Football

Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry. .

What Jens Lehmann said to annoy Thierry Henry in first Arsenal training session

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The 2003-04 holds a special place in the hearts of every Arsenal fan.

For all their vying with Manchester United in the preceding years, the double win in 1998 and winning the league at Old Trafford in 2002, nothing quite compares and will ever stand to rival the 'Invincible' season.

The Gunners went 49 league games unbeaten overall and only the Preston North End team of the 1888-1889 campaign can match Arsenal's spotless achievement.

As far as debut seasons go, it wasn't exactly a bad one for Jens Lehmann.

David Seaman left north London in the summer of 2003 after 13 years between the sticks at Highbury, leaving Arsene Wenger with the unenviable task of replacing a club legend.

It was a challenge he lived up to when he signed Lehmann from Borussia Dortmund as the German went onto amass 200 appearances for the Gunners and stood as a constant fixture in the Invincible squad.

His swashbuckling style and personality endeared himself to the fans and imposed himself upon opponents, even when he first signed for the club.

This was certainly made apparent in Lehmann's autobiography in which he recalled a brilliant story of him and Thierry Henry during his first Arsenal training session.

Arsenal Training

It just goes to show the impact Lehmann had on that legendary side and how his arrival was the final piece in the puzzle.

He reminisced: "I was on a team with Henry, and when he lost the ball once, I did what I still do to this day: get players moving. 'Hey, Thierry! Go on, pursue the ball, go and get it!'

"Henry, whose extraordinary abilities meant he was already considered England's real king, lifted his head another few inches and abused me in French.

"Evidently, I had committed less-majesty. We Germans ousted the nobility more than eighty years ago, I thought to myself, so now, everyone had better run the same length.

"Subsequently, after each loss of possession, I goaded him further, until even the others took notice and Henry could no longer simply come to a standstill, wondering what sort of idiot was standing in that goal. Eventually, he ran after lost balls – nothing special to me, but apparently a huge step for our colleagues."

Lehmann got his way, adding to Henry's game and that of his teammates in the process to create an even harder working outfit.

Arsenal & Juventus Training & Press Conference

And Arsenal were well and truly unstoppable that season.

Lehmann was actually at fault for one of Tottenham's goals in the decisive game but a mesmerising first-half performance saw Arsenal crowned champions at the home of their bitterest rivals. Fairytale stuff.

Do you think Thierry Henry is the greatest striker in Premier League history? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Jens Lehmann
Arsenal
Arsene Wenger
Football

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