Ben Amos was oblivious to real world in Man Utd bubble… but has found his feet ELEVEN clubs later at Charlton

BEN AMOS has learned so much since leaving the cosy surroundings of Old Trafford.

And the keeper says the biggest of the lot has been: “There is a big world outside Manchester United.”

Sir Alex Ferguson gave him his debut at the age of 18.

The keeper played seven times for United – once in the Premier League, five in the League Cup and once in the Champions League.

But after the legendary former manager retired in 2013, Amos never got a look-in under either David Moyes or Louis van Gaal.

Amos, now 30, is making his mark at Charlton – having played for ELEVEN different clubs.

And he said: “The big thing I’ve learned since leaving is there’s a world outside Man United.

“I was going into proper men’s football week in, week out. At United I had been getting a little taste of first-team football and then I’d be out.

“I’d sit and wait and wouldn’t be allowed out on loan. It was difficult to get a flow of first-team games.

“So what I learned was the Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday grind of men’s football.”

Amos admits he was inside a Manchester United bubble – oblivious to the sometimes harsh realities of the game outside of it.

He said: “I wasn’t aware of it at the time. You expect everywhere to be held to the same standards of the Ferguson reign.

“But you learn there is life outside of that. It’s not necessarily better or worse. Places are just run differently. It’s part and parcel of growing up.”

Ferguson clearly rated Amos to have given him chances. The then rookie keeper held his own too.

In those seven outings, he kept three clean sheets and conceded five goals and the team won five, drew one and lost one.

And Amos said: “Sir Alex had faith in me and gave me opportunities at 18. I’ll be eternally grateful for that.

“He kept a distance from his players. He worked on that fear factor – including with the senior players.

“But, at the same time, he could crack a joke with you.

“Sir Alex kept everyone guessing and you were always on your toes – even if you were a world-elite footballer.”

Amos is in his second spell with the Addicks having had a season on loan in League One from then parent club Bolton three years ago – and the team reached the play-offs.

He signed permanently last year after a loan at Millwall but had a frustrating first season on his return – finding himself second-choice to Dillon Phillips and picking up an finger injury that kept him out for four months.

So he had to watch from the sidelines as the Addicks were relegated from the Championship.

Amos said: “It’s part and parcel of being a keeper. I was expecting to play. but joined just 10 days before the season so Dillon started and to his credit he did well. I didn’t get a look-in.

“I then had an operation on my finger and that was the best part of four months out.

“That is your season done at that point. I did get back at the end of the January. But by that time Dillon was in his groove.

“That was great for him – but, thinking selfishly, it was frustrating for me.

“But, first and foremost, Dillon and I are friends – we’ve been away on holiday together. We had healthy competition.

“I didn’t overthink it. I couldn’t control what Dilon was doing on a matchday so just did my bit every day and was ready if called upon.”

Phillips left the club in the summer to join Cardiff, which has enabled Amos to claim the No1 position.

And he has had a superb start to the season – and went 575 minutes without conceding before Che Evans beat him twice in two minutes in Charlton’s 3-2 win at Fleetwood before the international break.

That has coincided with Lee Bowyer’s men winning six matches on the spin and unbeaten in seven.

Amos rates the clean sheet in the 0-0 draw against promotion rivals Sunderland before the six-match winning run as his most satisfying.

He said: “We’d just lost back-to-back games against Doncaster and Lincoln – and that result against Sunderland put us back on the right track. Hopefully we can continue that form.”

Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover of the club has been pivotal to Charlton’s change in fortunes – after an entire season of unrest off the field.

The American-based Danish businessman has given the club some calming stability – and crucially backed Bowyer in the transfer market.

In total, he has sanctioned TEN signings – defender Ryan Inniss, Chris Gunter, Ian Maatsen, Akin Famewo, midfielders Ben Watson, Andrew Shinnie, Marcus Maddison, Adam Matthews and strikers Paul Smyth and Omar Bogle.

Amos said: “Everything he promised he has delivered on so far – and all the things I’m hearing and seeing has been good – long may it continue.

“He even has been sending us special medical equipment that his company distributes – so is going over and beyond to help us be successful, which is welcome after what happened in previous months.

“The feel-good factor is ultimately driven by results but the stability is need as a springboard to be successful.

“We have strength in depth all across the pitch and I don’t think we’ve got going yet. We have loads more in us to kick on, really gel and put in better performances.”


BEN AMOS answers questions sent to SunSport by Charlton fans.

MICK McCORMACK: What aspects of your game do you feel you have improved over the last 12 months?

BEN AMOS: My distribution definitely. I've been working non-stop on that. I try to make gains every day with coach Andy Marshall, he pushes me with tiny little details that we can polish and work on. There isn't one thing. It’s fine tuning.

BEN CHURCH: How did you manage the backwards hand save in the play-offs against Shrewsbury? I still can’t get over how you did that.

BEN AMOS: Just instinct. I've always got that desire to keep the ball out of the net and at that time I found myself with my back to the player and the shot came in. I kept my eyes on it and with pure desperation to keep the ball out I managed to make the save.

RAY STOWER: Being in goal in empty stadiums at the moment, does that take the pressure off you as a keeper?

BEN AMOS: Not for me personally. The pressure is trying to win the game, keep clean sheets and do your best. I focus on myself. If I do that I sleep easier than if I hadn’t.

THOMAS SANDGAARD: The back four have a lot of trust in you – how much have the experienced defenders helped you?

BEN AMOS: They're good lads first and foremost. We’re always speaking to each other about the game where they are enthusiastic to learn and have the desire to keep the ball out of the net.

That is the first thing I want as a goalkeeper. They have helped me in that respect because there becomes a trust with more games we play. We speak so much how to keep the ball out of the net.


Source: Read Full Article