Arsenal legend David Seaman believes missing out on qualifying for the Champions League could be a blessing in disguise.

Despite a poor start to last season, Mikel Arteta's side looked to be heading to qualification for Europe's top competition after an impressive run that left them fourth with three games to play, four points ahead of then fifth-placed Tottenham.

However, after losing two of those final three matches, including a 3-0 thumping away at Spurs, they were pipped to fourth place by their north London rivals.

Seaman has spoken on the heartbreaking end to their season, telling Stats Perform: "The worst part about it is that Tottenham took it off us.

"Because it's Tottenham, and what went on last season, we were bottom of the league (at the end of August 2021), they were top, it went to an international break, so they were top for two weeks we were bottom. That made it worse (laughing).

"Then the fact that they've taken the Champions League spot. But you don't keep focusing on the negatives, you've got to be positive about it.

"You've got to keep learning you've got to get better. And that's exactly what we're doing."

The Gunners have been active in the transfer market ahead of the new season, bringing in the duo of striker Gabriel Jesus and the versatile Oleksandr Zinchenko from Premier League champions Manchester City.

Attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira also arrived from Porto in a deal worth an initial £30million (€35m) with a further £4.2m (€5m) in add-ons, while forward Eddie Nketiah signed a new contract after scoring five goals in Arsenal's last seven league games.

And Seaman spoke of his belief that despite the disappointment of missing out on Champions League qualification, the Europa League may be a more attainable trophy anyway.

"It was an improvement. We finished eighth twice," he said. "A lot of people just go to the negative straight away, saying we threw the Champions League away. 

"But even when we were in the top four positions, we were like, 'Whoa, we are overachieving here.' The fact that we finished fifth, and now in the Europa League is still a really good positive.

"I think, for me, we're more equipped to win the Europa League than we are the Champions League. We've got a more realistic chance of winning that. So it's all about being positive and progressing.

"And that's what's happening. We're getting better and better. The young players are getting experience and it all just leads to a good future for Arsenal."

Jordan Pickford is undoubtedly the number one goalkeeper for England, according to former Three Lions star David Seaman.

Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope are embroiled in a battle for a place between the posts for Gareth Southgate's side, with the Everton keeper the long-term favourite.

Former Sunderland man Pickford was the first-choice starter as England made the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and when the Three Lions lost on penalties in the final at Euro 2020 to Italy three years later.

Questions have persisted as to the credentials of Pickford, with suggestions his distribution is inferior to his competitors, while he has been battling Premier League relegation with Everton at club level.

Ramsdale has been fighting at the other end of the league with Arsenal, who narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification to Tottenham after a poor end to the 2021-22 campaign.

Pope is another name often floated for a place in Southgate's side, but he will be playing Championship football with Burnley next season unless he secures a move away.

Seaman, speaking to Stats Perform at a media day ahead of his participation in Sunday's Soccer Aid charity match, believes there should be no doubts over Pickford's position in the England side.

"There's a lot of competition, there's no doubt for the number one spot. Jordan's the number one, there's no doubt about that because he keeps producing for England," Seaman said. 

"There's no way or no reason for him not to be England number one. He had a great end to the season with Everton producing massive saves under massive pressure.

"The relegation battle is far worse than going for titles trust me. I've had a relegation with Birmingham City, and it was horrible. And especially with a team like Everton who were in serious trouble, that's even more pressure.

"So Jordan's proved that he can handle that. He's played in the semi-final and final. He's got great experience. He's got great ability, and while he keeps doing it, he'll stay number one, but they're really close to it. The other two."

Only five goalkeepers made more saves than Pickford's 117 in the Premier League in the 2021-22 season, but he is 15th in terms of save percentage (66.7) of goalkeepers to have played five games or more, while Ramsdale is ninth (69.8 per cent).

Pope is fourth on that list with a save percentage of 71.7, and Seaman reckons England have the best depth of choice in goal that they have had in a long time. 

"It's good at the moment. The only thing that you look at now is that obviously Nick's gone down into the Championship," he added.

"That's not a real boldness, but for Aaron, he's established himself now as Arsenal's number one and he's done that really well this season. And it's his first season and he's dealt with it fantastically.

"So he will be pushing but the future does look good. We've got quite a few goalkeepers obviously in the Championship now with Nick and Sam Johnstone, then you've got [Dean] Henderson at Man United but he's not playing.

"In the three that we've got there at the moment, there's good quality."

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