It’s All In The Head

As last season kicked off, Scott Carson must have thought that the world was at his feet. He had come a long way very quickly. He had been spotted in 2002 playing for non-league Workington’s youth team by scouts from Leeds United, and was just nineteen years old when Rafael Benitez was persuaded to pay £750,000 for his signature in January 2005. Before the season was out, he had played for them in the Premier League and in the Champions League against Juventus. He was even on the bench in Istanbul, as Liverpool came from three goals down to salvage that extraordinary win against Milan to lift the European Cup. Of course, it was always going to be difficult for a goalkeeper of his age to get regular first team football at Anfield. He spent time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic before agreeing a year-long long deal with Aston Villa last summer. It might not have been stepping into the shoes of Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar at Anfield, but he was a 22 year old English goalkeeper looking forward to a full season as a Premier League goalkeeper under the careful tutelage of Martin O’Neill, who was making steady progress at Villa Park. Then, along came Steve McClaren. Carson might have been forgiven for thinking that it was his own, solid performances for Aston Villa...

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