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Jens Lehmann reveals Arsenal Invincibles 'argued on the pitch nearly every day'

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Jens Lehmann reveals Arsenal Invincibles ‘argued on the pitch nearly every day’ during Premier League title-winning campaign

  • Jens Lehmann says his time at Arsenal ‘wasn’t always that great’
  • He admits there were regular arguments within the Gunners dressing room
  • Multiple stars of the title-winning team have since ventured into management

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has revealed a hostile dressing room environment was paramount to the club’s success in the 2003-04 season. 

Arsene Wenger‘s men went unbeaten for the entire Premier League campaign and ended up lifting the title on 90 points, with Lehmann racking up an impressive 15 clean sheets.

The Gunners lifted the FA Cup in 2005, and almost compounded their accomplishments by reaching the Champions League final in 2006, before losing 2-1 to Barcelona

Jens Lehmann says arguments within the Arsenal dressing room pushed the team to success

Jens Lehmann says arguments within the Arsenal dressing room pushed the team to success

Lehmann was sent off in Paris after just 18 minutes; a mistake which still rankles with him. He told The Athletic: ‘I am carrying it… particularly when people ask me about it.

‘I have a deep background of disappointments but some successes as well. That’s quite valuable. For example, in my time at Arsenal, we haven’t won everything, but nearly everything. 

‘It was an experience and a learning process about the blend of the team, the characteristics, the atmosphere.

The German 'keeper recorded 15 clean sheets during Arsenal's title-winning 2003-04 season

The German 'keeper recorded 15 clean sheets during Arsenal's title-winning 2003-04 season

The German ‘keeper recorded 15 clean sheets during Arsenal’s title-winning 2003-04 season

Lehmann looks despondent after becoming the first man to be sent off in a European Cup final

Lehmann looks despondent after becoming the first man to be sent off in a European Cup final

Lehmann looks despondent after becoming the first man to be sent off in a European Cup final

‘People always think it must have been great there. To be honest, it wasn’t that great as there were arguments on the pitch nearly every day because it was an atmosphere where everybody wanted to be successful. But they were arguments which pushed the whole team forward.’

Former Arsenal team-mate Freddie Ljungberg is in caretaker charge after Unai Emery’s dismissal; one of multiple Invincibles who have gone into coaching.

Sol Campbell is manager at Southend, Thierry Henry has taken over at Montreal, Patrick Vieira is making progress at Nice, highlighting the leadership skills of those within Wenger’s squad. 

Meanwhile Lehmann, who made 200 appearances for the north London club, was on the coaching staff during Wenger’s final term at the Emirates Stadium. 

Lehmann worked on Arsene Wenger's coaching staff during his last season as Arsenal boss

Lehmann worked on Arsene Wenger's coaching staff during his last season as Arsenal boss

Lehmann worked on Arsene Wenger’s coaching staff during his last season as Arsenal boss



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Aubameyang predicts Arsenal youngster will become superstar

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Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has predicted that team-mate Gabriel Martinelli will become a superstar. Martinelli, aged 18, scored his…

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Manchester United need to repeat Sir Alex Ferguson trick by stealing Arsenal superstar

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Manchester United are still far adrift of battling for a Premier League title with Liverpool currently flying high at the top of the table ahead of their meeting at Anfield today (4.30pm), but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should follow in the footsteps of his former boss to get the club back to the top. Sir Alex Ferguson was often lauded for his exploits in the transfer market for bringing in the right player at the right time.

Since his retirement though, United have lost that sharpness in the transfer market to find what they need.

Marouane Fellaini, Angel Di Maria, Morgan Schneiderlin, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez are just some of the names United have spent big on in previous years with little to no success in return.

Jose Mourinho did lead United to the best-of-the-rest to second spot in the 2017/18 campaign, but last season saw them finish outside the top four for the fourth time in the last six seasons.

There has been some promise in the transfer window under Solskjaer with the acquisitions of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James strengthening in areas that were necessary.

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Man Utd hit roadblock in Bruno Fernandes transfer talks over price

 

But this is a United team who won eight Premier League titles since the turn of the century, their last being arguably Ferguson’s most famous.

The Red Devils were still reeling from seeing Manchester City snatch the 2011/12 Premier League title after Sergio Aguero’s dramatic late winner on the final day of the season.

However, Ferguson responded in the transfer market with a killer blow to their Premier League rivals by signing the league’s most prolific striker from Arsenal – Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman had spent eight years with Arsenal but was entering the final year of his contract and United jumped in to steal the striker away from Arsene Wenger in one of the most surprising deals in Premier League history.

United could face the same situation this summer. While missing out on the title on the last day of the season is all-but out of the question, they may have to face the prospect of seeing arch-rivals Liverpool lift the title for the first time in 30 years.

And the Merseyside outfit are being backed for a period of dominance at the top of the English league should they go on to claim that elusive Premier League title.

Only United fans will be able to say which would be a worse prospect, but the club under Ferguson back in 2012 responded by signing Van Persie and going on to storm to the title the following season as Ferguson called time on his illustrious career.

The Old Trafford outfit though should try to repeat that same feat this summer in the transfer window to steal another Arsenal superstar who has shown reluctance to sign new terms at the Emirates – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabon international is out of contract in 2021 with the current Arsenal captain supposedly wanting Champions League football.

United could end up beating Arsenal to the final spot in the top four come the end of the season and going after Aubameyang would be a huge signal of intent about the club going after players capable of taking them to the next level.

At 30 years of age, United would still be getting some of Aubameyang’s best years while young players such as Rashford, Martial and Greenwood could learn a lot from the Arsenal forward.

Whether or not Arsenal would be willing to risk similar business which saw them lose Van Persie remains to be seen, but United could leave them with no choice.

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Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool and more

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Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United look to seal Bruno Fernandes move plus all the latest from Premier League, La Liga and Serie A clubs

It’s day 19 of the transfer window with clubs across Europe battling it out for their mid-season targets before the end of the month.  

Manchester United bid for Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes stalls with Old Trafford hierarchy ‘way off’ meeting £68m valuation.

Whilst Liverpool join Chelsea in pursuit of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner as Premier League sides look to strengthen their attacking options. 

Want to know who your club are looking to purchase? Follow our live transfer blog to find out as Sportsmail keeps you updated with all the latest news. 



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