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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 12:38 GMT
Should footballers retire at the top?
Beleaguered goalkeeper David Seaman insists he will not step down from international football.
Should footballers quit while they're ahead? Or are old heads worth more than young bones?
It was a blunder from 39-year-old Seaman that gifted footballing minnows Macedonia the lead in their Euro 2004 qualifier against England last month.
Artim Sakiri scored direct from a corner to leave Seaman shaking his head - and critics asking whether the time had come for him to retire from international football.
The goal was reminiscent of Ronaldinho's looping World Cup free-kick, which sailed over the hapless Seaman's head.
Striker Alan Shearer took the opposite stance after England's Euro 2000 campaign, announcing his retirement from England to concentrate on League football with Newcastle.
Should more players retire on a high?
This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.
That's why you have selectors. David Seaman has served England well, but the selectors have to make the final decision. It is a sad fact that David Seaman is now remembered for two 'goalkeeping errors' (Brazil and Macedonia). David, give it away before you are pushed.
Who are we to tell someone when their career is over? I for one am against the statutory retirement age of 65, and footballers have much shorter careers than that. Let them keep playing for as long as the manager keeps picking them.
As a non-English Spurs supporter, I think that Seaman should never retire and that he should play for England, and especially for Arsenal, forever!
Seaman should definitely not retire. He is without a doubt England's number one. He is strong and will respond to the critics. He's the best we've got - he knows it, Sven knows it and Wenger knows it. At the end of the day, that's all that matters!
Why do England insist on being loyal to keepers for entire generations? Thanks to Seaman, you went out of a tame and eminently winnable World Cup. The dazed loitering out of position, the dipping "shot", the glacially slow back-pedalling, the one arm up, the tears.
Why? Being a Scot I think it's quite funny, but why he's still there beats me.
I've noticed that the only picture of David Seaman that BBC have displayed recently is the one above - hitting himself with his fist, frustrated at a freak accident.
I have a dozen other pictures of Seaman raising League Championship trophies, Charity Shields and FA Cups. Ring me if you need copies.
Seaman should retire from international football now and salvage some pride. What's wrong with Robinson and James?
Players are entitled to keep playing for as long as they like. It's up to the managers to decide when they are no longer performing well enough, and to be strong enough to drop them.
Don't get me wrong - I love it when England lose - but they are more likely to lose without Seaman than with him. There is no one else down south with the combination of maturity, consistency and ability that Seaman has.
When Robinson, Wright et al prove themselves in the Premiership on a regular basis, then you can start moaning.
I think that David Seaman was forced into making the blunders. Ever since he let in the goal against Ronaldinho he's been put under so much pressure that he makes mistakes. At least the pressure is now off him as he is not making mistakes, but his team Arsenal are on a bad run!
Don't be so hard on seaman! It's not his job to say enough is enough - the manager should be able to highlight any problem areas and deal with them.
Until then, I think everyone should get off his back and let the man who matters most - the manager - deal with it his own way. If he picks him, he picks him. Just support your team and don't look for scapegoats all the time.
I am an Arsenal fan and was a big fan of Seaman for years. I now think that since that Ronaldinho goal against him in the World Cup he has been very nervous when he is playing. I do not think that he should retire, but Arsene Wenger and Sven-Goran Eriksson should give him some time out.
I feel that without some rest his game will get worse and worse until he is forced into retirement by the fans. Both Arsenal and England could cope without David Seaman for a couple of moths or so.
I think Seaman's critics are being too hard on him. He's still got plenty of game left in him yet and I for one hope he continues on until he decides he's ready to quit. It would be a shame if the best goalkeeper in the league were forced into a retirement he didn't feel ready for.
I think Seaman's critics are being too hard on him. He's still got plenty of game left in him yet and I, for one, hope he continues on until HE decides he's ready to quit. It would be a shame if the best goalkeeper in the league were forced into a retirement he didn't feel ready for.
Seaman's international career should only be over when his playing career is finished. He is only making himself available for selection and the fact that Sven-Goran Eriksson includes him in the team must mean that he is still the country's number one.
I think the treatment of Seaman is unfair. OK, he made two mistakes in an England jersey, but to blame him for everything subsequently in an Arsenal jersey (ie the Dortmund goal) is not on. Get off his back. On the other hand, I do think Paul Robinson deserves his chance.
David Seaman is too old and should retire. I feel he should make way for a younger keeper. Paul Robinson is at the top of his form and should be given a chance to shine.
As an Arsenal and England supporter it is so disappointing to see a good player like David Seaman struggling to actually do his job. Surely it is time to give up before it gets even worse.
Footballers around the world have found Seaman's weakness. I thought he would have gone after the World Cup. Now he must go. Seaman is letting in too many goals and is making schoolboy errors. Give it up David.
Everyone is so quick to demand that Seaman retires from international football, without stepping back and looking at the alternative options. However bad it makes English goalkeepers look, Seaman is the best English goalkeeper at the present moment. Until he is not, there is no point calling for him to retire.
Well, I don't think Seaman should step down. What has been happening to him of late is normal in the world of football. The moment he starts showing good performances, we will start praising him again. This is just football and everyone is prone to making mistakes. Let's all give him a chance.
It's up to the individual when he retires. If David Seaman still wants to play for England (and he says he does), why should fans and commentators have the right to tell him to change his mind. It's his career, not ours.
If Seaman isn't good enough why is he picked? As long as the coach feels he's the best in the land. Seaman, keep going!
Seaman was one of the good (not great) keepers, but now he is making simple mistakes. Why can't he be like Alan Shearer and know when it is his time to go.
Shearer went, and look at him now - it has changed his game at Newcastle and he has still got years ahead of him. David, it is time to go before you make yourself look ordinary.
Let's not forget that even the world-class goalies sometimes let goals in. Seaman is no exception. Besides, many of the goals he conceded in the past few games were not so much his fault, as others'. To blame him for all the lost games would be too harsh.
Take your time to judge Seaman as to whether he is still the best goalie in England. A couple of games do not make one so great or so bad do they?
Seaman is an excellent goalkeeper, and when compared to the rest of the English goalkeepers he stands out head and shoulders above them. As a goalkeeper is often blamed for letting in goals, a fair amount of criticism must also be directed to those who are there to defend him.
The Arsenal and also the England defence has been suspect of late and some questions with regards to their performance must also be highlighted. And once the defence is sorted out, only then should the goalkeeper be singled out.
It is not his time to leave international football. It will be a great shame if he buckles under the opinions of the few, he is still England's number one.
Older player are so vital, not only to clubs but their countries as well. They help young and upcoming players establish themselves, and they also contribute to the team tremendously.
Just look at players like Bergkamp, Sheringham and the very in-form Zola, who, if I'm not mistaken, is the current top scorer.
Highly experienced players (such as Seaman) shouldn't be forced into retirement! These players know themselves when the best time is to retire. Seaman isn't going to finish his career on such a low note!
Seaman was and is a good goalkeeper but his responses are definitely not what they were, and he isn't saving simple shots - shots a younger Seaman would've saved no problem.
01 Nov 02 | Arsenal
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