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“It didn’t feel like a big club” – Arsenal star explains reasons behind slow Arsenal start

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Mikel Arteta bolstered his defence in the summer transfer window by landing highly-rated centre-back Ben White from Brighton in a move worth £50million

Arsenal defender Ben White has opened up on the reasons behind the club’s slow start to the campaign, following his £50million move from Brighton in the summer.

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White is beginning to find his feet at Arsenal after a less than impressive debut at newly-promoted Brentford, which saw the Gunners lose 2-0 in the Premier League curtain raiser.

Arsenal went on to lose their opening three league games, without scoring a single goal and conceding nine in the process.

And White has offered possible explanations for the poor start to the season under Mikel Arteta, as well as admitting that Arsenal “didn’t feel like a big club” when he first arrived.

“The first game didn’t go very well,” White told Sky Sports News. “Then I got Covid and missed two games. Then we were straight back in and that’s where we picked up.”

“I don’t think adapting to a big club (was a reason for my slow start). It didn’t feel like a big club when I came here. Everyone is so nice and welcoming.

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“Clean sheets are the aim for the team. I don’t think it’s just the back four and goalie that keep a clean sheet – it’s the whole team. It’s come into my game since I’ve been at Arsenal – the love of defending and keeping a clean sheet.”

Since then Arsenal have turned their fortunes around by taking ten points from their last four league games and White has played a crucial role in that.

The Gunners could only manage a 0-0 with Graham Potter’s Brighton before the international break, but they are now up to 11th in the table and four points off of a European spot.

The 24-year-old defender also told how he prefers to be called Benjamin and that he doesn’t really watch football.

“You can call me whatever you want, I just might not reply,” he said. “But my name is actually Benjamin.

“Football is so intense,” White continued. “You come in every day giving 100 per cent. All I want to do is go home and not think about it, then come in in the morning fresh and ready to give 100 per cent again.

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“I watch myself for analytical reasons. I watch England, maybe, but I’m always busy doing something. I wouldn’t just sit down and watch a game.


Mikel Arteta’s side have turned their fortunes around

“I didn’t ever watch football when I was younger. I still don’t now. I just loved the game, I was always playing it, never watching.

“So I don’t know too much about the older generations, but I know Vieira was a very good player. But I don’t know the details.”

Eyebrows were raised over the hefty fee paid for White, but the defender’s recent performances have gone a long way to justifying that decision.

White and Arsenal will now be preparing to play host to Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Monday.

Arsenal then take on Dean Smith’s Aston Villa at home four days later.

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