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Your verdict: Lehmann faces FA wrath

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann can expect to feel the FA's wrath after throwing the ball at Southampton striker Kevin Phillips after his side's victory at St Mary's.

The German international reacted angrily after Phillips appeared to stamp on his foot.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger did not condone the actions of his player - which were recorded in the referees match report - but called for more protection for goalkeepers in general. [+]


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    Your Verdict:

    Well well well. It Looks like another Gooner is going to be strung up before the FA. What a surprise! Has any team in any sport been as singled out for scrutiny by their game's sanctioning authority as Arsenal have been for several years now?

    And the outrageous offense this time? Jens Lehmann petulantly threw the ball at Kevin Phillips at the whistle. What's more, it was a two-handed throw, not even the beaning he deserved. And consider the provocation.

    Several times Phillips undercut Lehmann while he was vulnerable in the air, without even a token attempt to play the ball. Even worse was the blatant stamp on the goalkeeper's foot by Phillips early on that was totally ignored by the referee even though the record crowd of 32,000 and the entire worldwide TV audience saw it on replay after replay.

    It might have been innocuous enough, and Lehman certainly embellished it, but as the commentator rightly judged, players have been sent off for less.

    Kevin, USA

    Yeah, typical Arsene Wenger again. Completely blind to any acts of boorishness from his players. This completely underlines the infantile, thuggish mentality of Arsenal players with full support of their manager.

    They sure like to hand the rough stuff out but cannot handle anything thrown at them. The FA will probably reward Lehmann with "hardship" payments for having to adjust to life in England.

    The thugs who manhandled Ruud V. Nist got away with a pocket change of fines for millionaires. Their cowardly actions are directed at another human being with intent to injure.

    The episode is replayed over and over worldwide, even to this very day. The FA must be real proud of their Arsenal ambassadors typifying the best of English football conduct and the double standard discipline being applied.

    De Grik

    If the FA investigate the misconduct of the Arsenal goalkeeper then they must also investigate all the things that led up to that point including the stamping on his foot and various other knocks he took without anything being done about them.

    To single one player out smacks of discrimination.

    Tony Curness, Australia

    I personally have always thought that goalkeepers were over protected. They can come out with feet, knees and fists raised - it seems with immunity - and usually with the play in front of them.

    This does not apply for outfield players. I always thought that the six-yard box was for the keeper and outside of that he ventured at his own peril. Perhaps that idea has changed since I played.

    Jimmy Fryatt

    You forgot to mention why Lehmann was so angry. Phillips stamped on his foot during a corner kick in the first half.

    TV replays showed Phillips intentionally lash out at him, right under the ref's nose, after he had just been reprimanded for pushing Lehmann in the box.

    Will Phillips get punished? Of course not.

    Arsenal are guilty of taking justice into their own hands. Because the FA fails to time and time again.


    Just like Wenger, Gooner fans seem to turn a blind eye to the rules of the game. Sure, there was provocation - it's a man's game after all, so stop whining about jostling and the occasional treading on - but rules are rules: what the ref doesn't see, doesn't go in the book.

    It's not right to 'take matters into your own hands', whether you're on the playing field or not. If we follow the logic of some of the Gooner fans, it's perfectly alright to exact your own brand of justice if you think no one's taking any action on your behalf... so it's perfectly alright to run down the guy who cut you off on the highway.

    J Tan, Singapore I am always amused when I see little things lead to a "possible FA probe." So, of course, when Phillips stamped on Lehmann's foot it was ok, but how how dare Lehmann lightly throw the ball at Phillips.

    I don't even like Lehmann an am ticked off. I'm sick of seeing players get away with worse offences and not even get a slap on the wrist - Steven Gerrard where you?

    Chris Moore, Villa fan

    What's this about an Arsenal player being charged by the FA, if Lehmann is charged by the FA then all you have to do is go back to the Arsenal vs Tottenham game earlier this year at Highbury where Stephen Carr threw the ball at Ashley Cole or Pires, just like Lehmann did at Phillips.

    Carr was not charged, so I do not see why Lehmann should be charged, oh yeah my mistake, Carr doesn't play for Arsenal.

    Michael Hormoz

    As a life-long player, now coach, and fan of this game, I have always felt that keepers get the benefit of the doubt in more than their fair share of situations. I've been both a striker and goalie at varying times in my career, and I can tell you that the keeper is well-protected and the tactics that Wenger refers to are fair challenges.

    I do agree that cheap shots should not be tolerated, but I've not seen many rash challenges on keepers this season. What I have seen plenty of, though, are outfield players being unfairly penalized for making contact with a keeper on a 50/50 ball.

    Perhaps Wenger is now second guessing the decision to buy a goalie who has the same tendency to garner red cards as the rest of his squad. Wenger needs to spend less time offering suggestions for rule changes and more time figuring out how to keep his players playing within the existing ones.

    Aaron, Indianapolis

    I have followed the Bundesliga my whole life and words like selfish, arrogant and deluded have all been used to describe Lehman at one time or another.

    His history for stupidity in the Bundesliga over the last 5 to 6 years is unmatched. Perfect fit for Arsenal. I said it when they signed him.

    Perfect for Wenger's cry baby, whining, every one is against me attitude. He will get thrown out before the year is over. Averaged one red a year as a keeper. Enough said.


    The issue here is not really this one single incident - the FA will be concerned mostly because Arsenal have a serious discipline problem, the number of red and yellow cards they have been accumulating over the last few seasons has been excessive and something needs to change.

    Of course Arsenal will claim that there's some sort of conspiracy against them but at the end of the day if their discipline record was better, this incident wouldn't even be an issue. Arsenal need not worry though - Lehmann will get nothing more than a fine if anything at all....

    Steve Burns, Carlisle

    Had the incident happened during the game, Lehman would probably have got a talking to, and maybe a card. Now there will be a pompously titled "FA Investigation" which will possibly lead to a suspension.

    What the FA continues to do FA about is the abysmal standard of refereeing in the Premier League. It seems referees always catch the petulant reaction from Arsenal players, but never seem to catch the offense that started it.

    Had an Arsenal player stamped on an opposing goalie's foot the referee would undoubtedly have seen it and, rightly, booked the Arsenal player.

    Dave Connick

    What is up with the righteous indignation that it seems every non-Arsenal supporter feels when an Gunner is involved in an incident? It seems that every other team either gets away with it or can somehow find cause to blame Arsenal.

    You should all be ashamed by the blatant bias with which you look at things. Sounds to me like all the complainers are Man U fans who don't want their team challenged at the top or else supporters from other teams who can't stand being beat time and time again.

    Let's face it, Old Trafford incident aside, there has been little cause to complain about Arsenal's fair play. Check the fair play table if you disagree.

    And regarding the incident with Phillips, he didn't even deserve to be on the field at that time anyway. Someone called that stamp part of a man's game. Where I come from intent to injure isn't a manly action, it's the act of a coward.

    Darren, Canada

    From an old retired goalkeeper; Lehman is a cry baby and a poor sport. I am less a few teeth because of the misdirected head of a center forward - but we both got over it and finished the game - with the help of chewing gum repairs to some teeth.

    Today's keepers are coddled like little children - I was always taught that as long as the ball is in the air it is free and anyone's ball !

    Hurray for Bert Trautmann.

    TC Karselis

    On the same day that Lehman complained of his treatment Tim Howard was knocked over when the ball was in his hand, the ball rolled out of play.

    The ref's decision? Corner. Howard's reaction? None, he got on with the game.

    It must help having their chairman on the FA when you look at Arsenals record for petulance.

    Russ Toyne, NZ

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