The Beast over Beauty Any Day …… Oh for another Lauren

The nos won convincingly in response to yesterday’s poll asking whether supporters would sell Aubameyang in order to fund some top quality defenders/midfielders.

Mike M’s response was more analytical, but still came to a conclusion held by many about the mentality of the team.

Here’s what he had to say …..

It’s an interesting question when you look at the stats over the last 15 years. Scoring the most goals will probably win you the title. Ditto for conceding the least.

Basically if you only score 54, you probably wont make top 4 even if you concede 31. If you concede 51, you have little or no chance of top 4 (Liverpool conceded 50 a few years back and finished 2nd but they scored 102). The answer lies somewhere in between.

I think my main point would be the overall mentality of the team and the mental fragility we very often on display. Anyone remember going 0-1 up at Anfield?? That lasted 8 mins or so and another 10 more, we were done. How does that happen? How do we miss a PK to pass up winning at Spuds? Or capitulate 3-1 at Wolves, 3-0 at Leicester etc etc.

I’m not sure it’s a question of attacker over defender. I think it’s the type of mentality we should be looking for. I’m undecided on the PEA question but I do think we desperately need a TA6 or Sol23. One of my favorite players of all time is Lauren. Gifted? Fast? Skilful? Great passing range? Probably none of those. But he’d score the penalty in a NLD in a crunch, run through a wall for his team mates and no one ever messed with him. Xhaka, not so much.

Do you agree ….. is recruiting players with the right mentality paramount if we want to return to the days when no one messed with The Arsenal?

Mike M


61 Responses to The Beast over Beauty Any Day …… Oh for another Lauren

  1. RA says:

    Morning Peaches and Rasper,

    About time the pair of you worked in administrative tandem again!!

    Clearly the rumour that Rasp had eloped with a shy, coy Carp was a little suspect. 😁

  2. LB says:

    What a great comment, I missed it yesterday but obviously glad I had the chance to catch it today.

    Lauren — Wenger was never able to pick a defender, rolls eyes…..

  3. Els says:

    Exactly this. This is what we were all dancing around I think. Would I swap Aubamayang for a player like Lauren. Yes.

    Who was it that Lauren would fight for regularly? Was it Toure? I remember an interview where someone claimed they never got messed with because if Lauren.

    The thing is, is football like that anymore? Contracts are changing and it’s becoming the norm when players move at the end of their contracts as it’s financially irresponsible to do anything else. Hopefully we can find a player from the academy that loves the club enough to run through walls for us. Bielik looks like he’s able to handle himself.

    It was an excellent post Mike M and thanks for the article.

    I’d say that’s exactly what is missing in our midfield and defence. Sokratis coming closest.

    Also on another note I’d be doing as much as possible to bring in players Torreira will bond with. Maybe that’s Marellini? The him sick rumours have been going since mid season.

  4. RA says:

    Hi Mike M,

    I mistook you for another Mike, with a similar writing style (as well as name) and after collecting my thoughts I recalled he was a ‘Mike B’ – and at the time was writing a novel, and I suspect that took precedence over blogging – can’t think why? 🤪

    There is am problem with corresponding on a blog, and Peaches the Pincher, highlights this, as one can agree with the overall drift of a (Post) sized comment but perhaps might have a slightly different take on a miniscule point but in mentioning it stands as a pedant nit-picking for the sake of it.

    Anyway, I was with you yesterday while reading your comment, until the last paragraph/question regarding the mentality of the players we should recruit to ensure no one messed with Arsenal.

    How does one define the ‘right mentality’? Can it be identified pre-purchase? Does it relate only to recruiting players who are not pussies with faint hearts – or should we risk going the old Stoke route and recruit bruisers who could viciously kick the sugar out of opposing players – and still lose?

    Not that you said ~ Lauren was like that! 🥺

  5. allezkev says:

    I loved Lauren, hard as nails, no dramas, he just got on with it and when we were in the midst of a battle he was there, right in among it, how I wish we had a 21 year old Lauren now.

    Contrast him with some of the flakes we have in the present squad, it’s enough to make you weep.

  6. RA says:

    Oops — my mention of Peaches, above, was incidental to the rest of my comment, and to clarify, any nit-picking I referred to was aimed in tis instance at myself, as I think the rest of my comment proved, 😳 Gulp.

  7. RA says:

    Hi, Kev,

    Your question; – “Contrast him with some of the flakes we have in the present squad, it’s enough to make you weep.” is so true – and puts me in mind of my breakfast corn ‘flakes’ — crisply crunchy and cheekily brazen, but a little milk and they become soft and pliable. 😛

  8. Sue says:

    Nice article Mike M 👌
    You can see why Arsene said Lauren was his “best signing” he really was a beast, in every sense of the word!
    If only some members of our team had that same mindset & we’d be sorted, for sure!!
    Seeing that picture of him in that shirt.. ahh those were the days.. only seems like yesterday I was parading round in mine!! Not long now and the new kits will be out!
    All this talk of Lauren has made me want to put on the 49 match unbeaten run DVD 😝

  9. Pete says:

    Great post and thanks for reminding us what a brilliant uncompromising and underestimated player Lauren was. I love the way Wenger talks about him in that video.

  10. Rasp says:

    Great comments once again. Mike M is in the USA I believe and will not be able to read your responses until about midday UK time.

  11. Els says:

    I see what RA is saying. We wouldn’t want a Shawcross or a Dan Smith would we. It’s more about determination and not backing down over being willing to hurt people.

    I don’t think Sokratis is a million miles away to be fair. Lacazette is worth his weight also.

  12. Sue says:

    Gnabry is Bayern’s POTS.. loved Bellerin’s tweet about how he wasn’t good enough for West Brom though 😂😂👍 if only we hadn’t sold him….. sigh…..

  13. Els says:

    Sue, we used to be able to say there weren’t many, if any players that left Arsenal to go to better things.

    We have a few younger players leaving. Hopefully that’s stopped now.

  14. Sue says:

    Very true, Els.
    Poland are playing tonight, another chance for Bielik to shine – then in a few weeks time, history will repeat itself & we’ll ship him out to nothing… noooo!! I’m just kidding 😳

  15. Els says:

    That’s not even funny. Haha.

    In 3 years Beilik will be lifting the Premier League Trophy as Chelsea captain.

    I’ll be watching it. What time is kick off?

  16. Sue says:

    😆👍… It’s on at 8pm, Els and they’re playing Spain, so should be good

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    I am sure Kolasinac could be turned into a Lauren in a heartbeat, or maybe Arsene should have kept Frimpong… but we have moved on. Rather than regressing, let’s appreciate the quiet and focussed workrates of the likes of Xhaka, Torreira, Laca, Auba and Ozil.

  18. LBG says:

    Great post Mike M.
    Agreed with you yesterday and haven’t changed this morning, although I want to fine tune both the fault of the last few years and the aim for recruitment.
    Your phrase was “mental fragility” of, my words, some individuals and the squad overall.

    I want to go back to a comment I made during the “original” Ramsey debate. Whatever he achieved in terms of drive/determination/ motivation in the second half of last season, for large parts of his time at Arsenal he was slagged off by many week on week. (He balanced this off, of course, with magnificent and significant goals in two Cup Finals). The complaints were lack of consistency, giving the ball away often with low percentage flicks, and not much determination to correct errors with effort. And it is this last criticism that I blame to a certain extent on AW himself.
    AW never balled out, got visibly angry, dropped players, said much, post match. It was not in his character. Many past players have said, he said little, expected players to do the business on the field, correct faults for themselves. He even had that ridiculous policy of only substituting at a set (too late) time in the second half. This approach is fine if you have a Patrick V, or a Sol, or a Freddie, or a stick a sly one in DB10, or for that matter a Lauren.

    It did not work for instance with seven famous “British” players ( I am happy to exclude JackW), all very well paid and “comfortable” in their existence win or lose. Walcott, The Ox, Ramsey, Chambers while with us, were all guilty, and they were added to in later squads with similarly (un)motivated players happy to take their money but not die for the Club. And we still have several in the squad! I recognise this is certainly only my, controversial(I guess) opinion.
    It is for this reason that I want to fill the squad with hungrily aggressive for success, young players who are imbued with Arsenal, with Freddie’s never give up spirit…….winners! Certainly added to a few genuine leaders. (Have we got any currently?) Lauren types perhaps, but I’d prefer potential Cole types, as in future greats with some steel included. For this reason I would add a Milner-type if cheap. Who is the VVD “leader with quality” that we can get/afford? Any suggestions?
    Enough! Probably stirred a few after that rant, LBG.

  19. LB says:

    I think the Ramsey thing can be simplified: he was consistently played out of position with unsurprisingly poor results until finally Emery started playing him just behind the front two and hey presto we have the Chelsea home game 2-0.

    Why did this take so long? One word answer: Ozil. With the Christmas bust up and the gradual fall from grace Mesut was no longer first choice and Ramsey got his chance and took it.

    In fact the criticism that Juventus made soon after they secured his signature for a rumoured 400k a week was the same as the above — you have been playing him out of position.

  20. fred1266 says:

    Was he sue, my opinion on gnabry is still open yes he had a good season but would you build a team around him , also he plays for the best team for bundesliga so I don’t consider his achievements all that flattering

  21. Sue says:

    Fred.. I know the Bundesliga is different to the PL, but he’s done well at Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen & now Bayern.. and he’s playing well for Germany too.. and for me to win POTS with the likes of Lewandowski in the team, I reckon that’s a hell of an achievement! Credit to him!
    Imagine if Sane does go there – wow!! 👍

  22. Mike M says:

    Good afternoon all. Thanks again for highlighting my comment. I do 100% agree it’s probably the main thing that unites almost all Arsenal fans. Reading a few comments above I thinks it’s very important that we avoid looking for a Shawcross or Dan Smith as Els says. I also don’t think you can “create” a Lauren. So I do believe they can be scouted and identified. I also definitely don’t was to sell Lauren short – he was a VERY good footballer. But he limited his skill set and concentrated on being the best as what he was good at. Of course he also had the likes of Nutty Jens, Sol, Kolo, PV4, Cockney Ray, Wiltord and Edu just to name a few in the team. Look back at those players. They were tuf and uncompromising and all very good players. But above all, they stuck together and fought (quite literally a couple of times but generally in a team sense) for each other. I think our last team capable of that was in 2008 and William Gallas was the weak link in that team. Since then we’ve lost it and it really only takes one or two to spread a poor mentality. Which also leads to what LBG says about Ramsey. He would thrive in an aggressive and mentally tough team because he was that type of player. He wouldn’t have got away with it on the field because the leaders in the team wouldn’t have stood for it . The result would have been more of what we saw last season. You can’t be one of 2 or 3 busting a nut while everyone else is slacking. It’s tiring and demoralising and in the end, you give up too. I hope we haven’t “spoiled” Sok because he is a genuine fighter. We just have to find a few more and make them bring the others up with them.
    Lastly I have to give credit to my son on this one. He went absolutely ballistic in the Europa final at Xhaka when Kovacic got substituted. He took an age to walk off the field.and Liam says Xhaka ran across to him. To tell him to get a move on or maybe something along those lines right? Actually apparently not (I must confess I missed it). No, to give him a high five !!! If that doesn’t tell a story, I don’t know what does.Can you imagine that happening in the Lauren era??

  23. Sue says:

    Jeez, what a tool! What a time to bloody high five someone – surprised he didn’t want to swap shirts too 🙄

  24. fred1266 says:

    To me Ramsey only played out of position cause the likes of Theo was always injured so that why he was played on the right side but to say emery got thr best out of him is ludicrous Ramsey had his best season under Wenger

  25. LBG says:

    You have a point about Walcott, Fred, but many have said, and it was my view that Ozil and Ramsey could not play in the same as they were both 10’s with ver different styles. Ramsey got so frustrated that he started to claim he was a central holding midfielder at the end of the AW era. Wales were the only ones to play him regularly in his best position. I am still doubtful he will be a success in Italy.

  26. LB says:


    Which was Ramsey’s best season under Wenger, pre Özil? Perhaps but once Özil arrived and was getting the amount of assists that he did, Ramsey was never able to shine as bright as he should.

    You could say that had Walcott not got injured that Ramsey wouldn’t have played at all because he was never going to dislodge Özil.

  27. fred1266 says:

    Wasn’t his best season the year mesut arrived and we won the fa cup

    Think that Season he also scored the most goals

  28. fred1266 says:

    Disagree from my recollection we usually played 433 so Ramsey usually played as one of the CDM so he definitely would have Gotten games

    Walcott being injured basically allowed him to play wide and incase u forgot Wenger’s wanted to play Ramsey in his natural position mesut was forced wide

  29. fred1266 says:

    Why are u doubtful LBG , I think he would do great run into the box and being feed by CR7

  30. Sue says:

    De Ligt is supposed to be going to Juve now.. and I read Rabiot was too… bloody hell I bet they’ll have a hefty wage bill…

  31. Els says:

    Ramsey used to get as raw a deal as Xhaka gets now. Crazy really isn’t it. To me both are good players. Ramsey has it in him to be exceptional and as mentioned above a proper fighter for the team. Just a shame he hasn’t been at the club when that type of play hasn’t been respected.

    LBG asked for suggestions on players that could inject that drive and toughness, I’ve got one that will probably not go down well… Delph. I like him a lot and city are listening offers. I wonder if he’d be affordable.

    Herrera wouldn’t do a bad job either.

    Someone mentioned Lukas Piszchek (spelling) the other day. He must be 33 by now but he’d still make a difference. Rock hard and as fit as a flea. Always liked him. I’m sure he’d fit in with the ex Dortmund crew too.

  32. Els says:

    Juve are really trying to put a squad together. I can’t help thinking Deligt has made a good decision there.

  33. LBG says:

    I dont believe the Italians will in the end play him centrally and forward enough given the squad they currently have. Just a hunch! I think also he will not cope with the tightness of marking he will experience.

  34. fred1266 says:

    I would pass in another Dortmund player after mkhitarian I have had enough

  35. fred1266 says:

    Ok yes the marking can be a bit of a problem but it juventus the refs don’t let other teams rough up the juvenile players

  36. LBG says:

    Heaven forbid Delph and Hererra. One a worker but not a leader, the other a cheating…….

  37. Aaron says:

    The Arsenal have no STEEL. Easy to see, am not talking a shirt pull, a push or caress. Talking ball$ out fierce tackler, Maschereno type, who would put the fear of God in a man who messed with an Arsenal player. (Viera- long live the king.) In the early years, Arsene had them everywhere, now I look around and see absolutely nothing to fear.

    I have watched for the last 4-5 seasons how opposing attackers can make a run with the ball for 20,30, or 40 meters and the Arsenal mid’s, and defenders just let them waltz on by. Sickening to me.

    Need to start acquiring a Stam type central defender or young Sol and get busy adding other types of supplementary players to build around. And personally, I prefer a nasty keeper too. Someone who will clean clocks when the ball comes into the box and if he misses the ball, clears out the area for other defenders to provide support.

    How many more days left in the transfer window? Tick tock……
    Looking at my watch and time flies by.

  38. fred1266 says:

    Sue u watched the Poland game how was our boy, opted to watch copa for once no drama when VAR

  39. Sue says:

    Hi Fred.. I didn’t see all of it (had to go out 😉) but what I did witness – Spain were on 🔥🔥🔥 oh man some of their goals 👌 Bielik couldn’t have done a thing about a few of them!! They hadn’t beaten them in the last however many games – I can see why! Poland are out now – shame!
    West Ham have just signed one of Spain’s goalscorers (Fornals) little live wire!!
    How was Copa? I see Bobby scored a “no look” goal 🙄

  40. fred1266 says:

  41. fred1266 says:

    Yea Peru got a Peru got a proper as whipping,

    Still don’t even know who I want to win copa usually I want an arsenal player to win but all the hear say with torriera not so sure so guess that leaves me with oooooooospina who no longer a gunner

  42. RC78 says:

    Juventus know that next year is the year to win the CL as CR7 is still among the best. De Ligt, Ramsey and Rabiot are good young additions and I think they will add a couple more.

    Apparently Schubert may like Schalke better than Arsenal… Shame

    As of Bielik, I think we should either sell him or keep him on loan somewhere. He s not better than our current CBs.

    We need a strong spine and we said that for a long time, players in the mould of Lauren, TA6, SC, Parlour, PV4… Basically what we call mean industrious players, ruggid that are ready to put a shift and add a strong physical presence.
    Thiago Silva, Gueye, Vidal, Mitrovic would do 💪

  43. fred1266 says:

  44. fred1266 says:

    Lol still at it

  45. Sue says:

    Ospina won’t be playing tonight, Fred, as his Dad is really ill, so he’s gone to be with him. Yeah I’m with you on that, I wouldn’t mind them winning it… but then on the other hand – Argentina 😀 as long as Chile don’t!! Haha, Sanchez needs to get back on that piano!! 😄

  46. RC78 says:

    Ozak to Milano apparently… Another target out, this time for 15 Mln

  47. LBG says:

    What a joke of a new offside rule. Get your flag up before an incoming (offside) player either wipes out a goalkeeper or is wiped out and injured for a long time. An then the authorities should be sued by the Club affected.

  48. LBG says:

    Cameroon, the ladies equivalent of Stoke City.

  49. LBG says:

    Cameroon, the ladies equivalent of Stoke City.
    Fifteen minutes of stoppage time in the game. We will be getting home late next season Ant and LB.

  50. fred1266 says:

    Chile in winning they are horrendous, never like argentina so really hope they don’t win especially how VAR robbed Paraguay just for them to actually still have a chance of qualifying

    Sorry to hear about ospina dad

  51. fred1266 says:

    How come he was a target lol

  52. fred1266 says:

    Imagine they had stoppage time on top of stoppage time

    Thanks goodness Ferguson not coaching anymore teams playing United would end up playing a whole 45 mins on top the 90

  53. Sue says:

    😂😂 nice one Fred – good old Fergie time 😛

  54. Dreadful behaviour by the Cameroon women in their match against England. Not sure what sanctions the referee had available to her when they refused to continue playing …… ridiculous behaviour and their coach didn’t help.

  55. fred1266 says:

    What happened?

  56. Sue says:

    Finally…… Agueroooooooo!!!

  57. Sue says:

    Have to admit, I’m not a fan of Phil Neville, but I loved his interview earlier 👍

  58. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    …. New post ….

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