Date: 14th November 2017 at 3:07pm
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Jens Lehmann has revealed that Liverpool tried to sign him shortly after the Arsenal Invincibles’ winning run came to an end.

Lehmann’s new book, The Madness is on the Pitch, serialised in the Telegraph, revealed that his fellow German Dietmar Hamann acted as an informal representative of the Merseysiders to lay the foundations for a possible move.

Hamann got in contact with the former Gunners No1 after he had been dropped by manager Arsene Wenger just four matches subsequent to the end of the remarkable 49-match Premier League unbeaten run which had included the 2003-04 league title and the opening months of the 2004-05 season.

Arsenal had lost in controversial circumstances to Manchester United and then were defeated against Liverpool, which was only Lehmann’s second loss in the Premier League but enough for Arsene Wenger to swing the axe.

Lehmann revealed: “The manager comes up to me and says, ‘Jens, you’re not as fresh any more; you seem tired; I’m taking you out now. If you start having problems with your national team because of this, you may as well leave.’

“Naturally, I felt completely wronged and felt like going up the wall in my anger. I would not be bullied. I was no longer a single man who could pack his bags from one day to the next: my kids had finally settled into the country after a year and a half; I could not force yet another move onto them.

 “On the very evening when I was pondering this, Didi Hamann phoned me; he was playing for Liverpool. ‘Listen, Jens,’ he said, ‘We need a new keeper.’ That was certainly tempting, the perpetually terrible weather in Liverpool aside.
“But since I had been listening to my own thoughts so carefully earlier, I declined. ‘No thanks, I want to keep trying to continue at Arsenal.’ And promptly, as if it were a sign, Manuel Almunia played poorly against Bolton Wanderers the next day. After another defeat match against Manchester United two weeks later too, I found myself back in goal.”
Lehmann will not be remembered with the same fondness at Arsenal as David Seaman or Bob Wilson, but he was a key member of one of club football’s greatest-ever sides. He made the odd howler, but had a strong mentality and the character to deliver when it mattered. It is a sign of the German’s consistency during his five years with the Gunners that it took nearly a decade for Arsene Wenger to sign a worthy successor in Petr Cech, after a series of bang average custodians who were unable to shine in the unforgiving Arsenal spotlight.