Lehmann out for two weeks
After mentioning yesterday that all the Arsenal players had got through their International Friendlies without incurring injury, it seems that German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was not so lucky. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed that Lehmann has aggravated an achilles tendon injury and will be out of action for at least two weeks.
“Jens is out and he will miss two weeks, I think. Maybe more, I don’t know. He is going to see a specialist in Germany tomorrow. He had this injury before but it has got much worse.”
Every Arsenal supporter knows that Lehmann has made two truly awful errors against Fulham and Blackburn and perhaps needs a break from the first team regardless of his injury. When reading a comment like the one above you really have to question Wenger’s real intent. You just get the feeling that if Lehmann was in the form of his life and the Champions League final was this weekend he be playing for sure. But because his form has been shaky and Wenger just want Lehmann to take some time to sort out both his niggling injury and his head.
Almunia to take over
Whatever the truth is behind the story, the fact is that Lehmann will be replaced by Manuel Almunia – winner of the Arsenal Crossbar Challenge – rather than young Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. Further comments from Wenger suggest that if Almunia does perform well in the next few matches he will keep his place in the side, and rightly so.
“Almunia is equipped to take responsibility because he did very, very well when he played last year. He is mature and he has all the attributes you need to be successful. It was a close decision who is my number one keeper because of his performances last season.”
I have never hidden that I am a big fan of Lehmann but it is clear that he has not performed anywhere near the level required of him and this “injury”, however minor it actually is, has come at a perfect time for Almunia and the club. The Spaniard looked very sharp in pre-season fixtures and I’m sure supporters will be confident in his ability to take the chance he has been presented with. Heck, I’ve even put him into my Fantasy League team.
Gallas back for Tottenham
Wenger was also very vocal about another of Arsenal’s injured players, captain William Gallas. He has insisted that he wants Gallas, who suffered a painful groin injury in Arsenal’s Premier League game against Blackburn, to be treated by the Arsenal medical staff rather than the French national team’s medical team. Wenger also cleared up any confusion over the amount of time Gallas will be out of the side and I am delighted to say that it is less than I previously indicated.
“I believe it is logical the Arsenal’s players get treatment with the club’s doctors. They are perfectly qualified. He is suffering a strained abductor muscle, the same injury he had last year, and that usually demands a 21-day break.”
Going on the number of injuries that Arsenal players have suffered over the past two seasons, there are probably a number of supporters who would suggest that the club’s medical team are not as qualified as Wenger thinks. But it is only logical that Gallas get treated by his club rather than the national team, especially if they have dealt with the same injury before. Hopefully Gallas will be back within 21 days – because it means he will be ready for the big game against Tottenham – and in the meantime, Philippe Senderos can perform the required heroics in his absence. I’ll be posting a preview of the Manchester City game tomorrow, so stay tuned.
What do you think?
Have your say on Lehmann and Gallas’ injuries by leaving a comment.