Tony Adams admits he and Lauren ‘didn’t like’ each other at Arsenal

Soccerex - Manchester: Day Four
Arsenal legend Tony Adams admits he didn’t get on with Lauren (Picture: Getty)

Tony Adams has revealed how he learned to adapt to different personalities in the dressing room towards the end of his time at Arsenal and admits he and Lauren had to forge a ‘working relationship’ despite not liking each other.

The legendary defender, regarded as one of the finest footballers in the Gunners’ history, was club captain from 1988 right up until his retirement and saw hundreds of players come and go across his 22-year career.

Arsene Wenger took over the reins in 1996, the year Adams publicly announced he was battling with alcoholism, and the former centre-back and often credited the Frenchman with helping him on his road to recovery.

Tony Adams and Lauren compete for the ball in Arsenal match
Adams and Lauren had their differences at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Talking to The Micky & Woody Show, Adams explained how it was ‘lucky’ he managed to ‘clean’ himself up as it meant he was far better at dealing with characters like Lauren, a player he found difficult following his arrival from Mallorca.

‘I realised that the make-up of the dressing room is all different and we had a lot of foreigners come into the game in our time, different cultures and different languages,’ the former Arsenal and England centre-half said.

‘It’s lucky I did clean up and get a bit of recovery because if I’d put that animal back into that with all those people I would have just come up against it all the time.

‘We had a full-back from Africa, Lauren. He was African Footballer of the Year, an awesome player and he just didn’t like me and I didn’t like him but we’ve got to get a working relationship and luckily I had someone else to talk to that I actually worked this thing through and was able to work for myself to stay free and to go: “Okay, this is it!”

‘I’m not going to go for a cup of tea with him and we’re not talking now. But at the time I needed a working relationship with the guy, I needed to interact with him, I needed to communicate with him in some way.’

Lauren celebrates during his time at Arsenal
Lauren spent six years with the north London giants (Picture: Getty)

According to Adams, it later became clear that Lauren’s stand-offish nature may have been as a result of his wife being ill.

He continued: ‘I realised later on that his wife was having a really bad time.

‘I think she was really ill and you go, “Oh, Jesus Christ! I thought he was just a miserable so-and-so!”

‘But you don’t communicate this stuff and you see this guy walking around, arrogant and detached from the group, and you can come to judgements that are not true.’

Lauren runs with the ball during Portsmouth's clash with Middlesbrough
Lauren and Adams were reunited at Portsmouth in 2007 (Picture: Getty)

Lauren and Adams were reunited on the south coast in 2007 when the former completed a move from Arsenal to Portsmouth.

Adams was Portsmouth’s assistant manager at the time and was appointed full-time boss in 2008 when Harry Redknapp left the club to join Tottenham.

Lauren has since revealed how he wanted to leave Pompey following Redknapp’s departure and criticised the way Adams behaved as manager.

‘You want me to tell you the truth? I didn’t want to play with Tony as manager,’ the former Cameroon full-back explained last year.

‘I didn’t play many games and he was the manager after Harry, so I said to Tony, “Listen, I need to play so people can see I’m not injured otherwise I’m going to move. Put me on the pitch and people will see I have no problem”.

‘Tony said, “Yes, leave it with me” and I was still waiting for it.

‘By the time he took over, I didn’t want to play in that team. That’s the reality.

‘I think being a captain of your team, being team-mates, I would have reacted in a different way.

‘If he was a team-mate, he should have said “I’ll do everything I can”. It’s not the right way to behave.’

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