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Saturday, 22 June, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Who can fill Seaman's gloves?
England captain David Beckham comforts David Seaman
England captain Beckham comforts Seaman

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England keeper David Seaman expected Friday's World Cup quarter-final against Brazil to be a defining moment in his career.

He was winning his 73rd cap - the same number England's greatest-ever keeper Gordon Banks collected - and wanted to put on a display he would be remembered for.

As it turned out, the game, and the calamitous mistake that let in Ronaldinho's free-kick in particular, might define Seaman's career for all the wrong reasons.

The strike from the Brazilian winger seemed innocuous enough but caught Seaman out of position and curled over his head and into the top corner of the net.

Arsenal's keeper had intended to bow out of international football after this World Cup, although he might reconsider going out on such a low note.

There is no one obvious successor, but a number of keepers will lay claim to the England goalkeeper's jersey if Seaman departs the international scene:


Paul Robinson (Leeds)
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is a huge admirer of this talented 22-year-old.

And he has every reason to be. Robinson is a superb shot-stopper whose maturity belies his tender years.

The only problem is Robinson struggles to get a game for Leeds and made no Premiership appearances last season.

Eriksson could be reluctant to throw in a keeper who is not playing at the highest level.


Chris Kirkland (Liverpool)
The former Coventry keeper suffers the same problem as Robinson - he hardly ever plays for his club.

Liverpool signed Kirkland from the Sky Blues for 6m at the start of last season.

Unfortunately for him, Jerzy Dudek moved to Anfield on the same day and has been in the team ever since.

On outings for the England Under-21 side Kirkland has reminded everyone what a capable keeper he is.


Richard Wright (Arsenal)
Yet another young goalie who is not first-choice for his club.

Wright enjoyed a brief spell in the Arsenal first-team last season when David Seaman was injured.

Unfortunately he was unconvincing and Seaman regained his place as soon as he was fit.

But with Seaman coming to the end of his illustrious career Wright will expect his chance to come soon - if the even younger Stuart Taylor does not beat him to it.


Nigel Martyn (Leeds)
Consistently excellent for Leeds but has never convinced on the international stage.

The 35-year-old is a proven Premiership performer and has bags of experience.

Martyn is commanding on crosses, a good organiser and an impressive shot-stopper.

But it could be that Eriksson looks for a younger man to replace Seaman.


David James (West Ham)
Many people regard James as the best keeper in the Premiership.

He was certainly superb over the last few seasons with Aston Villa and has taken that form to West Ham.

But there is still the suspicion that James is vunerable on crosses and liable to make mistakes at crucial moments.


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  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
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