This is really big news. Olli Kahn who was memorable in getting Germany to the finals of the 2002 World Cup is out. Kahn was also voted as the best player and goalkeeper of the World Cup. Jens Lehmann, his long time understudy is in the German starting line up.
I think this is Klinsmann’s way of saying that he can be strong and decisive against the recent criticism that he has had to endure from luminaries like Beckenbauer, Magath, and Rummenigge in appearing callous by postponing his decision to name the goalkeeper till May. It also appears to be a poke in the eye of Rummenigge, the Bayern Munich manager, that Kahn his goalie was ousted from the starting line up.
But it also might be that Klinsmann is looking to the future. Olli Kahn has been magnificent in the past but the last few seasons at Bayern have been very average from his perfectionist level of play. Germany also made a very early exit in Europe 2004 with Kahn at goal. Many have not forgetten his flub trying to save Ronaldo’s goal in the Brazil- Germany final in the 2002 WC. On the other hand, Lehmann has been stellar for Arsenal impressing everyone with his acrobatic and instinctive saves.
Look to the world paying a little more attention to the forthcoming Arsenal- Man U showdown with Lehmann in goal.