Lehmann makes himself a big target
When 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