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Sunday, 2 July, 2000, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
Out with the old?

Alan Shearer has hung up his England boots and Paul Ince is set to follow. But, with six of England's 22-man Euro 2000 squad in their 30s, which other senior players should retire gracefully - and which news kids on the block should replace them?

England captain Shearer always intended to retire after Euro 2000, claiming his best international years were behind him.

Yet there were six players in Kevin Keegan's squad older then the 29-year-old Shearer, so is it about time for a few more stars to head gracefully for football's retirement home?

Paul Ince could be the next to bow out, but who should replace England's ageing stars?

With the World Cup qualifiers starting against Germany in October, it could be a case of out with the old and in with the new for Keegan, but how many youngsters should he introduce to his squad?

Which England players should retire from international football?


In 1990 England reached the semi-final of the World Cup. Prior to this Bobby Robson introduced large numbers of younger players and left out Kevin Keegan to make way for them, maybe this is why he is so reluctant to do the same? Winning major tournaments is not just about international experience it is about picking a squad with real depth that is full of form players.

Ability is all that should matter in any job.

Martin Lang, UK - Spain
Go on form not on youth or experience. England's problems at the back looked more like a break down in communication rather than bad personal performances and this is due to bad coaching.
David, England

The team that played pretty well in Euro 96 was very similar to that which performed so poorly in Euro 2000. What had changed? Apart from being four years older there was a different manager and a total lack of system. Age is not the real explanation. Even with keen young players I think we would have performed badly given the style of play Keegan went for.
Martin D, England

None need to retire - they just shouldn't be picked! Tony Adams and Paul Ince should bow out gracefully and make way for outstanding youngsters who should be carefully introduced to International football. Bring on Dyer, Hendrie, Ferdinand, Woodgate, Bowyer, Cole and Barry to name but a few.
Chris Coe, UK

I agree that Shearer was right to retire. As for the others, Ince has to go, no question. Keegan has got to stop picking players based on past form. You should always pick your best players and work them into a team. Despite his age, Keown was right to be in the team and was one of England's better players.
Alex, UK

Tony Adams is too old and slow to be in the England side. Get someone like Woodgate or Ferdinand in there. Paul Ince was one of England's best players in the England side during Euro2000 and should captain the side in the next World Cup.
Andrew Smale, England

Nicky Weaver has been in awesome form for Manchester City and he can only get better. He's being carefully nurtured by Joe Royle into a class goalkeeper. In particular, he edged Richard Wright in the 'battle of the goalies' when City played Ipswich at Maine Road. There are plenty of good youngsters getting through: Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Alan Smith, Jonathon Woodgate, Kieron Dyer, Stephen Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Francis Jeffers etc. We just need them to be looked after.
Warren Pilkington, England

Nicky Weaver makes Richard Wright look like an amateur and

Seaman should have gone after France '98 if not before. Flowers was better then, and Martyn is better now.

Keith, UK
doesn't give away penalties like they're going out of fashion. His shot-stopping abilities are, in my opinion, greater than Martyn's. I think this time next year a few more people will be agreeing with me.
Simon Brown, England

With the next World Cup in Japan, 2006 almost certainly in Africa and 2010 in Brazil we have no chance of winning until at least 2014. With that in mind we should be bringing any decent under 10s into the national team to build for the future!
Edward Barker, UK

Paul Ince should call it a day as should Tony Adams and David Seaman. These players should be applauded for all their effort they have given to our country. Let's hope that these players can pass on their knowledge to our new generation of young players such as Steven Gerrard who should take over from Ince, Rio Ferdinand/Jonathan Woodgate to take over from Adams and push Keown all the way. Gareth Barry to come in at left back and balance the side out with his left foot and Joe Cole as our play maker - somebody who can beat players and make that defence-splitting pass. It's not all doom and gloom for the future!
Alex, England

Keegan simply must introduce the younger players for the World Cup qualifiers or else we will end up with the same problem the Germans have. The first man to be retired from internationals is David Seaman.
Rich, England

Well of course it becomes a risk to take old man in the team, but I believe that they will be a good influence for the team because they are experienced!
Yuichi, England (but I am Japanese )

Keegan is right not simply to discard the older players because of age. However, I think he is guilty of picking older players that no longer produce the form of a few years back, Seaman, Ince and Shearer are all examples. These players have all been fantastic players for England but the mistake is that we feel we can't do with out them. Martyn, Gerrard and Phillips have all performed better over the last season. And in such cases young players deserve their chance.
Ed, England



These players have all been fantastic players for England, but the mistake is that we feel we can't do with out them

Ed, England
As to who should retire - consider this. Kevin Phillips - much touted by the people on this page, is 27 in July. Which means he will be 29 in 2002. This is the same age as Alan Shearer is now, which, and, according to most of the contributors, will make him past it.
Tracie, England

I believe the younger players around the Premier league have what it takes for the international level. Lets give players like Lampard, J.Cole, Ferdinand, Bowyer, and Dyer a chance. Put these players in with our already present youngsters and we would have a terrific squad. The French have proved that youth works. They have the likes of Henry, Anelka, and Vieira. Why can't England go down the same road? It's time to kick out the old and in with the new. We must build for the future. Euro 2000 has proved to be a disaster!
Martin Walker, Colorado, USA

David Seaman is well past his best, but there is no way he will retire. Tony Adams has served his country well, but neither he or Sol Campbell have the mobility or capabilities that the modern centre halves need.
Brian Deans, Scotland

I really think it's about time we had players like Joe Cole in the team, because players like Adams, Seaman and Ince have all had a chance to prove themselves. If we are going to win any major international tournaments in the near future we need younger players, players who can keep up with the play, not players who are exhausted before the end of the first half.
Steve C, UK

As usual, another disappointing display in a major tournament ends with a call for wholesale changes.

Without doubt some of the squad have seen better days and should bow out.

Alan, UK
Without doubt some of the squad have seen better days and should bow out, but age shouldn't be the criteria, ability and future availability should be. Without any doubt the likes of Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Kieron Dyer and Steven Gerrard et al will force their way into future squads because of their ability not just because they are younger.
Alan, UK

I think we should count on some youngsters like Gerrard, Jeffers, Cole and Dyer. Martyn, Wise, Keown are still important to us.
George, The Republic of Georgia

I think it's time Seaman retired. He doesn't bring fear to opponents as Barthez and van der Sar do. I'm sure there are plenty of younger English keepers who will be ready in time for World Cup 2002.
Sal Gaglio, United States

The current England squad has had two major tournaments to get it right and has failed. It is now time to bring some younger players in. If players like Seaman, Ince, Wise, Adams and Keown remain in the side during the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers and England do make it to the tournament, some of the key players will be anything between 35-39. Consequently, it is time for these players to follow Alan Shearer's example and retire from England duties.
Mike, England

We need to pension off the over 30's and bring in fresh talent. The likes of Dyer, Cole, Barry and Gerrard need a chance to prove that we can be a top class side again.
Richard Watson, England

If your good enough, your old enough. It's a terrible cliché, but we are often guilty of dumping quality players way before we should. Adams, Ince, Wise - and even Shearer if he wants to - have a place for 2002 qualification. There simply isn't the quality coming through.
Trev, UK

I think the national team needs more stability and younger players within it. Players should be picked on form and not past glories (Shearer) or unfulfilled potential (Heskey).
Craig Sullivan, England

We need to reduce the amount of foreign players at our clubs to give the younger element the chance to develop their footballing ability at a more competitive level. Then, and only then, will England have a chance of winning at the highest level. Keegan needs to think about slowly reducing the older players in the squad as the younger ones increase in confidence and ability.
Michelle, England

It is about time some of our senior citizens should be told thank you, but that's it. We should start looking at players like Jon Harley of Chelsea who came in when Le Saux and Babayaro were out. Harley was magnificent and plays on the left side. Players like Ince, Adams and Seaman have had their chance. Bring in some fresh faces Kevin.
Pete B, England



With Owen and Fowler up front there is hope for England

Jack Slier, England
Seaman, Adams and Ince should pack their bags. Keown showed himself to be far better than Adams and Gerrard was much more secure than Ince.
Grant Mitchell, UK

England should now look to the future. Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup should be our priorities, not the 2002 World Cup. Lets hope that England can host 2006 and let Phillips, Fowler, Owen, Cole and Bridges lead the front line. Use the next few years to let our younger players gain the experience needed to lead our country back up to where it belongs!
Boyd Watson, England

Ince, Wise, Seaman, Keown and Adams should all retire from International football. Bring on Joe Cole, Harley, Barry, Morris and Woodgate.
Nick Harris

Why not look to the future and play the following side: Martyn, Keown, Ferdinand, Woodgate, Harley, Dyer, McManaman, Gerrard, Beckham, Scholes, Owen.
John Kleinschmidt

Fowler is the best striker in England, if not in Europe. He needs to be given the chance. Heskey is no international and Cole is a proven failure. With Owen and Fowler up front there is hope for England. We need to bring on the youngsters with Joe Cole leading the way.
Jack Slier, England

Shearer is past it and Seaman is getting on. It's about time we showed the world what England can produce with young new talent like Lampard, Dyer, etc.
Louis Cutmore, UK



Shearer is right to retire

Carl, England
I think Shearer retired far too early. Just look at the number of goals he scored and consider the often mediocre midfield that served him. Needless to say that a decent replacement will be close to impossible to find!!
Agnes, England

There are an exciting number of youngsters coming up like Frank Lampard, Alan Smith, Joe Cole, Matthew Etherington, Jon Harley, Matthew Carrick and Ledley King . If they where mixed in with the crop of exciting young players already in the squad like Campbell, Gerrard, Beckham, Barry and Owen a strong team could be grown.
Simon Temporal, England

Alan Shearer is right to retire, I think half the team should based on these performances.
Carl, England

At his peak, Shearer was the best striker in the world. The only man I can see taking his place in the near future is Kevin Phillips
Phil, England

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See also:

23 Jun 00 | The BBC Team
Look to future, O'Neill urges England
22 Jun 00 | Sportstalk
Who can replace Shearer for England?
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