Lehmann warns Wenger not to 'humiliate' him any longer

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BERLIN, Oct 23 (Reuters) Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann warned Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that it would be dangerous to ''humiliate'' him by leaving him on the bench much longer.

''It's possible that some day I'll feel like talking about the whole issue,'' Lehmann told German pay-TV broadcaster Premiere in an interview to be broadcast today night. Lehmann was left out of the Arsenal squad in the Premier League against Bolton last Saturday.

''But at the moment I'm just swallowing it all as part of the humiliation. That's something one has to take in. But I think -- and this is aimed at my dear manager -- one shouldn't humiliate players for too long.

''I'm an Arsenal player and I won't just fade away quietly.'' Wenger stuck with Spaniard Manuel Almunia as his number one and did not even name Lehmann as his substitute keeper. Polish international goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was on the bench.

Lehmann said he found Wenger's statement that he has three ''world class'' goalkeepers to pick from curious.

''Wenger spoke of three world class goalkeepers,'' Lehmann said.

''One of them must be me. The other two have proved their class by winning titles? If I think about that, I can't recall any. I guess today you're nevertheless world class.'' Lehmann won the UEFA Cup in 1997 with Schalke 04, the Bundesliga championship in 2002 with Borussia Dortmund and the Premier League with Arsenal in 2004.

''I'm convinced that I'll be playing again. Almunia has not yet showed that he can win matches for us. I've experienced this situation before and know what the others are expecting from the goalkeeper. I can't imagine he'll be able to handle that.'' Lehmann was expected to return after overcoming Achilles and elbow injuries, having played well in helping Germany qualify for Euro 2008 after a 0-0 draw with Ireland earlier this month.

Lehmann, 37, made mistakes in his opening games for Arsenal against Fulham and Blackburn Rovers.

REUTERS TB PM2024

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