‘I’ve Never Regretted Leaving Arsenal For West Ham’

The Irons captain has made over 400 senior appearances for the club he supported as a boy.

But things could have been very different for Noble, after he revealed that he decided not to extend his contract as a boy with Arsenal.

“If things had gone differently for me, I could have actually ended up an Arsenal player,” he wrote in his column with the London Evening Standard.

“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.

“Liam Brady was there, overseeing their academy, and I really enjoyed it. The facilities were great, but from my house in Canning Town over to north London was a nightmare journey for my dad.”

The travel restraints eventually weighed heavy on Noble, who decided to make the switch to the east London club upon the end of his contract.

“I used to come home from school and then we would set off at around 4pm, but to get over to Arsenal at the allotted time an hour later was nigh on impossible,” he added.

“When I first went there, they realised I wasn’t too bad and they signed me pretty quickly. To be at a professional club at that age was unbelievable.”

Noble has cemented his place in West Ham’s history for the service he has given the club over the last 15 years.

He explained he has no regrets over the decision to leave the Gunners all those years ago.

“I’ve never regretted that decision for a moment, but the one thing I would say about Arsenal are a club I have always admired,” he said.

“They are a class act, even down to small details like the away changing room, and their business model is also incredible.

“Compared to the other London clubs, I do feel they have an advantage in attracting players, especially from abroad.”

One player on Arsenal’s radar is his West Ham team mate Reece Oxford.

The youngster made his debut for the club at 16-years-old away at the Emirates in the Premier League.

The Hammers are keen to sell but Unai Emery may have to wait until the summer with limited funds currently at his disposal.

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