Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman says he learnt more about goalkeeping under former Arsenal manager George Graham than with Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners’ legendary shot-stopper was signed by Graham in 1990 for a then record British transfer fee for a goalkeeper.
Seaman was 26-years-old when he joined Arsenal and says that it was Graham and Bob Wilson who taught him more about playing between the sticks than French tactician Wenger.
“I don’t know how he’s treated but he [Graham] should always be remembered for the trophies he won at Arsenal. I think one of the biggest parts of it is the win at Liverpool but also the way he trained the back four – they didn’t become great by chance. A lot of hard work went into that and George was the mastermind behind that.
“I was 26 when I joined Arsenal. I won the league in my first season then the two cups and European cup with George. Then I went on to win a lot more with Arsene. I think I learnt a lot more through George with goalkeeping.
“Not just about shot stopping but sweeping the defence and finding people with my kicks. It’s difficult to say who got the best out of me. I had Bob all the way through. He was even my coach at QPR once a week and he put in a good word for me with George.”
Wenger sold highly-rated goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to Italian giants Juventus In the summer after the Pole was cast out at Arsenal due to smoking in the changing room showers at St Mary’s stadium three years ago.
Seaman knew the shot stopper well from his previous coaching stint at the club and admits he was disappointed with how his time in north London came to an end.
“I was a little bit disappointed if I’m honest because he was young while I was coaching at the club with Tony Roberts,” said Seaman.
“Wojciech had broke both his wrists messing about in the gym so he was training with us. I saw a really good goalkeeping talent in him but he was a bit erratic sometimes and I felt that could easily go away with him become more a mature player. He wasn’t given a chance in the end but he was a good goalkeeper. I felt the same about Lukasz Fabianski and Tony Roberts when he left the club.
“There’s more emphasis on the goalkeeper playing out from the back now. I always remind myself we are goalkeepers. We don’t play regularly with out feet and we do make mistakes. The prime example was Bravo at Manchester City who was fantastic when he had the ball. Players learn how to close you down then we’re in trouble as we’re not used to playing with our feet as much as the outfield players.”