Old dog, old tricks

Sometimes you just need a pair of old hands to steady the ship, and they don’t come much older than Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann: the 41-year-old German played in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Blackpool at the weekend, and appeared to lend the Gunners an air of calm at the back, in contrast to their usual hair-trigger, calamity defending.

Lehmann stepped into the break after an injury to Manuel Almunia, who had been injured during the warm-up, presumably causing Arsenal fans more joy than pain, and he might even start the next game. Not back for a veteran keeper who was only signed as a third string back-up.

‘I couldn't really think about it, I couldn't afford to be nervous,’ he reflected. ‘I loved playing football and when you finish it's a little bit boring because you don't have this adrenaline any more but that's what came back to me. I'm quite happy about it.

‘Sometimes life is about surprises. I don't know (what happens next). If that's my last game ever, I'm happy because we won. Let's see.

‘(The gap between Arsenal and Manchester United) is only four points if we win our game in hand. Look at me, you never know what's going to happen in life. United have to play a lot of games in a lot of different competitions and I know from experience what that's like. It's exhausting.’

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