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Arsenal keeper blames ball for poor performance

Some of you may have noticed that Germany were held to a 2-2 draw against Belarus on Tuesday, despite dashing into a two-goal lead by half-time. It hardly bodes well for their chances of winning Euro 2008, although everybody’s favourite keeper Jens Lehmann claims that his error-ridden performance for Joachim Low’s team was down to the new ball that will be used for Euro 2008. Makes a change from blaming Manuel Almunia all the time.

Sporting Life reports that the Arsenal keeper continues to speak out against the many injustices which are clearly stopping him being the greatest shot-stopper the world has ever seen.

He told Kicker magazine: “The ball is very difficult for me. I only trained with it for the first time a week ago. It is once again different to the ones before it.

“I had a situation in the first half (against Belarus) where I wanted to hold on to the ball – and then it started to move around.

“I hope in the coming days, when also my freshness will come back, that I then have a bit of time for a lot of shot training in order to get more familiar with the ball.”

How can the ball be that different to the ones used previously? It’s round, the same size and surely roughly the same weight? It might be perfectly plausible to cite a lack of first team action as a justification for a rusty performance but not a match ball. Arsenal fans will be all-too aware of Jens trying to hold on to the ball and seeing it move around!

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