Former England goalkeeper David Seaman has called for Roy Hodgson to stick with what he knows ahead of England’s vital clash with Wales on Thursday.
Seaman believes Hodgson’s men can take inspiration from a similar European Championships home nations clash – England v Scotland at Euro 96.
The ex-Arsenal and Manchester City goalkeeper was between the sticks twenty years ago when England drew their opening Euros game with Switzerland then blew away Scotland (with a famous Seaman penalty save) on their way to the semi-finals.
Seaman was speaking with 888sport ahead of the Wales clash: “I would love it to happen the same and even for them to go one step further and get to the final. It’s about time. It’s 20 years ago since Euro 96 and that’s a long time.
“We’re coming off the back of some disappointing campaigns in World Cups and in the Euros – it’d be great to give the fans something. What happened in Euro 96, not just for the team but for the whole country, was so special and we need that again.”
England opened their Euro 2016 account last Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Russia. Hodgson came under fire for leaving out in-form Jamie Vardy, but Seaman backed the decision and called on the England management to stick with their guns ahead of the Wales clash.
When asked if he’d change the team ahead of the Wales clash, Seaman was firm in his answer.
“No, I’d leave it how it is, see how it goes,” he said. “I know a lot of criticism has been aimed at Roy for not changing or not using all his subs – the only change I might have made a little bit later on would have been to put Vardy on for Kane but that would have been it.
“All the other changes were spot on – you know he put Milner on in a defensive role, swapped Rooney – he was looking a bit tired and was putting in a few loose passes. I thought Roy did everything ok so he just needs to carry that on into the Welsh game.”
But on matters close to his heart, his beloved Arsenal, Seaman was equally firm in his belief that the Gunners should sign the Leicester City forward along with another much-needed defensive acquisition.
He added: “They need a central defender, they’ve signed a midfielder, sign Vardy and we’re looking good. We need that spine. We’ve got Cech in goal who is brilliant, sign a centre half and a striker. They’re additions to what is already a great squad. Apparently we didn’t have a great season and finished second, Tottenham had a great season and finished third.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger activated Vardy’s release clause with Leicester City, reported to be £20 million, prior to the European Championships kicking off but Vardy has dug his heels in, telling Arsenal he won’t decide his future until after the Championships are over.
Seaman explained his admiration for Vardy: “I was hoping that he’d come. He gives us another option, Jamie Vardy is not just a ball over the top player, he’s got a lot more to his game and if he can bring that into the Arsenal side as well as a ball over the top outlet then he’d be a great signing.”
David Seaman was speaking at the launch 888sport’s sponsorship of 500 London black cabs for EURO 16. New customers can bet now and get treble your odds at 888sport.com, T&Cs apply.
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran