Arsenal FC goalkeeper David Seaman's international career could be over after he was left out of the England squad for two friendlies and next month's UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifier against Slovakia.
Sven-Göran Eriksson did not pick the Arsenal veteran, who turns 40 in September, in his 25-man squad after being uncertain over whether he will continue playing next season. "I spoke to David Seaman yesterday and, in view of the excellent way in which David James performed in his two competitive games and the fact that we are still unsure of David Seaman's plans for next year, it is better that David James remains in place for this one competitive game," Eriksson told the Football Association's official website.
James keeps place
West Ham United FC goalkeeper James took the No1 shirt for England's last two qualifiers when they won 2-0 in Liechtenstein on 29 March before achieving the same scoreline at home against Turkey on 2 April. Eriksson added. "We shall re-assess David Seaman's situation after the summer."
Before the match against Slovakia at Middlesbrough FC's Riverside stadium on 11 June, England will travel to face South Africa on 22 May and play a home friendly against Serbia and Montenegro on 3 June. England captain David Beckham will only take part in the South Africa match because he is suspended for the Slovakia fixture. However, James Beattie, Wayne Bridge, Ashley Cole will all miss the South Africa trip to play in the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Southampton FC.
The England manager also selected Everton FC forward Wayne Rooney for the squad, despite the player reportedly suffering a knee injury against Manchester United FC yesterday. "He will come on Sunday to the hotel where we are and from there we will take a decision on if he is coming to South Africa or not," said England's Swedish manager. "I hope he will be fit as soon as possible - that is a decision we have to take on Sunday."
Finally, there are recalls for Leicester City FC goalkeeper Ian Walker, West Ham midfield player Trevor Sinclair and United defender Phil Neville, while young players Matthew Upson and Jermaine Jenas, of Birmingham City FC and Newcastle United FC respectively, are included after impressive form of late. England currently top qualifying Group 7.
James, Robinson, Walker, Mills, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, P Neville, Upson, Southgate, Bridge, Beckham, Gerrard, Scholes, Dyer, Sinclair, Hargreaves, Jenas, Lampard, Murphy, Heskey, Owen, Vassell, Rooney, Beattie.
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