However, after helping the Gunners to the brink of qualifying for the groups stages of the Heineken Cup for the first time, new Scotland coach Williams' decision to recall Laney into his training camps ahead of the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championships looks to be vindicated.
Williams said: "Brendan is a guy I have great respect for. I have known him for many years and I am delighted that he is playing well.
"He has had his critics and he has had some very difficult circumstances and disappointments and to his credit, he has brushed himself down and shown great personal character and got on with the job and is now playing some outstanding rugby.
"With the retirement of Bryan Redpath, Kenny Logan and Gregor Townsend he becomes a very important figure because it doesn't matter which we go, we need to have some experienced heads around."