German goalkeeper battle escalates

12th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 October 2004 , BERLIN - Jens Lehmann wore the wrong gloves and is not available for Germany's Asian tour in December. Oliver Kahn, by contrast, has the right gloves, can play in December and will be made fit like never before by Sepp Maier. "We will train even more intensively at Bayern Munich so that Jens Lehmann will have no chance whatsoever to play in 2006," said Maier. That was the latest Tuesday in the ongoing saga about whether Arsenal's Lehmann or Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn is the true number 1

13 October 2004

BERLIN - Jens Lehmann wore the wrong gloves and is not available for Germany's Asian tour in December.

Oliver Kahn, by contrast, has the right gloves, can play in December and will be made fit like never before by Sepp Maier.

"We will train even more intensively at Bayern Munich so that Jens Lehmann will have no chance whatsoever to play in 2006," said Maier.

That was the latest Tuesday in the ongoing saga about whether Arsenal's Lehmann or Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn is the true number 1 between the posts for Germany.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann has stripped Kahn of his number 1 status, giving Lehmann a chance to become a starter in the run-up to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Klinsmann only underlined this - and his absolute authority - when he kicked the icon Maier out of his job as Germany goalkeeper coach on Sunday after Maier had publically sided with Kahn.

"There is no justice in the tough football business," said Maier, who was tended goal when Germany won the 1974 World Cup.

While the Euro 1996 keeper Andreas Koepke is the designated successor of Maier in the national team, Maier will continue to work with Kahn in Munich.

It is not known yet whom Klinsmann will field in Germany's next match on November 17 in Leipzig against Cameroon, but Kahn is likely to be the number 1 in the Asian tour in December with matches in Japan (16th), South Korea (19th) and Thailand (21st).

After all, Lehmann has club obligations with Arsenal at the time and number 3 Timo Hildebrand may also not be available because his club VfB Stuttgart has a UEFA Cup game during the time.

The Bild daily, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that Klinsmann had told Lehmann that he must wear the gloves of Germany's national team suppliers Adidas instead of his regular Nike gloves.

Lehmann wore the Nike model in his strong showing as Germany won 2-0 in a friendly against Iran in Teheran Saturday.

Kahn, by contrast, has a contract with Adidas.

Bild wondered whether the sponsor deal may decide the whole issue (it named "the goalkeeper war"), which has overshadowed all other team aspects for the past week.

According to another former Germany player, Paul Breitner, Klinsmann alone has to be blamed for the ongoing affair because he always leaves for his Californian home after matches instead of spending a few post-match days in Germany.

"One has to ask whether it would be better if he stays in Germany for a day or two to solve such problems," said Breitner, who personally favours Kahn over Lehmann.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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