Tuesday, November 13, 2007

200% Professional Lehmann May Leave In January

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has lost his starting place at Arsenal due to two mistakes in the first two games of the season, and an early-season injury.

Since then Manuel Almunia has started every Premier League game, with Lehmann, the former first-choice keeper, relegated to the bench.

The German keeper has been incredibly critical of manager Arsene Wenger and Manuel Almunia, going public on his feelings that he is by far the better keeper at Arsenal.

Nonetheless, Arsene Wenger claims that he has a chance to break back into the team before January.

"If the situation is still like this in January we will see. We are still in November. November and December is plenty of time to win his place back," said Wenger.

"He is up for the challenge because he is 200% professional."

I don't think too many people would agree that Lehmann is professional, but it's not too hard to understand his frustration.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has told Lehmann that he needs to regain a starting spot before Christmas if he wants to continue to be Germany's number one. Lehmann will therefore look for a way out of Arsenal if he hasn't regained his spot by January.

"Given what the Germany coach says, I will have to see how things are in December," said Lehmann.

"I definitely want to play at Euro 2008. Playing there has always been my aim.

"The Bundesliga is always attractive and is an option, and maybe the German second division is too," he added.

However, he still hopes to dislodge Almunia before the transfer window.

"The situation is as it is. It is only important what the manager decides and I am using this phase to train intensively every day.

"The manager knows I am highly motivated. I would like to play again soon and expect that I will do.

"I would be very surprised if that was not the case."

Personally, I'd be very surprised if he did get his place back. As far as I'm concerned I'd rather see him leave.