Lehmann makes himself a big target

June 4, 2008

Lehmann clears in trainingWhen I was a keen but accident-prone goalkeeper growing up, the one piece of advice all my teachers and coaches used to give was: “Stand up when a player’s coming through on goal, and make yourself as big a target as possible.”

Jens Lehmann took that literally when he came into Germany’s news conference on Wednesday. The 38-year-old keeper, who has taken some stick from the media lately, said: “I’m going to stay standing up and give you all more surface area to aim at.”

Lehmann did look a little jittery when Germany played against Belarus in a recent friendly but he now says he’ll be fully concentrated, after finally sorting out his future with a move to VfB Stuttgart.

The big problem for Lehmann and the rest of the keepers at Euro 2008 could be the ball, which most people expect to move around quite a bit in the flight and hang in the air too much for comfort on crosses. (See here for a field test at Soccerlens).

There are some good goalies at the tournament, Lehmann among them (although I actually wouldn’t mind seeing young Rene Adler get a chance at some stage). Petr Cech and Gianluigi Buffon are obviously outstanding but if I had to single out one I’d choose Iker Casillas. If Spain are finally going to do something at a big tournament like this they’ll need him at his best, which is very good indeed.

Who’s your pick for the best keeper of Euro 2008?

Kevin Fylan, with the German squad in Ascona, Switzerland

6 comments

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I agree with you..I will pick Iker Casillas..follow by Buffon and Cech..I hope Casillas will be able to help Spain go really far like how he helped Real Madrid won their 31st title.

How about Edwin van der Sar who, at 38, must be one of the oldest and most experienced keepers in the tournament. He’ll be going to Switzerland on a high after a winning season for Man U.

Posted by Beth | Report as abusive

There will be good keepers at this Euro, both big names and not so big names. I’d put my bet on Buffon and Cech from the big boys and I hope that Romanian Lobonţ will be in a very good shape and my team has good results.

jens could do the job. but i must agree that the ball terribly stinks…

Posted by ryan | Report as abusive

I think Jens is fine, yeah. A bit underrated, in fact.
By the way, reading this again, I feel to be honest I should say that “accident-prone” is a polite way of describing me as a goalkeeper. Think Mr Bean in oversized gardening gloves.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

[...] the subject of goalkeepers (see Kev’s blog on Jens Lehmann here), you have to pity the Austrians Alexander Manninger and Juergen [...]

I think van der Saar will have an amazing tournament and will finally prove he belongs in the same league as Buffon and Cech… and I hope Lehmann the best of luck and a great tournament.

Posted by Tamer | Report as abusive