Bayern Munich's German international goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has come under fire for Saturday's attack on Werder Bremen striker Miroslav Klose.
Olli can have a temper
Kahn, 35, raced towards international team-mate Klose in the 43rd minute of the 2-1 win over Bremen at the Weserstadion and pushed his gloves into the nose of the Polish-born striker. Kahn claims Klose landed a late blow to his kidney but television replays show no evidence.
"What Olli did was by no means ok," raged Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness. "We told Olli that actions such as that endanger his reputation."
Even Kahn's goalkeeping coach and long-term friend, Sepp Maier, put the boot in. "That was a stupid thing he did with Klose," Maier told Munich newspaper AZ. "He should know that himself."
Bremen manager Thomas Schaaf was infuriarted by the incident and did not hold back in criticising Kahn. "That sort of action does not belong on the pitch and should not be accepted," said Schaaf.
Kahn has a reputation for having a short fuse and he earned the unwanted nickname 'Genghis Kahn' after a kung-fu kick attack on Borussia Dortmund's Stephane Chapuisat in April 1999. But Germany coach Jürgen Klinsmann was unaffacted by the incident claiming it was part and parcel of soccer.
Something in your nose, Miro?
"I do not think two international team-mates going for one
another should be blown up," said Klinsmann. "It is an emotional moment that can happen in the match. That will also happen two months before the World Cup."
Klose and Kahn will avoid one another when Germany face Iran on Saturday in Tehran with Klinsmann opting to rest Kahn and hand a starting chance to Arsenal's Jens Lehmann.
Earlier this week, Lehmann said he would be in goal for Germany for the 2006 World Cup campaign leaving Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn warming the substitutes' bench.
The former Borussia Dortmund custodian vowed to put Kahn in the shade during his match against Iran. "I am convinced that I will be in goal for the 2006 World Cup," insisted Lehmann in magazine Kicker. "I am at the peak of my career in terms of experience and sporting ability."
Bayern shot-stopper Kahn was stripped of the captaincy by Klinsmann, with Michael Ballack favored, and Lehmann believes his chances are improved with Kahn no longer guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.
"The captain has to play so a goalkeeper as captain is not the best idea," added Lehmann. "For me it was awful to be in competition with someone who has a 40 percent advantage because he is captain."
Kahn has been first choice goalkeeper for the German national team since the tail end of 1996 winning 74 caps while Lehmann has just 19. But the Arsenal goalkeeper dreams of lifting the World Cup crown in Germany and insists it is not too much to expect despite the disastrous first round exit at Euro 2004.
"France are going through a transitional phase," he explained. "England, the Netherlands and Italy are hardly world beaters, although Brazil are a very strong team."