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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 22:52 GMT 23:52 UK
Seaman is a shambles
BBC Sport Online's Phil McNulty


Sven-Goran Eriksson's loyalty has been called into question in these troubled times - both in his private and professional life.

The England coach has been painted as a philanderer while also standing accused of courting the affections of Manchester United as he pledged his allegiance to England.

Nonsense.

Seaman is dejected after his latest error
Seaman is dejected after his latest error

How dare anyone doubt the Swede when the shambolic figure of David Seaman stands as a monument to his unswerving faith?

The problem for Eriksson now is that Seaman stands as a monument to everything - free-kicks, corners, long-range shots.

He is at the very least a statue.

Eriksson is loyal. And his misplaced loyalty to Seaman is coming at an expensive price.

Seaman signs autographs "Safe Hands" - and if he now added "Feet of Clay" it would be fitting.

The Arsenal veteran is living on past glories. He wreaked havoc on England's World Cup hopes before inflicting further damage on their Euro 2004 ambitions by letting Artim Sakiri's corner drift over his head.

Seaman's feet might as well have been nailed to the floor, and no amount of apologists, who will undoubtedly be wheeled out to defend him, can save this sad figure now.

Eriksson should have ditched Seaman after the dust settled on the World Cup.

Indeed, if Seaman had let reality rule his vanity, he would have ended his England career before it was ended for him.

Seaman has survived beyond the World Cup thanks to a flawed argument that states England have no alternative to the old-timer.

Again, nonsense.

Eriksson is frustrated on the bench
Eriksson is frustrated on the bench

There must be an alternative to a man who is no longer an international footballer, who is prone to calamitous errors, and whose name now gives a lift to the opposition when they see it on the team-sheet.

It sends out a grim signal to potential replacements such as David James, Paul Robinson and Chris Kirkland that they are not trusted to perform better than Seaman.

Could they be any worse?

Seaman's failure to deal with a routine corner undermined England at the first opportunity against Macedonia.

It put Eriksson's side on the back foot before they had mounted an attack in anger.

And it was symptomatic of the shoddy England show that got no more than it deserved.

England's defending in the first half was atrocious, with Sol Campbell also capping a poor performance by presenting Macedonia with their second goal.

Campbell's distribution was poor, and Steven Gerrard needed a spectacular goal to rescue a desperately disappointing display before he was stretchered off.

England had near misses in the second half, but tactically they were inept and did not deliver a performance that merited victory.

It makes their late win against Slovakia look even more important.

Now they must pick up the pace against Liechtenstein next year - and David Seaman must not be there to hinder them.

 VOTE RESULTS
Should England drop David Seaman?

Yes
 76.96% 

No
 23.04% 

41082 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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