Silly pony tail, outrageous mistakes, super saves, part of back-bone of Arsenal and England: these trademarks are only a small share of the whole pie called David Seaman.
Who will forget the two vital mistakes to allow goals from long-range shots that cost Arsenal the Cup Winners Cup gold medal and England further glory in the World Cup?
Nobody, and that’s quite sad because David Seaman’s career was jam-packed with glorious moments which entirely overshadow those two mistakes that are constantly reminded to us: three league championships with Arsenal (1991, 1998, 2002), four FA Cups (1993,1998,2002,2003), the League Cup (1993), and the European Cup Winners Cup (1994).
A great shot stopper, David had the positioning and reflexes to imprint in our minds images of great agile super saves that stir us, leaving us wanting for more. One of those displays, an image in the mind as if left yesterday, stamped in our memory of David Seaman’s portrait was the save he made from Paul Peschisolido in the FA Cup.
That header from two meters away was most probably beyond any other keeper, but what David did would leave us trying to figure out with which extreme he should be remembered: the blatant mistakes or the acrobatic saves.
He gracefully stretched backwards in what seemed a slow-motion move, looking like he was going to fly into his own goal, patted the ball gently and escorted it out in front of the stunned attacker. This could be considered one of the best saves ever, matched only by flashes of goalkeeping brilliance that happens once every ten years.
His brilliance was long-serving not only to Arsenal though; he was English after all and it’s hard to not have this quality in the international squad. David Seaman starred in 75 games for England, appearing in four major football forums: the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and 1996 and 2000 European Cups.
His frequent and important penalty saves made him known as the best penalty saver in the country, benefiting England and Arsenal on many occasions. Along with that he was also known to have his moments of ineptitude.
A 45-yard shot from Nayim in the Cup Winners Cup final found Seaman unprepared which robbed Arsenal of a trophy. Then, A Ronaldinho free-kick caught him off the line in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinal against Brazil.
Mistakes that are meant to haunt him. But, in truth, anyone with a pair of eyes would be able to look beyond those blunders to notice the brilliance of David Seaman. After all, we are all human, but only some become legends. David Seaman is one of them.