Lehmann considers retirement
Keeper may hang up his gloves in the summer
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 22/01/08 10:01am
Lehmann: Costly mistakes early in season
Jens Lehmann has admitted that he has contemplated retiring from football at the end of the season.
The German international has made just five appearances for the Arsenal first-team this season after a string of errors at the beginning of the campaign saw him lose his place to Manuel Almunia.
The temperamental keeper looks set to be on the bench once again for the club's Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Spurs on Wednesday night and feels that he has been treated unfairly of late as the performances of his Spanish replacement have not warranted an extended run in the side.
He also admitted that if the situation fails to improve over the next few months then he will consider calling time on his 18-year career.
"If the same criteria were applied to Almunia as they are to me, I would have been back in the team a long time ago," he said.
"But I am optimistic, and I go into every training session feeling I will soon be back playing.
"It is highly unlikely I would join another club in England.
"It troubles me greatly I'm not getting games, but that is the only thing I disagree about with Arsene Wenger.
"There is a 50 per cent chance I could retire soon. It depends what offers I receive."
If Lehmann sticks to his word then there appears a good chance that he may hang up his gloves come the summer, as on top of ruling out a move to another side in this country, he has also stated his reluctance to leave his young family alone in London.
This would seemingly rule out a transfer abroad and would explain the reasons behind his decision to reject the opportunity to return to his former club Borussia Dortmund earlier this month.
"Crime levels are really high in London," he said.
"I would not feel comfortable about leaving my wife and children alone there.
"I would have made more money had I joined Dortmund for five months, but it would have been less favourable for my family.
"I didn't want to make the children change schools for such a short period, and they didn't want to move.
"My wife and I did not want to disrupt their happiness simply because their dad made a couple of mistakes at the start of the season and now has to sit on the subs' bench."