Whenever England play at Wembley it must bring back bad memories for goalkeeper Scott Carson as his chances of being England’s number one was ruined in one night.
The game against Croatia will be remembered for England not qualifying for Euro 2008. Carson was at fault for at least one of the goals, however this has not had an effect on his club career as he has always been a very consistent goalkeeper. Now at the age of 29 he will be hoping that he can be a Premier League keeper once again.
Carson started his career at Leeds United and progressed quickly through their youth ranks and the reserves, making his first team debut in January 2004 after Paul Robinson was sent off against Middlesbrough and he had to come on. Two weeks later he made his full debut against Manchester United and helped them get a 1-1 draw. The goalkeeper played once more against Chelsea.
Despite being offered a new contract at Leeds he decided he wanted to leave the club and Liverpool signed him in January 2005. He signed for the club in the right season as it meant that he picked up a Champions League winners medal even though he only played in one game, the quarter final victory over Juventus.
After only playing nine times for the club in a season and a half he was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday in March 2006. Carson played a key role in helping Wednesday avoid relegation from the Championship as he kept five clean sheets in his nine appearances. At the end of the season he returned to Liverpool and signed a new contract with the club but was loaned out for the entire 2006-07 season to Charlton Athletic.
On a personal level he had a very good season there as he played in 36 league games (only missing the games against Liverpool) and being voted the Supporters’ Club Player of the Year. However, he could not prevent them from being relegated. Once again he was told he would not be first choice at Liverpool and was loaned out to Aston Villa and only missed three league games in the next season. During the 2007-08 season he managed 11 clean sheets but did also receive the first red card of his career.
After years of being loaned out, Carson left the club permanently in 2008 when he joined West Brom. He had some ups and downs during his time there with him suffering another relegation to the Championship but did help them gain promotion with 15 clean sheets in 43 games. He briefly lost his place during the 2010-11 season but after Roy Hodgson became their new manager he was quickly reinstated as the number one.
On the 1st July 2011 Carson left West Brom and joined Turkish side Bursapsor for £2 million and was very impressive in his first season, helping them to 8th place and only conceding 35 goals and in his second and final campaign at the club he helped them qualify for the Europa League by finishing in fourth place.
Wigan Athletic brought him back to England to help them return to the Premier League and in his first year he played 18 times.
The final word can go to Martin O’Neill. “Carson has been doing very well for us. We are very pleased with him. He has shown a bit of strength of character, and that is always encouraging. He is a very strong person and he is staying very focused.”