Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa says it’s only natural the fans are supporting ostracised goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Casillas was dropped for Madrid’s 3-2 defeat to Malaga before Christmas and the big question ahead of this Sunday’s game against Real Sociedad is whether Coach Jose Mourinho will dare to leave Spain’s no 1 out again in favour of the inexperienced Antonio Adan.
“I have no idea who will play,” said Arbeloa at today’s pre-match Press conference. “But what’s important is that the team wins. I’m delighted that the fans support Iker, but that does not mean we don’t support Adan or the Coach. At Madrid we all want to win the title, the fans too.
“This is sport, we go through better and worse spells. Iker could spend one, two or three days on the bench, but will continue to demonstrate how good he is and help us win titles. It’s normal that the fans support him, admirable, but what’s important is that that the fans are mostly with the team.
“Every week there are changes, Iker is the first to take it normally, without pouting, training harder than ever and proving to be a great professional.”
Finally turning to football matters the 29-year-old looked ahead to the La Real game and denied it was more or less important than the forthcoming Copa del Rey second leg against Celta Vigo.
“The first game after Christmas is always important and they’re playing well, winning away from home. We want 2013 to be special and have to start well.
“The two games are equally important. We can’t lay down arms in the League. You can’t choose matches if you’re a professional.”
The former Liverpool man ended by reflecting on the Merengues failings this season.
“We all want to get out of this dynamic and get on a winning streak. The team has not been as bad as it looks, it is the details that make us lose points. It is a combination of circumstances. In addition Barcelona have won all but one game, which is great merit on their part, but we’re hoping they’ll fall away.”