By Richard Clarke
Jens Lehmann was both Arsenal’s goalkeeper and an on-pitch ‘assistant manager’ against Blackpool on Sunday, according to Jack Wilshere.
The 41-year-old German was drafted in just before kick-off at Bloomfield Road after Manuel Almunia injured his knee in the warm-up.
Within a minute of the first whistle, Lehmann was barking instructions at his defence. And, in his first major game since retiring last May, he also chipped in with his views at half-time. For Wilshere, the keeper was trying to rekindle the spirit of the 2004 Arsenal side that won Premier League title with an unblemished record.
“He was brilliant,” said the 19-year-old. “He was only called in ten minutes before kick-off but it was great to have him around.
“He’s been there, done it all and was part of the ‘Invincibles’ so he knows what it takes to win the title. And we want to be like the ‘Invincibles’ too.
“He was a bit like an assistant manager on the pitch. He was telling us what it is like and was giving a team-talk at half time.
“He is so passionate, you could see that. He was screaming and shouting at everyone.
“I remember him being a bit crazy and a bit of a character before. But he looks after himself and is great to learn from. He’s 41 and he’s got a better body than me!”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 11 Apr 2011