The Champions League returned in emphatic fashion this week. Not only did we get to see holders Real Madrid humbled on their own patch, but Tottenham Hotspur condemned Borussia Dortmund to an early exit at the Westfalenstadion, with back-to-back shutout wins over both legs.
Spurs, the first English club to qualify this year, have now progressed from the Round of 16 to the Quarter-Finals of the competition for only the second time in their history.
And the joy was shared by one conspicuous pundit.
David Seaman, yes the David Seaman, was apparently delighted with Tottenham’s success.
The 55-year-old former goalkeeper made 436 appearances for Spurs’ hated North London rivals Arsenal over a 13-year period between 1990 and 2003, but that didn’t stop Seaman from being pleased with Tottenham’s progression.
On talkSPORT’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, stand-in presenter Max Rushden asked Seaman in the wake of the recent scenes in Germany:
“How great David, if Tottenham were to win the Champions League, how brilliant would that be?”
Obviously trying to goad and rile, Rushden was visibly taken aback when Seaman replied: “I know, that’d be ace, wouldn’t it!
“No seriously, I swear, I would want them to win. If they were in a final against a foreign team I would want Tottenham to beat them, no doubt about that.
“Say Tottenham were playing Bayern Munich, Barcelona, whoever – I would want the English team to win.”
Rushden then pressed Seaman: “Did you want [Manchester] United to beat Bayern Munich in ‘99?”
“Of course I did, there’s no question about it,” replied Seaman.
“I played 75 times for my country, I’d want the English team to win. That’s just the way I am.”
He also said a match-up with Arsenal and his boyhood club Leeds United in a Champions League Final, it’d be a ‘win-win’ situation.
One caller into the show was torn by his comments, a real moral quandary; “As a Spurs fan it hurts how much I hate David Seaman for his honesty.”
Seaman, of course, drew the line at declaring an affiliation for Spurs, but the avalanche of angry Arsenal fans had already been triggered:
“I hear David Seaman has been saying that English football fans should want other English clubs to win European trophies if their team can't.
Not on board with that at all. I'm incredibly bitter and proud of it. @HLTCO
David Seaman has just ruined my morning @samuelcrosby2
David seaman you must have been drinking @Ullswatergooner
David Seaman, what the fuck are you smoking? @dazza_mac
Ponytail was always suspicious imho @barry_haggerty