In Lockdown podcast

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'I was so furious I twisted my ankle'

Jens Lehmann

As a professional, It's never easy to hear that you're too old to play anymore - but that's exactly what happened to Jens Lehmann. 

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, our former goalkeeper explained how his positive response to bad news from Arsene Wenger rejuvenated his career. 
 
"He told me that he wasn't going to play me anymore," Lehmann said. "Then he told me, considering my situation for the German national team, he recommended that I leave the club. He did not intend to play me anymore. 

"He said, 'I've experienced playing a goalkeeper for too long, he was too old and I played him for too long. I don't want to make that mistake for a third time, and by the way, you look too tired as well.' 
 
"Then I left his office and walked into the gym and it was a very intense 30-minute session where I was furious. Tony Colbert [out former fitness coach] was next to me and I was so furious that I twisted my ankle. I was in pain but I insisted on going out to practise because I didn't want to give him the justification of his wrong decision. For him to say, 'Oh, now he's injured. [I made the] right decision.' I didn't want to do that. 
 
"For a couple of days I was furious, but I started to do some meditation. Philippe Boixel, the osteopath, I was always with him throughout my whole time at Arsenal, every week. He said to me, 'OK, you have to focus on your breathing and your techniques, you're doing yoga which is good.' 
 
"Then a friend of mine gave me a book about meditation and I started it. From that moment on, about a week after Arsene's decision to drop me, I went to him and said, 'OK boss, I understand your decision, but you have to understand me, I am staying and you will let me play again. I'm sure.' 
 
"Sometimes we argued. Every week I was in his office, we were arguing, but not in a bad way. After a while I learned how to convince people by the way that you approach them. That was in the book, it was very interesting. It's about programming yourself, visual learning and visual success. 
 
"I should have done that five years ago or before. It was a game-changer for me. It was very exhausting, every day after training I was meditating for 30 minutes. I even learnt that you can meditate pain and injury in your body, it was very interesting.”

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'No one gave us a chance, but it was magnificent'

Kevin Campbell

After beating Standard Liege, Torino and Paris Saint-Germain, we faced Parma in the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup final in Denmark.

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, Kevin Campbell recounted our journey to the final and how we came out on top with a weakened team.
 
"We knew it would be nip and tuck with [Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final]," he said. "The quality they had, we felt we should have been ahead from the first leg and we were ahead, but they pegged us back. We knew if we could get ourselves ahead at Highbury then we could defend well enough to see it out.

 
"I wasn't even supposed to be playing, I think Merse got injured just before. He wasn't well before the game and I ended up playing and the football gods, that's the way they work, don't they? It comes up, Lee Dixon swings the cross in, I get a header on target and luckily it hits the back of the net and we end up winning the game 1-0.
 
"But again, Wrighty gets booked in that game, he can't play in the final, he has a little bit of a meltdown at half-time and he's going crazy. We have to calm him down, George Graham has to calm him down, but we go out there and do the business.
 
"[The final in] Copenhagen was magnificent for us, we had virtually half a team going out there. No one gave us a chance against a really, really top Parma team with some world-class talent, but that was what we were about.
 
“We were about defeating the odds and it was just typical Arsenal. We go there and I was so pleased for Alan Smith to not only play, but to get a goal like he did. That was a goal worthy of winning any cup final."

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