Lauren says he doesn’t regret what happened at Old Trafford in 2003/04, and he’d do it again every single year if he had to.
Former Gunner Lauren was one of those involved in the famous confrontation between Arsenal and Manchester United at Old Trafford in the 2003/04 invincible season.
Earlier in the match, Ruud van Nistelrooy was involved in an incident that saw Patrick Vieira sent off. The United striker then had the chance to win the match with a softly-awarded penalty, but he hit the crossbar.
Martin Keown goaded the forward and sparked an all-out brawl between the two sets of players, with Lauren fighting Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs. Speaking to the Handbrake Off podcast, however, the right-back insisted he doesn’t regret it.
“People have asked me many times, “Would you do that again?.” I always say 120 per cent I will do it,” he said in 2020.
“I don’t mind about the ban, the £40,000 fine. I don’t care, as long as I protect the people I care for, the people I share the dressing room with, the people I love. Because I always said when I came to Arsenal, I feel like they are my family.
“We cared about each other on the pitch and outside of the pitch so I can consider Arsenal as my family. So, therefore, I will do whatever is necessary to protect my family.
“In this case against United away from home, I think I would do it every single year if it’s necessary.”
Arsenal certainly had the edge over their title rivals that season, as United finished in third place behind Chelsea. Despite their dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson, it was a few more seasons after this incident before they won the title again.
Perhaps Lauren and co. really did get into their heads that day. I don’t think any Arsenal fans would disagree that the fines and bans were worth it.