Not if you ask him. He’s the virgin Mary of goalkeepers. Pious and sin free, he also possesses THE greatest reaction when he lets a goal in. His first instinct isn’t Aww shucks, they scored. It’s more like, OK, now who do I blame for this one. I better immediately angily look at the first guy I see. Kolo, is that you? Yup, Kolo it is. Angry stare and clenched teeth follow.
Lehmann’s a damn good goalie but I’m really tired of him clenching his teeth, pointing threatening fingers and grabbing defenders for no reason when they’re not even looking at him. The John Oshea act earlier in the year was quite the sight. Then recently against Bolton, he was begging for a yellow card and after letting his first offense pass, the ref quietly obliged after the second. Against the Spurs, Lehmann managed to push his own man and then scowl at Keane for reasons unknown. The funniest part of these incidents is the look on the defenders face; it’s a mixture of confusion, comedy and surprise as nobody’s really too sure what’s going on.
Temper aside, Lehmann does have the tendency to let in a stinker on occasion. The first goal against Fulham was an excuse me goal, as in Lehmann saying Excuse me, I wasn’t ready for that corner, can we please try it again? Even after the goal his eyes wandered looking for a culprit but his conscience got the better of him. The CSKA Moscow goal was something he should’ve had. He wasn’t being blocked by the wall and it’s not like he didn’t see the shot coming. He sort of fell before the ball even got to him. To his credit, he got up and angrily glared at the dispersed members of the wall. Not to be too negative, he did make the save on Ole Gunnar Solskjær to preserve the 1-0 conquest at Old Trafford and isn’t the reason Arsenal are suffering their second worst start in club history.
But if Arsenal’s Champions League or Premier League campaign is relying on Lehmann to be the goalie he was last year, we’re all in for a disappointment the size of Emirates Stadium. His Champions League form of last season simply cannot be replicated and if Arsenal are to have any chance of getting a point in Portugal on Wednesday, it will have to be the back four that stand tall and not rely on Lehmann to make save after save.
Now looking to the future, I have to say that Aluminum Man hasn’t looked half bad this season when given the chance. Although I can never forgive him for letting in the second goal in last year’s Champions League final, I still have space in my heart for him to start getting a little more playing time, especially after a sub-par Lehmann game.
Back to the Fulham game and our man Jens comes all the way to Fulham’s goal to do what? Score a goal? Make the pass that would lead to a goal? Or just make a fool of himself? Lucky for him Fulham couldn’t capitalize or that would’ve been the ultimate instance of insult to injury.