In November 2007 aged just 22, Scott Carson was thrown into the deep-end, facing the biggest game of his short career as England played Croatia in a must-win European Championship qualifier at Wembley. England boss Steve McClaren put his faith in Carson for the game after his composed debut performance in a friendly against Austria despite having the experienced Paul Robinson in reserve. It was a decision that was to cost McClaren his job and England a place at a major championship as the rookie goalkeeper endured an error-strewn nightmare performance which resulted in England losing 3-2 to Croatia.
Four years on and Carson, who is clearly still affected by that night, has decided to opt for a fresh start away from England, relocating to Turkey with Bursaspor from West Bromwich Albion after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee thought to be in region of £2m.
By joining Bursaspor, who were the Turkish Super League Champions in 2010 and featured in last year’s Champions League group stages, he links up with fellow Brit Kenny Miller who also made the switch to the big-spending Turkish side in January this year.
Carson will now have the opportunity to play European football with Bursaspor, whose matches you can keep up to date with at www.footballscores.com/, after they finished third in the league and reached the third round qualifying round stage of the UEFA Europa League.
Carson who was last called up to the England squad in 2010 will be seeking a new start after another difficult season in the Premier League where he lost his place in the side to Boaz Myhill and again failed to win over the loyal West Brom faithful.
Although his transfer to Turkey will hardly put himself on Fabio Capello radar despite the recent international retirement of Ben Foster, he seems more focused on rebuilding his career while surely the lucrative Turkish contract will set him up for life.
A product of the Leeds United academy system Carson had made a promising start to his professional career as a teenager breaking into the England Under 21s squad in 2003 before making a £750,000 move to Liverpool in 2004 in order to provide competition to first-choice goalie Jerzy Dudek.
However he failed to make any real impact at Anfield being farmed out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic. He then went on to have a productive loan spell at Aston Villa which eventually led to his a £3,350,000 move to West Brom, ending his disappointing time at Liverpool.
Although the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League in his first season, he was made club captain as they made a swift return to the top-flight in 2010. The 25-year-old made 32 appearances last season as they narrowly missed out a top-10 finish in their first season back in the Premier League.
Carson can take heart from the career of David James who was much maligned during his early days and made numerous high profile blunders at national level but later matured and emerged as England’s No.1 keeper.
If he can find his feet in a new country there is no reason why a fresh start cannot led to him rediscover his mislaid potential away from the intense media spotlight and pressure that was on always on him in the UK.
Realising this lost potential could let him return to England as an experienced and improved goalkeeper and may even give him another chance to redeem himself at national level.
Only this will banish any memories of his Wembley nightmare four years ago.