Liverpool’s young keeper Scott Carson said today that he’ll happily miss out on any celebrations next week if Liverpool win the Champions League in Turkey. Carson has been called up to the England squad and will need to fly out to America almost as soon as he lands back in England from Istanbul.
If Liverpool win the European Cup, it’s pretty certain that Rafa Benitez will allow his players a few drinks in celebration, and then there’s every chance that there’ll be a parade around the city to show Liverpool fans the famous trophy – which would be Liverpool’s to keep if they won it this time. Carson doesn’t mind missing out on all of this though – he does not want to miss his England opportunity.
Carson said, "Obviously, it means me joining the squad straight from Istanbul, but you don’t turn opportunities like that down."
He never expected to be called up to England so early in his career – and said it really did come out of the blue: "Just to have my name mentioned was unbelievable, never mind get a chance to be in the squad. The phone call came the day before the squad was announced, asking me if I wanted to go. I was shocked when I was told. I knew it meant going a day after the final, but there’s no way I could miss the chance."
For Carson the whole season has been one that he could never have dreamed of. Back in December he was a Leeds player, usually on the bench for their games in the division below the Premiership. Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland have both been part of Liverpool’s injury list this season, meaning Carson has been thrown straight into first team action sooner than he might have expected: "It’s been an unbelievable season for me. I’ve played more games than I would have expected at Liverpool and I think I’ve been fortunate to get a chance for England due to the injury to Paul Robinson. It will be a great experience for me and I’m hoping to enjoy myself out there."
Carson will be third choice keeper on the tour, behind ex-Red David James and the keeper for relegated Norwich City. He’s still hopeful of a small appearance between the sticks though: "I’m sure Norwich’s Robert Green is bound to play because he’s not been given a cap yet. If I just get 10 or 20 minutes, I’ll be over the moon."
Carson joined Steven Gerrard in turning down an offer from Chelsea, preferring to join Liverpool. He’s glad he did: "I was thinking to myself the other night how I’ve gone from sitting on the bench in the Championship to the Champions League final and England squad. Everything’s happened so quickly."
Liverpool are reportedly going to bring Spanish keeper Jose Reina to the club from Villarreal this summer. Scott Carson can probably feel more relaxed than either Jerzy Dudek or Chris Kirkland about his future, with Rafa Benitez praising him in public more than once this season.