When Arsène Wenger called Jens Lehmann about the possibility of returning to Arsenal, the 41-year-old admits he didn’t take much persuading to get his gloves on again.
Lehmann has come out of retirement and returned to north London on a short-term deal after injuries depleted Arsenal’s goalkeeping options. Following an illustrious 22-year career, the German had previously intended to spend time with his family while acquiring his coaching badges in Germany.
But when Lehmann received a call from his former manager, and after consulting his family, he decided it was an arrangement that suited everyone.
“It wasn't a hard decision to make,” Lehmann told the Official Matchday Programme.
“[My family] knew that it was a surprise call from Arsène Wenger and they all liked [the idea] of coming back to London. I like London very much and I’ve got a lot of friends here.
“I will be seeing my kids quite often because I can go back after the game and that will work for eight or ten weeks.
“[The training] was quite hard at the beginning and last week it was particularly hard. But they gave me two days off and the good thing was that my body recovered quite quickly. That is a good sign.”
So has the return given Lehmann a renewed vigour to pursue a career beyond this season?
“No! I have started my coaching badges. That is my plan,” he replied.
This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.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 2 Apr 2011