Former Arsenal FC goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has blasted the club’s lack of winning mentality. He also revealed how he shouted at club legend Thierry Henry during one of his first training sessions with the club. .
Jens Lehmann made the switch from Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal FC in 2003 and was part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ squad of 2003-04 which went on to win the Premier League without losing a single match. The German goalkeeper spent five years with the North London club before moving back to Germany.
Fans and pundits were of the opinion that Lehmann was never truly replaced at Arsenal FC since his departure, before the arrival of Petr Cech earlier in the window. The German was known for his eccentricity and holds the Champions League record for most consecutive clean sheets.
Lehmann questions the mentality of the current Arsenal FC squad
A lack of winning mentality has been touted as one of the main reasons why the Gunners have failed to win the league title for 11 years and Lehmann believes that his former club need more players of that mentality if they are to end their current Premier League trophy drought.
Speaking in an interview, as quoted by Bleacher Report, the German said:
“I just wanted to win.
“I probably had one of the biggest winning mentalities at the club. That’s why I had arguments with players. It didn’t affect our relationshipsa I get on very well with them all, because once they realized there was an on-pitch Jens and an off-pitch Jens, we were fine.
“I was a different person, but most are. Unfortunately, other players don’t talk and express it too much; maybe they are shy about expressing their deep desire to win. Of course, Arsenal need that type of mentality now.
“The current squad haven’t shown it so far.”
Jens Lehmann tore into Thierry Henry for his lack of defensive contribution
The German shot-stopper also revealed that he was left unimpressed by Thierry Henry in his first training session with the North London club, as the Frenchman failed to contribute while defending. Lehmann shouted at Henry for his lack of running and candidly accepts that by the end of the season the striker had started to contribute defensively.
“At one of the first training sessions I had at the club, I was consistently arguing with Thierry Henry because he wasn’t running.
“Everyone else in the squad was just watching. They were waiting to see how it would all unfold. By the end of the session, he was running, though. My advantage was that I was older, more mature, I was successful before coming to England, so I didn’t care.
“Could he take it? He had to. If you are challenged for a reason, all of a sudden your teammates are going to look at you and think ‘Is he going to do what he’s been challenged to do or not?’
“So you have to do it so you won’t lose the support and standing in the team. He probably thought I was mad. But in the end, he ran. I was only asking him to run more and defend.”