England v Italy predictions: OTP talks to Arsenal great David Seaman
Unless you’re a particularly unscrupulous Italian player, predicting a result is haphazard at the best of times, but it certainly helps if you’ve had experience playing at the very top level. Step forward David ‘Safe Hands’ Seaman.
The lovable lump, and 75-time capped England international, gave us his best guess at what will transpire when the Three Lions take on the Azzurri tonight.
The Gunners legend said: “From what we’ve seen in the tournament, it’s going to be really tight. It’ll probably be 0-0 after extra time as well, then penalties and one penalty will win it.”
So a nation clenching their buttocks in union is on the cards again then. Let’s hope the predicted penalties trauma will have shades of the keeper’s victorious shootout display against Spain at Euro 96.
Seaman added: “It’s been a good progression for England. They’ve not set it [Euro 2012] afire, but they’re improving game by game.
“They’ve won the group, so take confidence from that, and take that in to Sunday night and, hopefully, get the right result.'”
While not entirely joining the masses to herald Roy Hodgson as a messianic leader worthy of deification, he told us about his relief that England managers are organically grown in England once more.
The ex-moustache wearing international beamed: “We’ve got an English manager. For me, that’s perfect.
“It was so strange working with foreign managers, especially after working with people like Terry [Venables], and even Glenn Hoddle who was a great manager, who we lost because of nothing to do with football, and it was a shame but, he’s [Roy] here now and he’s slowly getting the players to play how he wants.”
As we mentioned on Friday, Seaman is returning to football in the unlikely role of goalkeeper coach for non-league club Wembley FC.
We like to think his time back in gloves might one day lead him back to the England set-up, if only because he may reinstate the Euro 96 goalkeeper jersey – a beautifully flamboyant yellow and turquoise number.
Here is that very shirt – and Seaman – in the aforementioned moment of glory against Spain sixteen years ago.