After 13 seasons in North London there are very few more qualified people out there to talk about Arsenal than David Seaman.
The former England number one sat down with us to discuss his beloved Gunners and his thoughts on the rest of the Premier League’s goalkeeping fraternity.
The famous ponytail and moustache may have been binned a long time ago by the big man, but his reactions to our questions was still as cat-like as ever.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 9, 2018
First on the menu was Jack Wilshere’s exit from Arsenal, the midfielder having failed to force his way into the plans of boss new boss Unai Emery.
“I certainly wouldn’t have let Jack Wilshere leave,” said Seaman.
“Jack is a player who can unlock defences. He’s got that little bit of magic. Everyone keeps banging on about his injuries, but why not offer him a pay-as-you-play contract then.
“I hate seeing good players depart. The fact that we let our best players go was really annoying and I feel like we’ve done that again with Jack. It’s sad to see him go because he was Arsenal. He was, as the fans chanted, ‘one of our own’, but now he’s gone to West Ham – they’ll be a better team with him in it.”
Seaman played for seven seasons under Arsene Wenger following the Frenchman’s appointment in 1996, before moving to Manchester City for the final season of his career in 2003.
Asked about Wenger’s decision to finally step down from the club he served for 22 years, Seaman couldn’t help but feel the timing of the announcement was spot on.
“I was sad to see him go, he was brilliant at Arsenal – no doubt about it. I know people will say he didn’t want anything for ‘x’ number of years, but when all the dust has settled and you look back at his career at Arsenal to see what he’s won, you’ll go ‘wow, that was a good stint.’
“When he first came, he changed everything about Arsenal and made it a huge success. I think the timing was right though, the team wasn’t getting any better – which was frustrating.
“A lot of teams have overtaken Arsenal, so we were now looking at a good season being finishing in the top four, rather than actually winning the league. We’ll see what happens now under Unai Emery, we’ve made a few new signings and hopefully they can make a difference.”
Inevitably the subject of goalkeeping blunders cropped up and Seaman had some timely advice for Liverpool’s Loris Karius after his howler in the Champions League final.
“That was a big mistake and it wasn’t one mistake, it was two from Karius. That will take a while to get over, trust me.
“When my thing against Ronaldinho happened, it took me some time to get past that because it’s always on your mind. People are always bloody reminding me of it.
“I’ve seen he’s had a few hiccups in the games since, so the press and the fans are going to be on him. He needs to sort his mind out, be mentally strong and accept the fact that every little thing he does that’s wrong, he’s going to be ridiculed for it.”