Bernd Leno has given an exclusive interview to Sport Bild [£] in which he talks about the differences between life in the Premier League at Arsenal and the Bundesliga with Dortmund.
Bernd Leno arrived at Arsenal last summer from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of £22.5m. Although it took a while before he claimed the number one shirt he is now clearly the first choice at the club.
Speaking to Sport Bild, the German discussed how life at London Colney is very different to training in the Bundesliga, the quality of the pitches and the strength of the Premier League. His interview has been through Google translate and I’ve tried to tidy it up where possible but in places I couldn’t be sure exactly what was meant I’ve left it as translated.
“As a player you have a lot of peace on the training ground,” Leno said. “There are only club leaders, coaches, physios. But no press, no fans. Our training ground is something outside, we are completely below us.
“Another big difference is especially the gameplay: Here everything is much more physical, the referees let the game run much more here than in the Bundesliga or even in international games.
Even between Euro League and Premier League is it a difference?
“The Outfielders have to watch how they go into the duel. And as a goalkeeper you have no protection in England, you have to as a goalkeeper acquire a tremendous hardness. You gotta – no matter how you will approach- assume that nothing is whistled.
“Since I’m in England, the referees have not blown for one attack on a goalkeeper.
That’s a big difference.”
He then moved on to the training complex at Arsenal.
“The training center is here absolutely extraordinary, that’s on an extreme Level.
“The cabin is upscale. As standard, there’s lots of space, no moderate luxury. Also, the weight room is great, a player has all possibilities for regeneration. The most important thing is – and to say that here also all responsible persons: the lawn is holy.
“It’s a dream to play here. Every training ground is a carpet for every condition, it does not matter whether it is raining or snowing, before and after the unit.
“Since I am at Arsenal, the pitch in every stadium a dream. From Bournemouth to Liverpool: one perfect green, optimally cut, wet.
“That is a huge difference to Bundesliga. There are the playing fields sometimes longer, times shorter, sometimes the quality of the lawn is bad, the grass dull. For teams that want to play football is that a huge disadvantage.”