Belfast Telegraph

Lehmann ready to lend a hand

Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will take his place on the Arsenal bench at West Brom on Saturday determined to help make a difference as the Gunners look to salvage their season.

The 41-year-old former Germany international has rejoined his old club to aid Arsenal's injury crisis which has seen keepers Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone all sidelined.

"I have kept myself fit since the end of last season and I am ready to contribute at any time for the team," said Lehmann, who played every match of as Arsene Wenger's `Invincibles` won the 2003/2004 title.

"I have many great memories from my previous time at the club and Arsenal has always had a place in my heart."

Lehmann added: "It is special to be coming back. I can't wait to start working with the team again and I look forward to contributing as much as I can, both on and off the pitch during this time."

Manuel Almunia and Lehmann had previously battled bitterly for the number one spot.

At the height of the acrimony between the two, Almunia went as far as claiming: "To have someone here who hates me is just amazing. I know he hates me."

Wenger, though, insists the duo can work in harmony as Arsenal aim to bounce back from recent disappointments to stay on course for the Barclays Premier League crown.

"There has been much more said about that [relationship] than what happened. There is a lot of respect between the two goalkeepers," Wenger said.

"I think Jens Lehmann will get the best out of Almunia, because he will show him every day he is ready to fight for his place - as he has always been. Almunia will be motivated by that."


From Belfast Telegraph