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Saturday, 22 June, 2002, 02:27 GMT 03:27 UK
Keown calls time
England goalkeeper David Seaman is consoled by Arsenal team-mate Martin Keown
Keown has words of comfort for Seaman
England defender Martin Keown has decided to bring his international career to an end following the national team's World Cup exit.

Keown, 35, was part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's 23-man squad for the tournament, but did not play in any of England's five matches.

And the Arsenal stalwart, capped 43 times for his country, believes it is now time to allow other defenders take their place in the England set-up.

Open Quote
It is time I let someone else have a go
Close Quote
Martin Keown

"Though I have throroughly enjoyed my time at international level, it is unlikely I will be involved with England in the future," he said in his column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"It is time I let someone else have a go.

"When I climb on board the plane (back to England) and settle back in my seat I will reflect on the tournament and my disappointment at not coming off the bench.

"But I cannot complain. I have two medals in my top pocket from a successful season with Arsenal."

Keown was one of the first people to console a distraught David Seaman, whose error led to Brazil's winner in Friday's quarter-final.

"David was desperately unlucky with Brazil's second goal," Keown said in Seaman's defence.

"It was a complete fluke, pure and simple.

"I told David he could be very proud of the way he has performed. He has flown the flag for OAPs, yet without doubt he is good enough to continue to play for England.

"I am sure if he starts the qualifying campaign for Euro 2004 he will want to go all the way."

Keown also revealed he had yet to make a decision on his future at Arsenal.

He added: "Other clubs are interested in me and I do not know whether I will be at Highbury next season.

"The club's offer has to be right. I am fit, I feel I am playing well and I was good enough to be picked for England's squad.

"At the moment, my decision could go either way."


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
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ARGENTINA 3 0 4
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