Manchester United's Wayne Rooney eager to taste FA Cup glory
At Ajax it was the Uefa Cup. At Barcelona and Bayern Munich it was a league and cup double. It remains one of Louis van Gaal's proudest boasts that at every major club he has managed he has won a trophy in his first season.
At Manchester United, there is only one piece of silverware available. The one United have won 11 times, the one they have not won for 11 years, the one major trophy Wayne Rooney has never lifted.
United and Arsenal, who contest tonight's quarter-final at Old Trafford, have won the FA Cup more than any other club but until recently it had been relegated to the status of optional extra at both Old Trafford and the Emirates.
The struggle between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, which the Scot eventually won, was for domination of the Premier League. In a throwaway remark to Martin Keown, in an interview for BBC radio, the Arsenal manager confessed to not knowing where his FA Cup medals were.
He will probably have kept tight hold of the last one after the breathless 3-2 victory over Hull City that provided Arsenal's first silverware for nine years.
Van Gaal said: "You can say as a footballer that you want to play because it is your profession but that is never enough. You want to win something and so does the manager and so do the fans. When you compare coaches with one another, titles are very important things."
When he was asked which trophy he considered his most important, Van Gaal paused for a moment and said it was his first Eredivisie championship with Ajax in 1994.
He had lost Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk and was rebuilding the club around the products of the Ajax youth academy, De Toekomst. A year later they would be European champions.
At Manchester United, the self-styled biggest club in the world, his horizons are narrower. Van Gaal agrees with Wenger that qualification for the Champions League should be regarded as "a fourth trophy" and repeats that his brief is to finish fourth and take Manchester United back into the European elite.
For a man with his CV and the kind of financial resources that the club's chief executive, Ed Woodward, has placed at his disposal, this is a bar set very low indeed. Only once since 1991, when they beat Barcelona on a rainswept night in Rotterdam to win the Cup-Winners' Cup, have Manchester United failed to finish in the top three.
Van Gaal's brand of mechanical, possession-based football is just about on course to take them there, although the FA Cup would mean more to someone like Rooney.
In his first season at Manchester United, Rooney played in an FA Cup final against Arsenal in Cardiff. He hit the post, he scored his penalty in the shoot-out, he lost a game United dominated.
Two years later, Rooney was at another FA Cup final, this time at Wembley. The pitch was dreadful, Ryan Giggs had a goal disallowed and Didier Drogba won the game for Chelsea deep into extra-time. Rooney was near to tears on the final whistle. It was, he said, "just about the worst I have ever felt as a footballer".
Manchester United have not reached an FA Cup final since and it says something for how the trophy came to be marginalised at Old Trafford that on five of the last six occasions United were eliminated, he did not play.
"He wants to win the FA Cup," said Van Gaal. "It is something that is missing. You have seen how Rooney was motivated in the last minutes at Newcastle.
"He was running and pressing for a lost ball; it was fantastic. Every human has character and this is Wayne's."