Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lehmann Registers Impressive Germany Performance

Under-fire Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann made some fine stops to register a clean-sheet, making Germany the first team to qualify for the 2008 European Championships after a 0-0 draw with Ireland.

The German keeper needed to play well this week to even be considered for Arsenal's clash with Bolton on the 20th, and his performance will certainly make Arsene Wenger do some thinking. Unfortunately, the yellow card he picked up for time wasting means that he will miss Wednesday's game against the Czech Republic - and a second chance to prove himself.

However, Lehmann and the German national team coaching staff are both confident that his performance against Ireland was enough to ensure that he will start for the club next week.

"Why would Arsene Wenger not have reason to play me?," Lehmann said. "I played well and on that fact I am ready to play for Arsenal again."

German manager, Joachim Löw was full of praise for the veteran shot-stopper.

"Jens was flawless and he was a solid backbone" Löw said.

"The way he dominated his area was excellent and he picked up a few balls for us off the line.

"Even when he is under discussion he has nerves of steel, looks positive and can concentrate when needed."

Former Germany striker Oliver Bierhoff also backed Lehmann for a club start.

After the game he said, "If anyone saw how well he played, I can't imagine he will sit on the bench at Arsenal for much longer, he played like he has never been injured this season"

I hope that Wenger follows the advice of the Germans, because as I've said before, I don't trust Manuel Almunia in the Arsenal goal.