Jens Lehmann's autobiography has been translated into English, and it's a delight, dripping with unique flourishes of phrase like "the ball was a newly issued Nike specimen that came fluttering towards me like a bat pissed out of its mind".
It is entitled The Madness is on the Pitch, a title which is slightly misleading, given that quite a bit happened off the pitch, too.
One such example came prior to a UEFA Cup game away to Werder Bremen, before Lehmann actually joined Arsenal. The tale has, however, become the stuff of legend behind the scenes at Arsenal, and therefore the goalkeeper feels sufficiently in the loop to retell the story in his book.
Legendary, too, is the story of a UEFA Cup match in Bremen before I joined the club. that was recounted to me time and time again. During the morning walk around Burger-Park [a public green space] the player were larking about with a physio called Winky. Ray Parlour gave the latter a push, causing him to collide with a cyclist who happened to be passing by.
She fell headlong off her bike into the pasture, did a roll or two, and finally ended up covered in leaves. Winky ran up to her at once, and trying to wipe the leaves off her, touched her breast. "Off, off, you bastard!" screamed the woman, who, luckily remained unharmed.
The whole team was laughing so hard that the pre-match meeting had to be postponed by 15 minutes.
While the game was still going, Winky was summoned by the loudspeakers, and shortly after, was taken away in handcuffs. The cyclist must have reported him to the police. Winky was able to clear the matter swiftly and was let out before the game was over - in which Ray Parlour, of all people, ended up scoring a hat-trick.
Later, Arsene Wenger would say, "Ray, from now on, I want you to push Winky into a female cyclist before every game".
Arsenal went on to beat Bremen over two legs and made it all the way to the final, in which they lost on penalties to Galatasaray. The only Arsenal player to score in the shootout?
The madness is on the pitch is published by DeCoubertin Books and is available now.