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Ben White: From Southampton axe to Newport to Arsenal

Arsenal defender Ben White says he's long been calm about his career after early rejection.

White's level-headed approach stems from his early career when released by Southampton. He did not know if he had a future in the sport. He has experienced all levels of the game, from punch-ups and curries at Newport County to Arsenal and England.

“It was tough not being wanted," he said. “You don't know if there is going to be anyone else who wants you, because you are at that level. If they don't want you, other teams at the same level won't.

“I went to Bristol Rovers on trial for three days. I only did two days because we were literally just running up hills — didn't get a football out at all. It absolutely killed me, I couldn't do it."

He looks back at his time at Newport as pivotal to his development.

“It was one of the best years of my life," he added. “I'd gone from playing at an academy where everything is nice and you have everything you want. And then you go there and everything is completely different. You're having a curry for your pre-match meal.

“In my first game there was a punch-up at half-time, between our own players in our own dressing room. It was a bit scary, to be fair. I didn't want to make any mistakes, that's for sure."


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