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Gooner Hoyte talks of battle for places and Spuds rivalry

I’m beginning to understand Arsene Wenger’s latest tweaking of his signing policy.

Last week, 16-year-old French striker Gilles Sunu revealed that he is a lifelong Gooner and that was one of his reasons for signing for Arsenal in the summer.

Now, 22-year-old defender Justin Hoyte (pictured) has spoken of his burning desire to play for the club he supports and his wish to remain at Emirates Stadium for his entire career.

In an exclusive interview with Arsenal TV Online, Hoyte speaks of the competition for the right back slot at the club, which now sees him battling for the position alongside Emmanuel Eboue, Bacary Sagna, Lassana Diarra and even Mathieu Flamini.

However, with the way that UEFA is constantly tinkering with the rules to the Champions League, perhaps the fact that Hoyte is one of the few English players to make it into the Arsenal first team squad could make him an invaluable asset in future seasons.

In his interview Hoyte speaks of Arsenal’s intense rivalry with Tottenham, as well as the challenge of winning his place back...

“The competition is very tough for the position,” admits Hoyte. “It was the same last season with Eboue playing and Flamini played sometimes as well. That’s good for the club and it obviously helps everyone work hard and want to improve. Hopefully I can break into the team and play as many games as I can if I keep working hard and learning from the other players that are here.”

Even though Le Boss's summer signings included two players who can play right back, Hoyte is not worried about his prospects. “That’s how football is and it just makes me more determined to improve and break into the team. I want to fight for my place and hopefully it’ll pay off. I want to work hard and be at Arsenal all my life.”

And he’s a proper Gooner. I’m sure any one of us would love to play for the Arsenal, no matter what the position, and Justin is just the same. “If I had to fill in anywhere for a length of time, I’m more than happy to do that because, at the end of the day, I just want to play football and I love playing for Arsenal,” he says.

Looking forward to the North London derby, Hoyte discloses just how deep the rivalry goes throughout the first team, reserves and youth squads.

“Ever since the youth team days when we used to play Tottenham, that’s the one game you look forward to and you make sure you win,” he states.

“You just want to beat Tottenham because for the fans its bragging rights over their friends who are Tottenham supporters. For us it means a lot because it’s a big London derby. It’s a great day and hopefully I will be involved in it.”

Indeed, Hoyte is also like the rest of us when it comes to defeat - although he was just 14 when we last lost to the Spuds. “I don’t tend to answer my phone if they win,” says Hoyte, “so hopefully I’ll be answering my phone all the time.”

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Posted by Gordon Masson on September 12, 2007 in | Permalink


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