Friday, April 7, 2006

Mats Wilander: Germany's #1 for World Cup 2006

Congratulations are in order for Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, who today was named Germany's starter for this summer's World Cup. For several years Jens has been #2 to the legendary but aging Oliver Kahn. Kahn is past it but has held on to the top spot for while because he has been a legend for so long, and Jens has had to wait in the wings.

Mats Wilander is in, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer is out

I love Jens. He is a little wacky. A few years back when he was playing in the German league, he got a straight red card for punching another player in the face: one of his teammates. He has a short fuse so other teams are always trying to rile him up, and they succeed fairly often. He also does wacky stuff like running around his penalty area doing exercises and whatnot when Arsenal are up the field, and sometimes when defending a penalty he goes back and forth on his goalline waving his hands back and forth in an effort to throw the penalty taker off - I call this move the "Space Invaders" because that is what he looks like. But he is a great keeper and always stands up for his teammates, and has become one of my favorite players on the team.

He'll kick your ass in tennis, too.

Oh, and he also bears and uncanny resemblance to former Swedish tennis champion Mats Wilander; so much so that I have gone from calling him "Zany" to calling him "Mats".

You've never seen them at the same party, have you?

He is in top form this year, arguably the best keeper in the English league this season, and has just helped Arsenal break the all time Champions League record for consecutive "clean sheets" (that's shutouts in American sports-speak), 8 matches in a row without conceding a goal. Germany are not my favorite team by any stretch, but I hope he does really well for them at the World Cup.

No comments: