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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Who should take Seaman's shirt?
David Seaman's international career hangs by a thread after his latest blunder against Macedonia.

Who would you pick between the sticks?


Former England keeper Peter Shilton has become the latest advocate for Seaman to quit.

Of the possible replacements, West Ham's David James boast the most experience, although his big-match temperament has been questioned more than once.

The other candidates include Paul Robinson (Leeds), Richard Wright (Everton), Chris Kirkland (Liverpool) and Nigel Martyn (Leeds).

Is Seaman past his sell-by date? If so, who should Sven select in goal?


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

Heskey should take Seaman's shirt to the Chinese laundry in Hong Kong, travelling on foot, escorted by Calamity James, so we can lose all our liabilities at the same time. Robinson is clearly the best around and Martyn second - can't see any grounds for discussion.
Don Carr, Australia

Seaman has had his day and it's time for some fresh blood. Robinson should be in net gaining experience for Euro 2004. Please don't put that donkey James in net!
Max, England

It is annoying that so-called experts in the game are saying Seaman should stay because the alternatives are not there. In sport, you cannot hide and certainly after great service for his country it is painful that the vast majority of the public can see he is passed his best...

Put anyone else in to learn or otherwise, but if England are to move on Sven and his team must be honest with themselves as well as the public. Seaman must retire now.
Patrick, UK

Let Paul Robinson in England's starting line up, he's young and classy. If Sven starts him now, he'll have experience and confidence and give England hopes for the future.
Mel Vandersteen, England


It's great to get a laugh at an England goalkeeper making blunders
John Mcgregor, Scotland

When anyone ever mentions who the next England goalkeeper is going to be, it amazes me that Richard Wright's name isn't mentioned. He is a top-class goalkeeper who deserves to be mentioned. David Moyes has given him a chance at Everton, why can't Sven do the same?
Jem, UK

Hope England keep him as their number one, it's great to get a laugh at an England goalkeeper making blunders, after all the flak that the English media fired at the Scottish keepers.
John McGregor, Scotland

As I've said before, England should now look ahead and prepare younger keepers for the future. When are these keepers like Kirkland and Wright ever going to experience senior international football if not now, before it's too late.

Seaman must go now to pave the way for them. James is just not good enough and Martyn will be a good substitute if England should need him.
Zed, Malaysia

People all too quickly forget all that David Seaman has done for England. He is a great keeper (coming from a Chelsea fan this is some compliment). However, now is time to move forward - to look to Euro 2004 - give the likes of Paul Robinson a go now so he has time to gel with the team in time for the tournament itself.
Lesley, England

England would be crazy to give the place to Wright. He has proven in the past that he makes far too many crucial mistakes and has the rather detrimental habit of giving away penalties. Due to those factors, the defence would have little confidence in him and that will have repercussions throughout the side.


David Moyes gave him a chance at Everton, why can't Sven do the same?
Jem, UK

The only possible choices are Kirkland and Robinson. Due to the fact that Robinson is playing first-team football ahead of Nigel Martyn (which also takes Martyn out of the equation) and Kirkland isn't, he must be the natural choice.

The preposterous arguments about lack of experience should be laid aside straight away - how do players gain experience? By playing. The likes of Spain and Italy have trusted young goalkeepers in the past and it has paid off for them - surely we need to look to the future not linger in the past.
Raphael, UK

I think the person who would place David Seaman has to be Paul Robinson.
Raymond Greenfield, Leeds, England

Hello? has Richard Wright fallen off the other side of the planet? No one seems to mention him, yet he is the obvious choice! OK, so he's prone to the odd blunder but if he isn't given a chance then he will never learn. David Moyes gave him a chance at Everton, why can't Sven do the same?
Jem, UK

David Seaman is probably the most unfortunate goalkeeper I have ever seen. There were ample opportunities to repair the damage but the worst player on the park was Paul Scholes, who seems to have completely lost the plot.


Seaman's long-term stranglehold on the England keeper's position certainly appears to be back-firing
Dave, Melbourne

Cole and Bridge looked a good combination and David Beckham, as usual, gave his all. The biggest problem that England have is not the goalkeeper or the midfield it is the press who seem to think that England are the world's best and then crucify them when they have a bad result.

As a Scot I know what I'm talking about when it comes to bad results! The plain fact is that Macedonia came and attacked instead of laying down like lambs to the slaughter - how unsporting of them!
Alex Hillier, United Kingdom

Glad to see that I wasn't the only one who thought that your rating for Bridge was far too low. Even Eriksson seemed to notice how well he played (which makes it even more difficult to understand why he was substituted). England looked much more ineffective thereafter. Hopefully the partnership of Bridge and Cole on the left will be continued.
Ian, Qatar

Seaman's long-term stranglehold on the England keeper's position certainly appears to be back-firing these days. Nigel Martyn's chance at an England career may have slipped past, and even David James can't get a regular start in the international squad.

So when is the right time to blood a long-term alternative? I'd have thought that it should have been well before now. However, to put Seaman's recent performances into perspective, I distinctly recall an extended string of absolute howlers made by Fabian Barthez over the last twelve months, albeit largely at domestic level.


Did I see Paul Scholes duck as the ball passed the unfortunate Seaman?
Gran Stables, England

But the keeper is only one position on the park. There were another ten men in front of David Seaman that seemed, from all reports, incapable of burying the Macedonians at St Mary's.

The whole team let England down last week. Seaman's efforts were merely its most obvious manifestation. Clearly, something needs to be done. It's just that now it has acquired an even greater sense of urgency.
Dave, Melbourne, Australia

As a former amateur goalie of no great success I was always advised to keep on the back stick until a corner or a wide free-kick had been struck, on the basis that it is easier to move forward than backward.

Surely the goalkeeping coaches should shoulder much of the blame for David Seaman's mistake. Also, did I see Paul Scholes duck as the ball passed the unfortunate Seaman?
Gran Stables, England

David Seaman has indeed been a loyal servant to the England cause, but he must make way for the natural progression of talented youth. It is clear as day that he is not as quick and acrobatic as he was during Euro '96 when he was outstanding (those penalty saves etc.)

These recent erratic displays only further my point. The England team must consist of the best, most capable English players, and quite frankly I do not believe David Seaman should be amongst them.
Kevin Ayres, England


How to beat Arsenal: try the lob
Tim, England

I think England should play rush-goalie, it cannot be any worse than persevering with the current incumbent!
TC, UK

On Seaman: footballers enjoy such wealth, adulation and privilege that when they screw up they have to take their medicine. Fans have the right to mock Seaman for his mistakes. That is a fundamental part of football culture and its appeal.

On how to beat Arsenal: try the lob.
Tim, England

A striker can make a million mistakes, score one half-decent goal, and be remembered for that goal, and it appears a goalkeeper can put in a lifetime of sturdy, reliable service, with a mere handful of blunders and be remembered forever for them.

Seaman is not only the best goalkeeper we have at the moment, he is also an example of professionalism to rising stars and viewers alike. At the end of the Sweden game in the World Cup, who was the only English player to applaud the fans? And now you thank him by sticking a knife in his back as soon as he turns around.

So he was beaten by two incredibly skilled, no doubt freakish shots; I defy any person to have forseen either.

If we were to replace him however, I am in the firm opinion that Robinson would be the obvious choice, but not for another couple of years, with Martyn (sorry, I'm a Palace fan) not James (due to consistent unreliability in the hallowed shirt) stepping into the breach until he is ready.


Paul Robinson is streets better than James or Seaman
Jon, UK

Robinson will need a mentor to look to for guidance, and if the media will not allow Seaman to be it, then Nigel Martyn should be.
Darren, England

All aspiring keepers, please get in line behind the great David James! He has matured a lot and would be a great replacement for Seaman should it become necessary.
Raj, Chelsea

Those who say Paul Robinson is inexperienced seem to have forgotten a couple of points: firstly, his outstanding performances for Leeds in the Champions League, the top club competition in the world.

Also, it's a catch 22 to say he can't play due to inexperience. How is he supposed to become experienced if we keep saying that he can't play due to inexperience? Duh!

He is streets better than James or Seaman anyway. They would just unnerve the back four which is supposed to be quite good (recent games apart). He's got all his best years to come, let's not squander the opportunity.
Jon, UK

Seaman was a good keeper BUT time for him to move on. With age, the reflexes slow, and when you do not have competition you get a little lax. Shilton and Seaman are both a case in point.
Nick Childs, Canada


We have two very good keepers in Paul Robinson and Chris Kirkland
Pete, Saudi Arabia

It is without doubt that Seaman should step down - unfortunately he will now be remembered for his howlers rather than the many great saves and moments he has had with England, but to continue could become embarrassing.

As to who should replace him - we have two very good keepers in Paul Robinson and Chris Kirkland - they may be lacking in experience, but how are they supposed to get the experience unless you throw them in there.

We don't get friendlies these days that are competitive enough for experience to be gained. Our next qualifier is against Liechtenstein, an ideal opportunity to start blooding them in. Thanks Seaman for the good times, but it is time to move on.
Pete, Saudi Arabia

Everyone says that David James has played 10 games, but only friendlies; and that Robinson hasn't started a professional game. Well, give them the chance to fight for the jersey and see who can oust Seaman.

Who knows, the competition and pressure on Seaman might keep him going that little bit longer. Surely if Seaman was in Kirkland, Robinson or James' position, he'd want the old guy to step down and give them a chance.
John Dixon, Aberdeen, Scotland

Leave Seaman alone! I'd like to see any of the gobby fans who slag him off save the kind of shots he has to deal with, he gives it his all in every game. Just because a few got in the net doesn't mean they should rethink his career.
Jane A, England


We should ask the question of how the ball got as far as Seaman in the first place
Bryan Marshall, England

I'm a Liverpool fan and while Kirkland is a great keeper, he is not playing regularly. I think Paul Robinson is a great keeper who is getting first team football. Richard Wright, Russel Hoult... and if only Dudek was English...
Calum Ewing, Scotland

I find it hard to stomach the amount of criticism that Seaman has undergone. Yes, he may be coming to the end of his international career, but nobody is mentioning the amazing displays against Sweden and Argentina during the World Cup. What short memories these football fans have!!!
Kevin Sherwood, Lowestoft, England

David Seaman's skill has been responsible for England winning more matches than losing them.

I think we should ask the question of how the ball got as far as Seaman in the first place, and look there for some replacements, instead of castigating a person who is one of the world's finest goalkeepers.
Bryan Marshall, England

As soon as a player goes through a bad patch the knives come out, and never have they come out faster than for David Seaman!


I find it troubling that David James is even being mentioned
Rob, England

Both Brazil's and Macedonia's lobbed goals were freaks. Maybe he is nearing the end of his international career but just exactly who have we got to replace him?
Paul, Genuine England Fan, England

Hmmmm - the irony of Peter Shilton saying Seaman should stand down. This would be the same agile Peter Shilton that couldn't jump more than an inch off the ground during Italia 90?

Seaman's been great, but it's got to be time for Paul Robinson and Chris Kirkland to set up a goalkeeping rivalry a la Shilton and Clemence.
Andy, Scotland

I wasn't sure about Robinson until I saw his performance against Newcastle in September - he was absolutely awesome. I find it troubling that David James is even being mentioned, to be honest. Robinson is simply better. He could be the England keeper for fifteen years, but that would require foresight and imagination from Eriksson and the FA.

So I suppose it'll be David James then.
Rob, England

As a Chelsea man, I like anyone else enjoy a little banter when it comes to seeing a Goooner screw up. However this media driven assassination of a fantastic England hero is quite disgusting. The so called experts of the press, retired old pros, etc, should be ashamed of themselves.

If we are all honest about these recent goals, we would have to agree they were freaks. Ask any of the scorers to repeat their goals and you would wait years. When a servant of Seaman's stature decides to retires, in my opinion he can do it with his head held high and two fingers to the media!
Gary Denham, England

It is a shame that it comes to this. England's recent history is of two keepers who didn't know when to retire. Shilton cost us at least third place in the World Cup in 1990, and now Seaman has carried on past his prime.


He has been a good keeper through the years, but not great
Philip, UK

When you've lost the respect of the fans it doesn't come back. David James is a case in point. He's finally fulfilled his potential in recent years but is still remembered as a "dodgy keeper".

Give James or Robinson their chance now or else we'll still be going on about lack of experience in 2006.
Jason Tew, England

I simply think Seaman is still the best...I love his hair!
Vinayak Patel, England

You can't win with the media. When Seaman plays well they love him. But when he makes an occasional blunder they shoot him down in flames. I play as goalkeeper and mistakes do happen!
David Tolfree, UK

From an Arsenal fan: He has been a good keeper through the years, but not great. He has made far too many big mistakes to be considered 'great'. He seems to have massive weaknesses when it comes to goal positioning from high crosses/free kicks. Time to go I'm afraid.
Philip, UK

It's a disgrace the way these English fans have jumped on David Seaman's back. These are the same people who at Euro '96 were jumping about like idiots when David Seaman single-handedly got England through against a much better Spanish side.


Bring on Paul Robinson!
Ian Steel, UK

You English forget too easily. Look at David Beckham: one minute you all hate him, the next minute you make him your captain and everybody loves him. David, we here at the mighty Arsenal still love you and support you till the very end.
Michael Gomes, UK

If Chris Kirkland was playing regular first team football I think he would be the natural choice but as that ain't the case Paul Robinson should be given a fair chance. I don't think David James would be reliable enough in an England shirt.
Ryan Curran, Ireland

David Seaman should have retired from international football following his huge error against Brazil in the World Cup. Repeating the error again on Wednesday night proves that he is 'past it'. Bring on Paul Robinson!
Ian Steel, UK

I think Seaman should quit. But one must applaud his service. I wouldn't pick James at all - he is absolutely useless. I think Richard Wright should be given another chance at least.
Leam Murphy, Belgium

Who does Shilton think he is? He played until he was 41, and he looked distinctly ropey in 1990, but still carried on. I don't believe David Seaman has made any more mistakes than any other keeper, it's just that some have been on the biggest stage.

No one remembers that Seaman made a great save in the second half that meant we got a draw instead of a loss. David Seaman is a great keeper, and a great man. We need great men if we are to be a world force in any sport, people who will put it on the line and not shirk their responsibilities.
Michael, UK


Leave off! Seaman is a national treasure!
Susan Lodge, England

I don't think its time for Seaman to go at all. Everyone's talking about his weak point, but that's exactly it - he only has one weak area. It's not that he's old. I mean, we all remember the Cup Winners Cup Final don't we? He was good then and he still is. It's merely a bad patch for him.
Aumit Bagchi, England

The poor man is just too old to move quickly any more. You can hear his bones creaking from here.
Ben Denton, UK

Leave off! Seaman is a national treasure! Everyone has their off days, it's no wonder he's making mistakes. One goal let through at the World Cup and everyone's down on him like a ton of bricks.

Let the bloke get his confidence back and he'll show 'Super Shilton' how to be a goalie! I notice Shilton is a retired England goalie - maybe missing the action and wants to get a few more retirement buddies?
Susan Lodge, England

Seaman has been the most overrated player in English footballing history. Let's face it, he never has been a world-class goalkeeper. Making a few decent saves from time to time is just not good enough. And as for his various mistakes over the years...

However, while England may have a bunch of gifted players for every position, there is certainly a lack of talent when it comes to goalkeeping. Having said that, James, Wright, Robinson and the like are all preferable to David "laughing stock" Seaman.
Jonas, Sweden/UK


Paul Robinson: he may be young, but without doubt is vastly superior to the other English keepers
Nick, England
Seaman has done an outstanding job for England. As a goalkeeper myself, I know that mistakes are inevitable at the best of times, but unfortunately age can only contribute to them.

I would like to see him take on the role as a keeper coach for england and pass down the vast experience and knowledge he has. Whatever he does in the future we should all wish him the best of luck as he has served us and his country proud. Good luck David.
Scotty, England

No! Seaman is still the best in the UK (at least) and should stay. If he were to "retire" then the first candidate should be Martyn, who has served his apprenticeship AND has Cornish credentials!
Michael Troon, UK

I can't see how "Calamity" James would be better, it's got to be Paul Robinson. He is part of the future, and the only way forward is to give the youth experience.
Lee, England

Paul Robinson: he may be young, but without doubt is vastly superior to the other English keepers. Put him in and long may he stay there. But respect to David Seaman, a true sportsman who has served his county well. He derserves to be treated as a true legend of English football.
Nick, England

Long term I believe Chris Kirkland is the best prospect as he is a tall, quick, imposing keeper with excellent shotstopping ability combined with sound teqnique and positioning.


Seaman is a joke. As for David James, he is even worse!
Clive Jagger, Spain

He desperately needs some first team exposure which may prove problematic for at least two years with Dudek in front of him at Liverpool.

A move to another club however might not expose him to the same kind of high pressure football that he would get in the Champions League, so fingers crossed Houllier gives him his chance soon.
Gavin, England

I cannot understand how Seaman has not been replaced before! He is a joke. As for David James, he is even worse! Let's get some young talent in for a change, follow Spain's and Real Madrid's example and give young goalkeepers like Casillas and Cesar a chance.
Clive Jagger, Spain

Seaman must be replaced. It's not just the individual mistakes; his confidence appeared to have gone altogether on Wednesday. Having watched Paul Robinson in the Uefa under-21 tournament, as well as some excellent performances for Leeds, I would try him out.
Mike, England

David Seaman may be past his prime but he is still the best England has to offer. Who is there to replace him? Some of the replacements being metioned are at best dodgy and calamity James is a liability.
MF, UK

Seaman should have retired after the World Cup, now is the time for him to stand down.
Daniel Wooler, England


From an Arsenal fan, definitely Robinson
D Rowe, England

I agree with Peter Shilton. David's given great service but it's time to move on. He's no longer at the top of his form and he's falling away from the quality that international football demands.

He should follow Alan Shearer's wonderful example of going gracefully. The longer he holds on the more fans will resent it.
Steve, England

From an Arsenal fan, definitely Robinson. James is a clown, Kirkland needs to leave Anfield and Wright isn't good enough at the highest level.

Paul Robinson's time has come to take the England goalkeeper's jersey. Seaman should retire from England now and from Arsenal in the summer.
D Rowe, England

The answer is quite simple, Seaman is not good enough. The solution is a problem. This is because nobody else is good enough either. Nigel Martyn has lost form, Chris Kirkland is not playing first team football and Paul Robinson is too inexperienced.

That leaves James and Wright. James would be the obvious choice as a short term replacement, hopefully giving either Wright or Robinson time to develop. I believe if Wright can become established at Everton then there is no reason why Eriksson should not pick him.
Paul Swindell, England

 VOTE RESULTS
Who should replace David Seaman?

David James
 22.81% 

Paul Robinson
 52.96% 

Chris Kirkland
 13.64% 

Richard Wright
 10.59% 

25865 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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