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The England midfielder reveals it was like having an assistant manager on the pitch after the goalkeeper replaced Manuel Almunia minutes before kick-off at Bloomfield Road

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has lauded Jens Lehmann and labelled him Arsene Wenger's on-pitch "assistant manager" after the German marshalled the Gunners throughout their victory against Blackpool on Sunday.

Lehmann was called into action moments before kick-off after Manuel Almunia injured his knee in the warm-up at Bloomfield Road and Wilshere revealed his admiration for the 41-year-old.

“He was a bit like an assistant manager on the pitch,” he told the club’s official website.

“He was brilliant. He was only called in 10 minutes before kick-off but it was great to have him around.
 
“He’s been there, done it all and was part of the ‘Invincibles’ so he knows what it takes to win the title. And we want to be like the ‘Invincibles’ too.”

And the young England midfielder explained that Lehmann acted like an assistant manager on the pitch using his experience from the unbeaten Arsenal side of 2004 to inspire the current squad to maintain their focus and power to victory at Bloomfield Road.

“He was telling us what it is like and was giving a team-talk at half-time,” he continued.
 
“He is so passionate, you could see that. He was screaming and shouting at everyone.
 
“I remember him being a bit crazy and a bit of a character before. But he looks after himself and is great to learn from. He’s 41 and he’s got a better body than me!”

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