Lauren – Arsenal’s invincibles always fought in training

Former Arsenal full-back Lauren has admitted that there were fights in training during the club’s famous unbeaten season whilst opening up on the players with big egos in the dressing room at the time. 

The Gunners did not suffer any Premier League loss en route the title triumph in 2004, establishing themselves as the only team to finish a season unbeaten in top-flight league history in England.

Their style of play was attractive and efficient as they combined flair and pace with passion and aggression. The likes of Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, and Sol Campbell were the spine of  The Invincibles starting eleven.

Regardless of the success, Lauren who was a regular in the team’s squad in the right-back position has conceded that the atmosphere in the team was not always harmonious.

In a chat with Arsenal’s official website, he said: “Of course there was fighting,” 

 “I love at Arsenal that the journalists didn’t go to the training sessions.

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“In Spain in that time, it has been changed, now they have stopped the journalists going every single day. When I went to Arsenal in 2000 I said, ‘This is not possible’.

“Why? Because in [Spain] the journalists were going every single day to find history, what happened here, who’s fighting with who. In our time if the journalists were to attend training there would be history every single day.

“How competitive we were – all fighting between ourselves. I had a fight with Thierry, Thierry with Martin [Keown], Patrick with Freddie [Ljungberg]. We were all very competitive and we were all fighting because we all had big egos, big personalities but by the time the games arrived, we were fighting for the same goal.

 “You need that, big egos but you have the manager as well that knows how to control the big egos, how to control those players. I prefer to be in a team that you see players face to face, you can talk to him, tell him whatever you want but when the games arrive you will be 100 per cent for the same goal, to achieve what we set out to do at the beginning of the season.

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 “This is the most important thing; without that, it is difficult to win things. I don’t want to be in a team that nothing happens, we’re all quiet, if you win no problem, if you lose no problem. You can’t compete like that.

 “In our time we were all competitive, we were all fighting between each other but at the end of the day we were fighting for the same goal and that’s why we managed to win things.