Seaman at Arsenal until end of century

Football

David Seaman, the Arsenal and England goalkeeper, is to stay at Highbury until the end of the century. "I've agreed a two-year extension to my current contract and that would take me up to 2000," said Seaman, who is set to earn his 23rd cap against Croatia tomorrow.

"I am very happy with the way things are going at Arsenal and it's good for me to have got the contract things out of the way so I can focus on the summer," he said.

The 32-year-old has been the mainstay of the Arsenal defence since his pounds 1.3m move from Queen's Park Rangers six years ago and has now established himself as Terry Venables' first-choice goalkeeper.

Bruce Rioch, the Arsenal manager, recently scrapped the club's flat back four system in the absence of the injured Tony Adams and Steve Bould, which Seaman says was a surprise, but one that has paid off and was the way forward.

"It took courage to do it, because everybody knew our back four and what we'd achieved," he said. "But Martin Keown, Andy Linighan and Scott Marshall have got together and while it means I've had more work to do, more saves to make, it's better for the side because you're creating more at the other end."

Alan Shearer is confident he will be ready to lead the England line in Euro 96, just eight weeks after his groin operation.

The Blackburn striker went into hospital last Thursday and plans to resume training when he returns to Ewood Park. "I'm very optimistic, the operation has gone very well," Shearer said.

"I'm glad that I went ahead and had it when I did. I know that time is moving on, but my specialist has told me that it looks fine."

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