Almunia blasts Gunners rival
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal star Manuel Almunia has singled out Jens Lehmann for criticism.Arsenal star Manuel Almunia has singled out his goalkeeping rival Jens Lehmann for criticism, insisting the German international is selfish and withdrawn.
Lehmann is firmly established as The Gunners' number one and Almunia has to be content with fleeting cup appearances at present.
The Spaniard has now attacked his Highbury team-mate for being 'cold and closed' in a row that does not bode well for team spirit at the North London outfit.
"My relationship with Lehmann is the same as ever, we don't really have one," Almunia is quoted as saying in The Sun.
"We hardly speak, despite the fact I'm an easy going and friendly guy who gets on well with everyone.
"Some people are only interested in themselves and Jens is very cold and closed.
"In life there are all sorts of people, the good, the bad, the friendly and the not so friendly."
Almunia remains convinced that he will carve out a spot in the starting XI, despite rumours that Wenger is looking to bring in a new shot-stopper.
"My present situation is good despite often being a substitute," Alumnia continued.
"I'm calm and waiting for my chance which is certain to come.
"Arsene Wenger and I haven't spoken at length about things but he always says the same.
"He tells me I will be first choice if I keep performing as I am."
Meanwhile, Wigan Athletic striker Jason Roberts insists his collision with Almunia in the Carling Cup semi-final was an accident, after the Spaniard was left requiring treatment at The JJB Stadium.
The incident incensed Wenger, but Roberts says he had no intention of hurting the Arsenal keeper.
"To be honest, I was trying to avoid the keeper, we collided and I apologised to him," said Roberts.
"He took it as an accident and that was the end of it as far as I was concerned.
"I'm told Arsene Wenger felt I left my foot in, but the truth is I tried to evade him."