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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK
Is Seaman a 'spent force'?
Legendary German goalkeeper Sepp Maier claims England have made a huge error in selecting David Seaman for Saturday's crucial World Cup qualifier in Munich.
At 38, is the England veteran past his prime?
Speaking in a national newspaper, Maier was quick to criticise Sven Goran Eriksson's choice of keeper.
"David Seaman is past his best," Maier told The Mirror.
"He used to be the best keeper in the world, but not anymore."
Indeed, there can be few who have failed to notice a dip in form of late, as Seaman has started to make more and more errors with both his handling and positioning.
So, is Sven right to stick with Seaman or should he let the likes of Leeds United's Nigel Martyn have their turn?
E-mail your views.
We've heard the same old arguments regarding David Seaman for years now. He's too old; he's past his best, blah, blah, blah. Rubbish!! Like a fine wine, David Seaman has improved with age, the Arsenal defence falls apart without him, he's a born leader, top shot stopper and I think he still has fantastic reflexes. Fair do, he has had his share of football gaffes, but if push came to shove - who would you really want to face the Germans in this crunch match? Seaman or his untested understudies?
Seaman is old now, his reactions are dull, his movement slow and he no longer looks sharp. When under pressure he looks likely to concede. It's about time that a younger, fresher keeper took his place, someone that can make those instinctive saves and a little quicker on his feet. Perhaps someone with a better haircut wouldn't go a miss.
I have always enjoyed watching Seaman play - but has anyone noticed that he 'went off the boil' as soon as he started growing his hair? Get it cut David and let's see you play like you used to.
Can people not open their eyes? Nigel Martyn is and has been the best British Keeper for the last seven or eight years. It's easy to draw upon the Romanian error as a reason not to pick him but in terms of consistency, I'm sure Leeds fans would agree, he is the best (those same individuals don't also remember the two stunning saves he made to keep us in the game!). Coupled with this, his last season, especially in Europe was fantastic; great reflexes, astute positioning and a truly wonderful shot stopper.
In light of this, Seaman can never be number one having shown nowhere near the same form, especially over the last few years. We have to pick on FORM, who is likely to do the best and not rely on glazed memories of Euro '96.
I have never understood why Seaman was so highly rated; he was never better than mediocre and is now on a downhill slope. There are much better keepers throughout Europe, yet the English always believed they naturally breed the best. It is high time to stop dreaming, to ditch the Seaman myth and to start building for the future, as is happening in all other areas of the English team.
Who else is there? Every time Martyn gets a game his errors cost goals (Romania, Holland.) Richard Wright needs to displace Seaman at Arsenal first, whilst Flowers and James are in the same mould as Martyn - error prone. Most other Premiership clubs have non-English keepers - so Eriksson would end up dipping into the Nationwide, which I'm sure he wouldn't want to do.
Of course Seaman should play. He's still by far England's best keeper and all the players respect him. It's purely 'wind up' tactics from the Germans.
I am the biggest gunners fan I know so it pains me to agree with the general feeling that Seaman is probably just past his prime. However, I say keep him for the remainder of the qualifying campaign and give Martyn the job should we make it to the World Cup. Come on England!
Seaman is way past his best. He lacks the mobility and reflexes of Euro '96. England should be looking forward rather than hanging on to has-beens like Seaman.
Maier has made a good point. Fortunately for England, by stating this publicly he has just shot himself in the foot. Seamen will now be fully motivated for the match, and is likely to play a blinder.
Of course he is, and has been for quite some time. Trouble is, the only other keeper consistently good enough to challenge him last season was Richard Wright, who is now his No.2 at Arsenal, unable to prove his potential. Seaman's time as been and gone.
Seaman is still a great keeper and with club teammates Campbell and Cole in defence there should be good communication. However, Sven should play Mills at right back as he is a stronger defender than either of the Neville brothers, which would mean two Leeds defenders (with Rio playing) and then, by the same logic, Martyn should play. Personally, I would like to see Wright in goal but until he takes Seaman's place at Arsenal, he should also be reserve goalie for England.
It is time for Seaman to step down. There are young keepers coming through and it is time for them to be given a chance. He has served us well in the past but a new era must begin.
The English national team has a tradition of sticking with one keeper throughout their World Cup campaigns. The end result is that we have a wealth of goalkeepers who are deprived of international experience. The 'one goalie system must change, otherwise we will find that the young and upcoming stars of tomorrow will opt to play with Wales,Scotland or Northern Ireland in order to gain valuable experience.
Alan Shearer did the decent thing and called it quits when he was on top, I feel that Seaman should follow his example. Nothing can be more humiliating for a man of his vast experience to be told by his country that he is no longer wanted, or good enough.
Seaman is the only real alternative at present. Marytn can be good, but is still too inconsistent. I don't think Seaman will let us down for such a big game!
David Seaman should have been dropped after Euro 2000. Nigel Martyn is a very capable keeper and Richard Wright could have been given more of a chance in the last two years. I don't think that there is a keeper problem in this country, I just feel that the right people have not been given the chances they deserve. No disrespect to Seaman - his penalty save against Scotland will see him go down in English Football folklore!
It's a sad state of affairs when we are so limited on our choice of goalkeepers. We would not be facing a win-or-die situation if David Seaman was awake at Wembley. He cannot even say it was a one-off as Leeds proved the other week. As an ex-goalkeeper, I was always taught to concentrate on the ball at freekicks as well as the wall, and that the freekick could be taken at any time. I agree with Tim Mac-Nocol. We need to get our younger, fitter and nowadays better, goalkeepers into the national team so that if we are to qualify for future tournaments and improve our world ranking, we can do it by using a full squad of young, confident and improving players and not be reliant on older players living off past glories.
Graham Cole, England
David James is not better than David Seaman. He cannot
be relied on to not
make a mistake. Seaman
very rarely makes
mistakes, is solid on crosses and commands his area.
Seaman may be a bit slower these days
but his experience
and positioning make
up for it. Arsene
Wenger sees Wright
and Seaman train
everyday and he
Sven sees all the
contenders and he
still rates Seaman
the man for the big
managers know what they are doing. We can't
be risking anything
new before in the Germany game.
I think David Seaman is past it. For starters I can't see him still being No.1 for the 2002 World Cup (if England get there). Martyn should be used as a stop-gap until Richard Wright or Paul Robinson can take over after the World Cup.
David Seaman will always be selected, because of his heroics in Euro '96. He was at his best then and probably one of the best keepers around. Things have moved on since five years ago, there are much better and younger players about. Look at James, and Wright. If they don't get the chance to play serious matches at top level then they will never get a chance to prove themselves.
Gloves are off
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