Iker Casillas has the number one goalkeeping jersey for Real Madrid since 1999. 12 years as the last line of defence for one of the most successful club sides in modern soccer history.
He's won 5 league titles, 4 Spanish Super cups, 2 Champion's Leagues, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 2 EURO Cups, 1 World Cup and 1 Spanish Cup. 12 years and just one Copa Del Rey in 2010/2011 Season.
Why that odd statistic? It turns out Iker Casillas never played a Copa Del Rey final before the one he won. Madrid's priorities were La Ligaand Champion's League titles. Same with Arsenal's and Wenger's priorities
I can say with complete certainty, that tonight night, Arsene Wenger will field a completely rotated almost B-Arsenal side to face Reading in League Cup. If you field a B-team in a League Cup challenge, that means your priorities are set elsewhere.
The Premier League Title or Champions League where the A-team plays maybe? Question. Does Arsenal have a realistic chance at gunning for Premier League glory or Champion's League title when Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are in top form?
Remember the last time Arsenal realistically flirted with silverware? It was the cup final against Birmingham. Birmingham was on the way to relegation, yet Wenger succeeded to mount an ersatz Arsenal side and comfortably lose the game. Someone prove me wrong before I proclaim myself a crystal ball specialist tonight.
Sometimes one needs to concentrate on the crumbs that constitute the loaf. When Jose Mourinho got to Real Madrid, Los Merengues where experiencing a title drought.
Mourinho made it clear and simple ... getting the first title available. That's how the Special one played his toughest Real Madrid side against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey. He did the same at Chelsea, won the Carling Cup as a precursor to their first league title in 2005.
Incidentally, Iker Casillas got his first Copa Del Rey because Mourinho thought any silverware was good enough to kick-start the stalling giant. Wenger needs to adopt similar tactics for Arsenal to stem its title drought.
If Walcott, Oxlade, Vermaelen, Wilshire, Ramsey etc get a taste of any silverware, I bet they'll want more next time.
Should Arsenal take the League Cup more seriously?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald