Seaman: I owe Jags a pint for my No.1 save
GOALKEEPING great David Seaman wants to buy Phil Jagielka a pint – to say thanks for not ruining the best save of his career.
Arsenal go to Sheffield United tonight for a fixture that produced one of Seaman’s finest career moments.
It came during their 2003 FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford.
Paul Peschisolido seemed certain to cancel out Freddie Ljungberg’s Gunners’ opener when he glanced a header towards an open goal from a few yards out.
From nowhere, Seaman appeared to scoop the ball off the line with his right hand.
Seaman admitted: “It wasn’t just about reactions, it was about reactions and agility.
“I had to move side to side and be agile. I realised I was on the line and couldn’t take the ball with me. I had to scoop it out. The rebound fell to Phil Jagielka (right) and he smashed it over the bar.
“I owe him a pint for that. If he had scored that, nobody would have remembered that save.”
Seaman explained why that save gave him so much satisfaction.
He added: “I was 39 years old and getting a lot of criticism. I showed, ‘I’m 39 and I can still do it’. It was a big up-yours to a lot of people – and it helped us win the FA Cup.”
Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal lifted the FA Cup seven times and were crowned Premier League champions three times.
Seaman said: “George Graham had been brilliant. He had a squad that wasn’t technically brilliant, but, as a team, we knew how to win.
“That’s where the song ‘1-0 to the Arsenal comes from.’
“Arsene Wenger changed everything – the way we trained, played and nutrition. He put two years on so many careers because we all looked after ourselves better.”
England star Seaman thought his hopes of being a footballer were over after boyhood club Leeds rejected him.
He revealed: “It was my worst time in football.
“I was thinking, ‘I’ve been released by the club I supported all my life. Am I good enough? Am I going to be a baker’s delivery boy?’ It was my Saturday job.” He was handed a chance at Peterborough and remembered: “I was more nervous than I was playing for Arsenal and England. I was only 19 and thinking, ‘Am I good enough?’ I wanted to prove I was.
“There was so much pressure at the time.”
Seaman also feared he had “killed” a team-mate during a Posh fixture.
He said: “I remember going for a cross, and one of our players went up with me.
“I came down, landed on his chest and he was gasping for breath. The physio came on and gave him the kiss of life.
“He soon woke up!”