3 June 2008: The only man to play in the entire unbeaten season left Arsenal.

By Tony Attwood

Day by Day: the videos – An Arsenal video for (almost) every day of the year in order. 

That may was, of course, Jens Lehmann, and on this day he transferred to VfB Stuttgart.

He remains the only player in the entire history of League football in England to have played through the complete season without ever being on the losing team.   He played in total 200 games for Arsenal.

Through his career he was awarded

  • UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year: 1997, 2006
  • UEFA Club Football Awards Best Goalkeeper: 2005–06
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2006

And that was not all, for with Germany he achieved this…

  • FIFA World Cup Runner-Up: 2002
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Third Place: 2005
  • FIFA World Cup Third Place: 2006
  • UEFA European Football Championship Runner-up: 2008

In 2012, Jens gave an interview about his time at Arsenal, and in particular his relationship with Arsene Wenger.  He said that Mr Wenger “is a coach who not only inspires you on the pitch but as well off the pitch, because when you talk to him you are always finding it very exciting and you are always getting some great information about some other things in life.

“I think that makes a great coach as well. And he made Arsenal – he bought and sold so many players with a fantastic financial track record, that actually the new stadium and everything he has built comes down to him and to his performance.

“So I quite enjoyed working for him, whereas at times it was psychologically very, very demanding, and I still had to recover from that even years after.

“I was arguing with him quite often, particularly when he took me out of goal, but then after 20 minutes of arguments we would talk for another half an hour on private things, very smooth and relaxed, so there was always a professional relationship and a private one, and the private one is still very good right now, which is quite fortunate because I’m doing my coaching licence at Arsenal, and so I’m looking over his shoulder. They let me train the reserves sometimes and the Under 18s, which is a big gesture, and I really appreciate that.

What he didn’t mention is a particular connection he has with Mr Wenger.  Jens studied economics at the University of Münster.   Mr Wenger got his at the University of Strasbourg.  They probably debated inflation and Thatcherite M3 theory.

In football terms, Jens Lehmann started out in 1988 with Schalke 04 and despite a difficult start he stayed for ten years.  He even scored for Schalke with a penalty on two occasions.  He also won the Uefa Cup with them, beating Inter in the final after saving a penalty in the shootout.

Jens joined Arsenal on 25 July 2003 to replace David Seaman, and despite his defeat-free first season he was criticised from the off.  The criticism reached the point in the next season that he was replaced by Almunia, but Lehmann quickly regained his place, and became man of the match in the 2005 cup final – not least for saving Scholes’ penalty.

On 8 September 2018, a match was organised between Arsenal legends and Real Madrid legends in which Lehmann appeared after David Seaman picked up injury during training. He eventually made two saves in the second half and then saved a shot from Alfonso in the subsequent penalty shoot out. Arsenal legends won 5–3 on penalties, with Lehmann scoring the last penalty for Arsenal.

Ahead of the 2017–18 season, it was confirmed that Lehmann would return to Arsenal once again as assistant coach.  On 19 June 2018, Arsenal confirmed that Lehmann had left the club as part of new head coach Unai Emery’s coaching staff changes.

On 29 January 2019, he was appointed assistant coach of FC Augsburg alongside Manuel Baum, as the team were only 15th in the Bundesliga.

Henry Norris at the Arsenal:  There is a full index to the series here.

Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever

Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.

100 Years: 100 Years in the First Division

Arsenal today: Untold Arsenal 

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