Carson in with a shout for England

Scott Carson’s loan move to Sheffield Wednesday is due to end in another few weeks, but he says he’d even consider staying with Wednesday into next season. Carson is currently third-choice at Anfield; Jerzy Dudek never did leave the club as expected this season. Carson is likely to become second choice again next season as Dudek seems unlikely to spend another season on the bench, but he says staying with the Owls is still a possibility: “I would never rule out Wednesday next season if I’m not involved at Liverpool.”

Carson has been impressive in his five appearances since his loan move, with an outside chance of an England call-up according to former Reds goalkeeper and legend Ray Clemence. Clem is now involved in the England national set-up, and says that Carson could overtake the current third-choice England keeper Robert Green of Norwich for a place on the plane to Germany this summer. Clemence said: “At international level, possession is nine-tenths or the law so Robert Green is in a strong position, but Scott Carson, our under-21 ‘keeper who gained senior squad experience with us in the States last summer is also doing very well so we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on how he does.”

Liverpool played Bolton yesterday, and before the game their keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen spoke about the situation Carson and other young goalkeepers find themselves in when at a big club: “I don’t know what the problem is but the main thing for young English keepers is they have to play games. If you’re very talented, an 18- or 19-year-old goalkeeper, I don’t think it’s good to go to a big club where all you are going to do is play in the reserves. It’s much better to go abroad and play somewhere because that’s going to give you the experience you need.”

Jussi recalls his own early career: “When I came here I was 22 and had
already played 118 league games in Finland. I started when I was 17.
When you come to England, the standard and speed is totally different,
but you still have the pressure, the television cameras, the people
expecting you to win and the club paying your wages and depending on
you — just like you did before. The main thing for any goalkeeper is
first-team football.” As for Carson’s loan spell in the Championship,
Jaaskelainen says that’s Scott’s best option: “That’s the best thing
you can do. Maybe he should do that next season as well rather than
staying in the reserves. The Championship is a good place to learn, if
you make a mistake people aren’t going to attack you like in the
Premiership. If you have two or three bad games here people say it’s
the end of your career.”

The man who’ll make the ultimate decision on Carson’s immediate future
is Reds boss Rafael Benitez. He said that letting Carson go on loan
when he did was the right decision for that time – there’s no saying it
will be repeated: “We let Scott go on loan because we knew he needed to
play. We have a lot of confidence in him. This season he worked very
hard but it is not easy for a young goalkeeper who cannot play. We
decided to wait until the Champions League was over for us before
letting him leave. At the moment he comes here one day a week with Jose
Ochotorena and he’s playing every weekend. This is an ideal situation
for right now. Next year? I don’t know. We normally have 60 games in a
season and we would have to wait to see what happens.”