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West Ham captain Mark Noble: How I could have ended up an Arsenal player

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A derby between West Ham and Arsenal perhaps doesn’t quite have the edge for either club of a match against Tottenham, but it’s still special.

I remember West Ham asked me and my dad to go and watch their Under-11s play Gillingham.

West Ham won 11-0 and I can remember thinking, “I don’t think I’m good enough to come and play for these!”

I was nine years old, playing for my local junior side and already a West Ham fan when a scout, Ronnie Joyce, took me over to Arsenal.

If things had gone differently for me, I could have actually ended up an Arsenal player.

West Ham always wanted me, though, and when my contract ended at Arsenal after about two and a half years, we realised it was just too difficult to get me over there in time, so we decided to come to the club I supported.

Some, I know, believe that is a handicap for the London clubs, but as a player I look at it differently.
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