Categorized | Interviews

Lauren: Many similarities between Barca and Arsenal

A lot has been made about Cesc’s comments lately that he wasn’t happy not playing all the time at Barcelona while others have questioned just why on earth Barcelona would feel the need to sign Alex Song so who better to ask that ex-Arsenal full back and part of the Invincibles side than Lauren? Obviously.  Last night we had van Persie saying that Manchester United are similar to Arsenal in how the club are run, today we learn we play like Barcelona. Who’d have known? We’re just like everybody this week it seems.

I thought it seemed strange to see Lauren being asked, so of course, the interview caught my attention. Then I remembered that he too is from Cameroon like Song so that could have something to do with it. Also, he says ‘we’ and means Arsenal, so how could I ignore it? Speaking to RAC1, here’s what he had to say about them both:

I see what is happening very well [with Cesc not scoring] but we are used to that. Last year, when he arrived, he got a lot of goals, but that’s not Cesc’s game. Make no mistake, he’s not going to put in 15 or 20 goals a season. He has assumed that role from an early age, assuming the responsibilities and it affects you physically and mentally going through this cycle but by the end of the season he will be the same player he has always been.

[His best position] accommodates either. Against Valencia he was good, just missed good chances, but we could be talking about something else. Often we are spoiled because when a player who is always at 10 is at 8 it seems that he is lowering his performance.

Cesc is an intelligent player and shares the responsibility to pull the car with others doing well and take the pressure off. Now is not as good as a few months ago, but there are ‘peaks’ that are passed and it is best now that it passes and not in a cup final, Champions League or when you play the season.

He then goes on to talk about Alex Song

In the league he may be a bit unknown but those who know him closely are not surprised because apart from physical strength and his ability to contain he is a quality footballer, gives passes and plays the ball very well. It may surprise the outside that he quickly adapts to a big club in such a way but not me.

Song has matured, has gone from strength to strength. When he reached us he was a pure containment midfielder but he has evolved and has been taking centre stage. Now we see a more complete midfielder. Central? Yeah, he’s played there because he’s versatile, but his natural position is what we are seeing now.

If you look at the Arsenal game in recent years, when Cesc had gone, Song had been taking that role and he came in handy.

There are many similarities between the play of Barca and Arsenal. I don’t think it will take a lot of work.

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