Jens Lehmann’s interview with France Football

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann sat down with our colleagues at France Football to reflect on some of the greatest moments of his career. Extracts below.

What are your memories like of that season without a fault that enabled you to enter the history books?

Only good memories! We had the impression that nothing could happen to us. There were several matches during which we were behind, but we knew that we had the mental resources to come back in the match and reverse the score.

What did this season mean to you and your team-mates?

The most important thing was to win the title. Then to have achieved that without losing a match was almost like the cherry on top of the cake. But, at the time, we did not realise the significance of our performance. It took several years to realise the full extent of it. Fo us, it was the mark of extraordinary constancy and a recompense for our individual and collective exceptional quality that we had in our squad.

It was without a doubt the best consecration that we have ever experienced. Such success has the same value was winning the Champions League where it is often luck, form of the moment, the amount of injuries and suspensions that play a capital role, a decisive one.

What was the great strength of your team?

We had a group that was very together with individuals who had great experience at the top level and who could make the difference at every moment. With the French internationals, who were some of the best players in the world. Without forgetting Dennis Bergkamp. We had an international star in each position. The chemistry was right and we really enjoyed playing together. But our best quality, was speed.

What role did Arsène Wenger play?

We were perfectly prepared, Arsène Wenger was one of the first managers to use video footage to dissect our opponents and to analyse our performances with the tiniest details, We also had very complex statistics. For example, we knew whether or not, from the 70 minute mark, an opponent would break physically. Nothing was left to chance.

Can PSG imitate Arsenal?

They have the means and the potential. Considering their financial power, I would say that they have to achieve this. But I can also see Bayern becoming an undefeated champion too as they have been playing at an exceptional level for several months.

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