Former Arsenal favourite Lauren has claimed that his Spurs-supporting English teacher was the inspiration for his impressive record against north London rivals Tottenham.
The Cameroonian international featured 10 times against Spurs throughout his time in England, and never came out on the losing side.
Lauren even scored a late north London derby winnner from the penalty spot in the 2001-2 season as Arsenal went on to win league and FA Cup double under Arsene Wenger.
The defender was already well aware of the importance of the fixture by that point, in no small part thanks to the English teacher he was assigned after signing from Mallorca in 2000.
He told Talksport: ‘The person that really pushed me to play well against Tottenham and beat Tottenham, was my English teacher.
Former Arsenal defender Lauren has revealed that his Tottenham-supporting English teacher inspired him in games against Spurs
Lauren never lost a north London derby against Spurs across 10 north London derbies, even scoring a late winnner in the 2001-2 season
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‘She was a big, big Tottenham fan, so by the time we were having English lessons, she was always, “now we’re going to beat you”, I said, “OK, we’ll see”, so we had that kind of argument between us.
‘So she was the one that pushed me forward in order to play well in those games.’
Lauren, who spent seven seasons in total at Arsenal, revealed that the teacher was not the only source of inspiration for games against Spurs.
Although he said that no one at the club ‘specifically’ stressed the importance of the fixture to him, it became clear which sides needed to be beaten.
He said: ‘When you get to Arsenal, they start to talk to you in general which teams are the ones you must win against.
‘And they were Tottenham, Man United, Chelsea, West Ham, all the London derbies, but especially against Tottenham.
‘They introduced me to some previous histories and you know that you must win that game.’
One of Arsenal’s most famous meetings with Tottenham came in April 2004, as the Gunners secured the Premier League title at the home of their most hated rivals.
The game finished 2-2 at White Hart Lane after Spurs came from two goals down to equalise courtesy of a late Robbie Keane strike.
His greatest moment came when Arsenal secured the Premier League title at White Hart Lane in 2004
But it was not enough to deny Wenger’s side the title as they went on to achieve an unbeaten ‘invincible’ league campaign.
However, Lauren recalled that some of the Tottenham players did not realise that they had failed to deny their hated rivals their moment of glory.
He said: ‘Some Tottenham players – they scored [Keane equaliser] and thought that we wouldn’t win the league.
‘So when the referee blew the whistle, we just couldn’t contain our emotions and happiness, it was something very special.’