Former Arsenal star Lauren has revealed his thoughts on the current state of affairs at the Emirates Stadium, including the difference between Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger, who’s on top in north London and new signing Lucas Torreira.
Lauren, now 41, made over 240 appearances for the Gunners, managing to win two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Charity Shields in his seven year stay.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sporting Bet, Lauren praised new Arsenal boss Emery, suggesting that the players have adopted a different mentality to the one imposed under Wenger.
He said: “Emery has brought a different dimension to Arsenal that perhaps wasn’t there before under Wenger. Emery didn’t let the two early defeats to Man City and Chelsea effect the players’ mentality, and they’re now on a fantastic run.”
Lauren believes the reason the Gunners have stretched their unbeaten run to 18 matches in all competitions is because Emery is able to get the best out of the players as any one of them could be dropped.
He added: “Emery has made Arsenal’s star players fight for their positions again and we’re seeing that by dropping Ozil at the weekend.
“Players can get too comfortable when working under the same manager for a long period of time, which could have been the issue with Wenger.”
Arsenal need to continue their fine form and team spirit into this weekend’s north London derby, a pivotal match in the eyes of Lauren, who fears Tottenham are edging ever closer to contesting the top spot in north London.
“Tottenham have improved drastically under Pochettino, but they’re still not on the same level as Arsenal. They are getting closer and closer each year and their squad now has strength and depth, which they’ve lacked before.”
Despite praising bitter rivals Spurs, Lauren was quick to add that he believes his former side will take all three points in Sunday’s clash.
“I think Arsenal will beat Tottenham in the derby this weekend. This will be one of the toughest games Arsenal have ever played against Tottenham.”
Lauren finally discussed new boy Lucas Torreira’s start to Premier League life, and the impact he has had on the Arsenal squad.
“Torreira has settled in to the Premier League quicker than expected. He has been outstanding so far and is filling a role that Arsenal has been lacking over previous years.
“He seems to be a model professional with his feet firmly on the ground. You need these types of players to keep the rest of the team focused and on track.”