Carson: No bigger competition than the FA Cup
Scott Carson has seen enough photos from Wigan's FA Cup final hero Ben Watson to know just how highly the holders value the competition ahead of their semi-final showdown with Arsenal.
Former England goalkeeper Carson (28) was playing in Turkey for Bursaspor when Watson achieved FA Cup immortality by heading home a late winner against Manchester City at Wembley last May, etching Wigan's name on to a major trophy for the first time.
It is a moment midfielder Watson, currently sidelined by a broken leg, naturally recalls on a frequent basis to his neighbour at the Latics' training ground.
"I've heard enough about Ben's goal," Carson says. "He sits next to me in the changing-rooms and any photo that comes up, he's saying to me 'have you seen this one?' with his header that he scored."
Carson could turn to images from his own career; he has a Champions League winners' medal from 2005 when he started for Liverpool against Juventus in the quarter-final before watching those dramatic scenes unfold in Istanbul as a substitute.
Nevertheless, he is driven by a desire to emulate the majority of his Latics team-mates and achieve FA Cup success, should Uwe Rosler select him instead of Ali Al Habsi.
"I've played in a couple of big games but it'll be one of the biggest games – if I do play – that I'll have played in," said Carson, who was preferred to Al Habsi for the quarter-final win over Manchester City.
"The FA Cup is a competition you watch as a kid when you're growing up and there's no bigger competition for me personally."