By Adam Clark
Jens Lehmann is unconcerned by Arsenal's failure to win silverware this season, blaming fatigue and failing fortunes in front of goal.
The German No 1 believes Arsène Wenger's squad has the potential to become a dominant force. But the stopper warned he and his team-mates must prove it by growing stronger from their luckless campaign.
"This season we probably lacked a bit of freshness," said Lehmann. "We had to deal with some injuries. The aftermath of the World Cup and the whole Champions League campaign has not been positive for us. Sometimes you have a season where you have to take a breather. But the team could be even better next season.
"The only game we really deserved to lose in the whole season was against Liverpool last week. All the other games we made the game, we had chances, but somehow we didn't manage to win. That's our biggest failure this season."
Saturday's defeat to West Ham United was such an occasion. Arsenal failed to score despite 29 attempts on goal and went down 1-0 to an opportunist strike from Bobby Zamora. Lehmann echoed the sentiments of his manager by highlighting the positives the Gunners can take into Monday's game at Newcastle.
"When you lose it's always a disappointment but you have to cope with it," he said. "You can't feel sorry for yourself. At least we created a lot of chances. If you don't create a chance and you lose 1-0, then you have to worry, but the way we played wasn't that bad.
"We always have motivation to do better and against West Ham we certainly did better compared to the two last games. All that was missing was a goal or two."
Lehmann's also revealed his future at Arsenal is still uncertain. The 37-year-old's contract runs out in the summer but he insists it is his decision whether he stays in North London. Lehmann acknowledged the potential of the side will be a factor in his choice but said he needs to think long and hard before accepting another deal.
"I've always said I'd like to play at Arsenal," said Lehmann. "I'm certainly aware that the team has potential. What we showed last season in the Champions League wasn't a coincidence."
"I can decide to be a part [next season]. It's my decision. I have to make the decision. I can stay, of course I can stay, but I have to talk before. We will see. I don't really know. It's a tough decision I have to make."
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 8 Apr 2007