Jens Lehmann has certainly been a colourful character during his five years in England. Above anything else, he’s been a fantastic goalkeeper for Arsenal, and it’s only this season where he’s fallen out of favour with Arsene Wenger. The German has also been involved in a fair few altercations with opposition team players who have dared to invade his private space, the most notable being Didier Drogba last season where the pair indulged in a top class game of handbags.
The official Arsenal website reports that Lehmann isn’t bitted and twisted at being left on the sidelines this season and actually got quite emotional on Sunday after his final match at the Emirates. Bless his cotton socks…
“I had one or two tears in my eyes,” he said afterwards. “It was a great farewell for me. This farewell will always stay in my heart.
“The boss told me before that he planned to get me on. It was a very warm welcome on the pitch and I was very fortunate because the team didn’t let me down before, just in case it had been 3-0 or 2-0 for Everton, it would have been a different reception.”
“It was the right decision from the start to the end, to come here,” he said. “Not only in terms of football but as well for my family. My children now are talking, are speaking better English than German, and they don’t want to go back.
“My wife and myself, we learnt the language quite well and we learnt about another way of life. A very respectful, very kind way and that’s a little bit different to Germany. There are a lot of similarities between English and German people but there are some differences as well.
“As for the football I was part of a team which was playing probably the most attractive game. It was really good.
“In the first two years we won something, unfortunately in the third year we were very close to winning the Champions League, but failed in the end.
“My biggest memory was probably the Real Madrid game at home, when we played 0-0. Then of course the FA Cup Final and then there was the game we became champions at Tottenham.
“I was together with Sol Campbell we were the only players who felt disappointed in the dressing-room because we didn’t know we were champions by this time. We had conceded a goal just at the end and it finished 2-2. That was a very, very emotional moment for me.
“But, I said before, there are more memories than only just playing, there is the reception of the supporters. The respectful kindness of the supporters.”
It’s probably fair to say that Lehmann and Manuel Almunia won’t be staying in touch after this season has finished. The latter recently went on record as stating that his predecessor ‘hates’ him, something which Jens immediately denied.