| SEAMAN: Long-range problem
Southampton: England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has given David Seaman his full backing after another costly error by his goalkeeper in their 2-2 draw with Macedonia.
But British newspapers on Thursday called for the head of the 39-year-old Arsenal ’keeper after the most recent of several blunders with long range high balls fired at his goal.
Seaman, who conceded Ronaldinho’s match-winning free-kick for Brazil from 30 metres in the World Cup quarter finals, allowed Artim Sakiri to bend home a corner in the 11th minute of their Euro 2004 group VII qualifier on Wednesday.
Eriksson, who spoke to Seaman after the game, said: “It was well taken and David misjudged the ball coming in — there was a lot of pace on it.
“It’s done. It’s a pity of course, bad luck and well taken by Sakiri. But David Seaman has not lost his place in the team. I have not that opinion today (Wednesday), absolutely not. He made a very good save in the second half.”
However, the Daily Mirror, under a back-page banner headline ‘Sea Sick’, said: “On one of English football’s most embarrassing nights, no one had a redder face than Seaman.”
In an editorial, the paper said: “After 75 appearances as his country’s goalkeeper, the time has come for Sven-Goran Eriksson to bid farewell to David Seaman.”
It said age had caught up with Seaman. “His legs are leaden, his movement hesitant, his positioning suddenly unsure.”
The Guardian, in an editorial headlined, ‘Sorry Seaman must go’, said: “Faith in the value of experience is one thing, but the time has come to recognise that Seaman’s vulnerability to long-range shots is a serious problem.”
Recalling two major blunders in the 1990s, the paper said “this year the slow drip of spectacular errors has become a deluge”.
One of those mistakes came when Nayim, one minute from the end of extra-time, scored a spectacular match-winning lob from the halfway line that dipped over Seaman and under the crossbar in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final against Real Zaragoza in Paris in 1995.
Only last month, Seaman conceded a goal to Bolton Wanderers in a Premier League match when Gareth Farrelly surprised him with a lob from out on the left wing.
Eriksson did concede that Seaman, who re-considered his international future after England’s World Cup exit in June, would remain under pressure from his two understudies in the England camp.