in the game, it was his home debut for the Claret and Blue side, which saw him somewhat happy to be a substitute.

But is he just here to be a substitute though? This appears to be the question on various forms of social media from West Ham fans.

Slaven Bilic remains in his crunch period where he’s having to prove himself to the West Ham United board to bring home decent results and those all important points for our Premier League campaign, however he is utilizing Chicharito in an incorrect manner.

Chicharito needs a partner up top to help get the goals in to achieve the overall objective that is win games, however, we’ve seen him out on the wing and operate as a lone-striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. To the new fan, this may be okay, however for Hernandez, it appears this isn’t beneficial whatsoever. The question on our minds, when it comes to Chicharito’s partners is, who will be a good partner up top with Chicharito?

Diafra Sakho

West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League
Diafra Sakho pokes the ball past Swansea City keeper Lukasz Fabianski in West Ham’s 1-0 win
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The Senegalese international has enjoyed a run of good form since returning to full fitness following his season out with injury last season and is trying to prove to Slaven Bilic that he is the man to help Chicharito up top for the Premier League as well as the Carabao Cup competition.

So far this season, he’s made six appearances in the Premier League, scoring once, as well as making two appearances in the Carabao Cup, scoring in both appearances. With goals flying left, right and center from the striker, he could make the perfect partner for Chicharito in a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation.

Currently, Sakho has just this season remaining on his contract, however should he continue to produce quality performances between now and next May, he could see himself receiving a new contract, if he doesn’t leave come January.

Andy Carroll

West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League
Andy Carroll has an attempt on goal against Swansea City
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

This is a difficult one as we have seen Carroll paired up with Chicharito a couple of times, and it appears this partnership hasn’t necessarily worked at this stage, with many fans questioning Slaven’s decision to pair the two up top together. The Geordie does have the potential to aide Chicharito as he is an aerial threat on the pitch, bringing the ball down from set pieces and whatnot.

However, the partnership hasn’t worked thus far and remains to be a “watch this space” scenario.

Marko Arnautovic

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Marko Arnautovic battles Serge Aurier of Tottenham Hotspur
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Although not necessarily a striker, Arnautovic is another player who has the ability to partner up with Chicharito up top. His prowess and lethality does give Hernandez a helping hand as Arnie’s crosses could be good for making those quick runs into the box and slipping a ball or two past the opposition keeper.

The Austrian does share something in common with Hernandez - both are recent arrivals at West Ham United following a semi-successful Summer transfer window.

Could he be the partner for Chicharito…?

Toni Martinez

West Ham United - Training Session
Toni Martinez and Pedro Obiang
Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images

What about Toni Martinez? After impressing the Hammers faithful on the 2017/18 Pre-Season Tour, Martinez has since dropped back into the U-23 Premier League 2 side and has since missed out on first team football, for now. While not necessarily ready for the Premier League just yet, there remains a significant amount of hope for the young striker as he continues to flourish under Terry Westley’s direction and leadership in the U-23 side.

Do you think Martinez deserves the opportunity to be paired up with Chicharito up top for a Premier League game?

No matter what may occur between now and the end of the season, the Mexican’s feelings have been shown to us all. Something isn’t quite right with him at the moment. Whether it’s a case of homesickness or just a case of bad form, we can all be sure Chicharito is going to find himself soon, and he will terrorise opposition defenses, however our current focus needs to be fixing our defence.

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