While the Lopez vs Casillas debate is somewhat of a dead horse, Im going to lay down some ideas for the weird way Ancelotti is going about it this year.
For the sake of this discussion, I’m going off of the assumption that both keepers are world class and negligibly different in ability. You may think Casillas is better, I might think lopez is better, regardless they have their strength and weaknesses. Also, Casillas was the first jersey I ever bought so I do love him so.
In both these ideas, I’m going to try to look past club politics and agree with the general consensus that playing two goalkeepers is a bad idea for both keepers and the team.
Theory A) Market Value
Casillas has started 4 games this season, he’s a world class goalie, he wants to start for Spain. All facts. If he doesn’t get more playing time he will begin considering leaving the club. Ancelotti recognizes this so he plays Casillas, someone who he considers almost as good as Lopez, in the champions league as a way to 1. keep him fresh and 2. advertise him to top tier teams. A player is easier to sell when he is in form and making appearances. By playing him we are increasing his price tag and suitors for January.
B) Strengths and Weaknesses
This one makes more sense to me, but the theories are not mutually exclusive. Casillas as we all know has the reflexes of a ninja deity on Ritalin. Pure shot stopping and reaction saves are his forte. However he sucks in the air. (relatively speaking to Neuer, Cech, Lopez tier). Lopez is great at shot stopping but excels against the cross and corners. I’m not sure who’s better at organizing the defense, would need to do research for that. In La Liga we are more likely to face teams who are just going to hit crosses and set pieces hoping to score, favoring Lopez’s skill set whereas in the Champions League, high caliber teams are more likely to score from open play, favoring Casillas. Play the goalie where they are best suited.
Thoughts on not who’s better, but why we are doing what we are doing and what the future holds?