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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 21:45 GMT 22:45 UK
Angered by England?
England are held to an embarrassing 2-2 draw by Macedonia in their Euro 2004 qualifier.

Is it time for Sven to ring the changes?


Arsenal's veteran goalkeeper set the tone for a ragged England display by allowing Artim Sakiri to score direct from a corner.

Add to that the sending off of Alan Smith in his first start for England and the night was one that many fans will want to forget.

The result means England trail Turkey by five points in Group Seven.

And the performance one again raised more questions than answers.

Send us your thoughts on England's draw against Macedonia


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


Sure, Seaman is near the end of his career, but he was not to blame for a very good goal - well overlooked was Paul Scholes, who is not only too small to be on the back post, but ducked to almost half his size to avoid the ball. If anyone should be having a hard time, it's him, not Seaman.
Gerald Lane, North Wales

The best English player on the pitch was the one that was the FA's guest of honour. Oh Matt Le Tissier. Why were you not handed the chance to earn the England caps your talent deserved.

It might not have been a tragedy that England drew against Macedonia but it was a real tragedy that the most gifted of English players was not allowed to grace the international stage.
Mike, UK

I think that Seaman can still play for England because he is still the best keeper in all of England. Seaman was not entirely to blame because Scholes was on the back post, and he ducked out of the way!

I think that Neville should make way for Mills, and Jeffers should replace Heskey. Sven is a great manager for England and he will be for a long time. Smith is a brilliant player but he is too aggressive and he will continue to get red cards if he doesn't calm down.
Dan, England


We should try to be more humble and stop finding excuses for why we're not getting the results
Tim, UK

Well said Rolski, England (below). But the question to be asked why was a short MIDFIELD player doing in that position anyway?
Paul Stevens, Australia

What do you expect is going to happen when you have a league dominated by foreigners and have the team coached by a Swede?

Brazil is the best footballing nation simply because they are unpredictable as a national team and are fully aware of how European teams play...England have no idea.
Wilson, NZ

It is very annoying the way we constantly talk up our team when the results just don't support it. Why do we think that just scraping through is good enough against opposition that are thought to be inferior?

Until we have genuine reasons to be upbeat about our chances we should try to be a bit more humble and stop finding excuses for why we're not getting the results. Let's get real.
Tim, UK

Sven has to have players taking these games more seriously. Maybe by bringing in more kids - playing with a little more heart.
Nick Childs, Canada

Well, well. What a great night for British football, as the self-proclaimed "world champions" are humbled by lowly Macedonia - whilst the minnows of Wales stroll to victory against Italy!


Keep David Seaman, he is giving us Scots a good laugh
Katie, Scotland

Get a grip, England - you're not half as good as you think you are. Maybe this is the kick up the backside that will bring reality home. Be realistic and lose your arrogant manner, and just maybe things will start happening for you.
Dave, England

I was enjoying myself on holiday when this match, and the Scotland clash with Canada, took place and I can honestly say that those two results made my holiday even better.

Keep David Seaman, he is giving us Scots a good laugh - now you know how it feels to draw with a team that has a bad reputation. I hope this result will help you refrain from making jokes about our misfortunes.
Katie, Scotland

It's not the team's fault: look at that awful pitch, the crowd was against them, and as for the racist chants...Oh, hold on...
Alex Jenkins, England

England just don't have international quality 'team' players any more. You can put the best set of individual players on a pitch but if they don't play as a team then you get the 'playground' football we have seen in England matches for some time now.
Richard Philips, UK

I am starting to wonder if England are as good as I thought they were. If you look at Wales, we don't have their quality in attack.
Van Martin, England

I think your 6/10 rating for Wayne Bridge is too harsh. He put in some excellent crosses, covered well for Ashley Cole, and was more effective on the left side of midfield than Scholes was in Bratislava.


The England performance lacked tactical awareness and reminded me of Keegan's England
Martin Brown, England

When Bridge was substituted, England noticably lost their shape, allowing Macedonia a greater share of possession. Darius Vassell is a lively runner, but he lacks composure and a good touch on the ball.
Jim, UK

No-one seems to have commented on the fact that Paul Scholes - guarding the back post - closed his eyes and ducked as the ball flew towards him. Fair enough, Seaman missed the ball, but isn't the job of those on the post at corners to act specifically against such eventualities?
Rolski, England

Take the glory while you can Macedonia, you certainly won't be at the finals! Drop Seaman and Campbell and bring in Robinson and Southgate. Gareth should be starting these games as he's the best defender in the Premiership at the moment.
Mick, Boro

Sven should go. The England performance lacked tactical awareness and reminded me of Keegan's England team's performances. As an example, Beckham took two free kicks in the second half from the right-hand edge of their penalty area and did the same things - the usual long ball to be headed.

There was acres of space to his left. What happened to the short ball play, played to someone running to the edge of the box into that space. Other countries adopt such variation in tactics to great effect. Why don't we?
Martin Brown, England

Seaman has been a great servant but what use is a keeper that can't jump?
Alex, Brighton, UK


What's most annoying to me is the lack of any passion from Sven
Andy, England
Sol Campbell was awful last night. He kept making pointless runs upfield and losing the ball. Why couldn't Southgate have remained with Woodgate? He's new to international football and changing his partner twice in five days totally baffled him.
Andrew, England

David Seaman has let England down on more occasions than he has saved us. To say that he is the best England has to offer in goal is ludicrous. David James, Paul Robinson, Chris Kirkland, Russell Hoult and Ian Walker are all better keepers.
Steven Wilton, England

What's most annoying to me is the lack of any passion from Sven. He certainly doesn't bring it from the bedroom to the bench! The players are having a nightmare and he sits calmly musing about what to do next. There is no 'get up and go' with this guy. Alex Ferguson doesn't win trophies by sitting calmly down on the bench. The players need someone to give them a kick up the backside.
Andy, England

Seaman was one of the greates players in the UK, but people do get old and slow. It's time for him to retire, he doesn't have the ability to be as fit as he should.
Batool Shannon, UK

I can only hope this is a blip in England's progress and not a sign of things to come. For a side that is oozing class and experience, why is there no sign of a defence that can play an offside trap, a midfield that can hold the ball, and a forward partnership that can conjure a goal v a country I couldn't find on a world map without an index? Oh, congrats to Wales. At least one home nation is doing thing right...
Si, UK


Everyone in Macedonia thought that the last 15 minutes of the game lasted approximately 15 hours!
Alexander Kolekeski, Macedonia

I'm an Arsenal fan and even I agree that Seaman is past his best; he's slower, less agile and not as commanding as the Seaman of old. He is however still the best English Keeper in the country - neither James nor Robinson are better unfortunately.

Seaman will of course hog the headlines and will of course be the scapegoat - however the truth is that the ten outfield players couldn't make up for the one mistake Seaman did make against a side they favourites to beat!

We lacked ideas, tenacity and once again Owen failed to deliver. Unfortunately gone are the days that any team can afford to carry a striker that for 89 minutes contributes nothing. Unsurprisingly Smith has proven his critics right - he has let himself, Sven and England down.

Bridges and Cole looked good on the left and Sven was mistaken bringing Bridges off when he did. All in all, not a good night, I just wonder who we'll blame when Seaman isn't there - I suppose there's always Gary Neville!
Julian Jackson, England

It was an outstanding performance by the Macedonian team, although everyone in Macedonia thought that the last 15 minutes of the game lasted approximately 15 hours!
Alexander Kolekeski, Macedonia


Our team proved that football should be played with heart and soul and not with arrogance
Kire Veljanovski, Macedonia

Macedonia played an intelligent match. The Macedonian players blocked every move by England's players. Knowing that Macedonia played with almost a teenage team with many players only 21 or 22 - it was a brilliant match by the Macedonian squad humiliating the overpaid, arrogant and overestimated English team!
Darko Angelov, Macedonia

We are having the same debate in Australia over the cricketing greats the Waugh twins. It's always hard to tap the old-timers on the shoulder, but for the sake of England's future Seaman has to go now, not in the next four months. Sven should let Robinson and James know that the spot is there for the one who can prove their worth.

Then Sven needs to put a defence in front of his new keeper that will give him some cover.
Alex, Australia

Isn't it about time some of the under-21s came into the side and some of the more complacent team members are shown the door like Seaman and Sol Campbell? A bit of bottle and some young players that have more heart and drive would raise the game, and would mix well with the likes of Gerrard, Owen and Beckham who all showed their international experience.
Joe, Cheshire UK

Our team proved that football should be played with heart and soul and not with arrogance. Although most of Macedonian players are not paid even closely to what Beckham earns, they proved that the game of football is not all about money and fame. It is primarily for the fans and for the game itself.
Kire Veljanovski, Macedonia


Can all the moaners tell me who else could do a better job?
Frankie Watershed, England

Seaman has got to go. What shocked me most about both Ronaldinho's goal and the Macedonian goal direct from the corner, was not so much Seaman's misjudgement as the fact that he totally failed to get off the ground in both cases.

Let's hope that Seaman retires before he makes any more blunders, while we can still remember him as the great servant he was for club and country over so many years.
Martin Pearson, UK

Perhaps David Seaman's critics would like to take a turn in the England goal. I feel quite ashamed that England fans have been given so much by David Seaman in the last ten years, and are so shallow as to forget all of his great service in one evening.
Mike, UK

Please stop whinging over Sven. Can all the moaners tell me who else could do a better job? He is one of the best managers in the world and we should appreciate what we have been given! We had an unlucky night. It happens. We will still qualify!
Frankie Watershed, England

I am so proud of Macedonian players. They are our heroes
Bislimoski Markp, Macedonia


You can't put the blame solely on Seaman for the first goal
Steven, Scotland

I knew England were a load of over-paid, over-rated, showbiz stars who weren't much good at football. But that performance even surprised me. Eriksson hasn't got a clue what to do. But then again, when it comes to England, what manager would?
James, Grenoble, France

It is difficult to understand, how a side with this much potential can play as badly as this England team has in the last two games. Seaman you have been a great servent to England, but I think it's time to retire.
David Fisher, England

You can't put the blame solely on Seaman for the first goal. When you see the replay it is clear that if the player at the back post (Paul Scholes) had jumped, instead of ducking, he would have been able to head the ball away. Is that not the reason for putting a player on the back post anyway?
Steven, Scotland

The most hilarious thing about the night is that the Scottish are trying to jump on the bandwagon. I have a feeling the English will be sending YOU the postcards from Portugal. England have drawn ONE game - put it in perspective.

England perform better when their backs are against the wall. They were expected to win tonight, so I expected the loss.
Mike Wood, USA


Hats off to Becks and Smith, both of whom played with the intensity and passion of champions
Jason Surface, USA

A bit of humble pie won't do any harm. Stop talking about lifting trophies in 2004 or 2006 and concentrate on winning games in between. Look at what complacency and stardom did to France in the last World Cup. And they had (perhaps) the excuse of having won at least something with their national squad in the last 36 years.
Larry, Belgium

Seaman maybe could have done better, but he shouldn't be made the scapegoat. After all, England should have been winning by three or four goals. The problem was service to the forwards. We failed to crack an amateur-looking defence.
Matt, UK

Dreadful result and very hard to watch. Amazingly the left side was Englands strongest tonight. Cole and Bridge played very well together and created a lot of chances. I think Neville should make way for Mills.

Hats off to Becks and Smith, both of whom played with the intensity and passion of champions. The rest of this team needs to realise winning is not based solely on talent but on the passionate belief that one will win.

I say call up Cole, La Saux, and Bowyer to add the creativity and passion the team needs.
Jason Surface, USA

John Motson before the game: "The group could go down to goal difference so it will be interesting to see how many England score.....the record win under Sven is by four goals, will that be bettered tonight?" Cheers John.
Craig, Irvine, Scotland


Arsene plans to get rid of Seaman at the earliest opportunity
Michael Curtis, UK

David Seaman has made two notable mistakes in a glorious England career. He is still the best goalkeeper in England. However, don't try and tell me that Sol Campbell is worth 100,000 a week. He would struggle to get a game for Celtic or Rangers.

Sven's problem is that Beckham shouldn't be captain. Beckham has done a decent job , but to do it he has had to stop playing where he is most effective - out on the right, putting in lethal crosses. I'd like to see Sven be brave and give the captain's armband to Gerrard!
Sam, UK

England, as ever expects, and has great delusions of adequacy. I can't believe that so many of these very wealthy English players have such a poor first touch and are so inept at passing.
Daniel, Scotland

Arsene plans to get rid of Seaman at the earliest opportunity. He tried to buy another goalie over the summer. Unless Sven dumps him before April, he is going to find himself in the embarrassing position of having a goalie in the national team who has been dropped by his own club.
Michael Curtis, UK

Fantastic effort to squeeze a draw out of Macedonia, I was certain we were destined to lose. What a completely marvellous example of ludicrously overpaid, halfwits demonstrating their true, awful abilities! Thanks for the laugh chaps.
Mark, England


Seaman has been one of England's greatest ever servants but his day has gone
Kingsley, England

This performance just cannot be accepted. Good international teams filled with superstars wipe out teams like Macedonia
Anthony, San Francsico, USA.

What a mess. Reminded me of watching a Keegan team on a bad day - tripping over each other up front, and looking badly like they needed to be introduced to each other at the back.
Steven, UK, London

In Scotland we know perfectly well that our team lack quality and that we have no world class players. When will you realise that England are very little better?
Ron Holden, United Kingdom

Seaman has been one of England's greatest ever servants but his day has gone. England made this mistake shortly before Seaman took the number one jersey with another of our great servants, Peter Shilton. England should praise Seaman for all he has done for us, but he should now honourably move aside to make way for new blood. Our prime aim has to be 2006 not 2004 after all.
Kingsley, England

When a talented team like England perform like this, it has to be down to the manager. Let's get an English one.
David Joberns, England


Did anyone expect a better result?
Graham, England

I think Alan Smith should never play for England again. He obviously is not capable of controlling himself and is damaging for any team. As for Sol Campbell, well, I think he is completely overrated. When was the last time he passed the ball to one of his teammates? Drop him immediately. David Seaman will retire from international football in the next four months. Things can only get better.
James, Chester, UK

Drop Alan Smith? He was one of the few England players (along with Bridge and Beckham) that played with commitment and vigour in the face of underrated opposition. We need players who are hungry for caps - not ones that take their place on the team sheet for granted.
Richard, Cambridge, UK

Did anyone expect a better result? This is a fair reflection of the manager's abilities. The players are, at best, OK. The manager is over-rated and is just taking the money. Macedonia are ranked 90th in the Fifa rankings. I can hear the laughing from Scotland from here (London). Graham, England

When will Sven and the public realise that Seaman is past his sell-by date! Everybody talked of a fluke for the second goal in the Brazil game during the World Cup, but it was a mistake by Seaman and in my view, Ronaldinho meant to do what he did. Tonight we saw the fact that Seaman cannot get off the ground quick enough. Come on Sven, make a change soon. The team lacked confidence, balance and sharpness up front. Bring back Alan Shearer!
David, UK , Durham

 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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