Alou Diarra is counting down the days until his West Ham United debut.

Aston Villa visit the Boleyn Ground for the Barclays Premier League opener on Saturday 18 August and Diarra is keen to play in front of the West Ham fans for the first time.

With supporters grabbing Season Tickets and Academy memberships ahead of the big kick-off, Diarra is keen to reward their passion by making his mark on his maiden appearance.

"I know a lot about the club, the history but that we have a lot of fans, who have passion for their club and their football," said the France international. "I hope to show them I give everything in each game and try to do my best for the team. I am looking forward to playing for them in the Premier League this season."


For West Ham supporters, Diarra is a versatile player who operates in defensive midfield areas and with a host of international experience playing for his country. A double title-winner in his homeland, the 31-year-old appeared three times for France at EURO 2012.

"What can our supporters expect from me is to work hard and give my all in every game, I like to keep the ball, press with it and help start the attacks as well looking to help out defensively. I know the West Ham fans will be happy if they see the team working hard and trying to win. Sometimes it is more difficult, but you just have to do your best."

Diarra trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Monday ahead of the Villa clash and he received a warm welcome from his colleagues, three of whom he knows well.

"I know of Guy Demel, Mo Diame and Modibo Maiga as he played in the French league last year, so it is nice to see those boys here.I spoke with the manager and I know what he wants from me and it is all about doing well for the team."

The player is well aware of the club's rich history and says he is excited to be at West Ham as they start a fresh journey in the Barclays Premier League.

"I know of the players here before like Paolo Di Canio, Scott Parker and before that, years ago, Bobby Moore. It is exciting for me to be here and I am looking forward to the challenge. We know that it will be tough but the aim is to get into a good position and keep it.

"I have experience and I hope I can help my younger team-mates and everyone around me, so we can create a good place for the team in the Premier League this year."

Diarra is also looking to complete some unfinished business with regards the Premier League, as he joined Liverpool as a youngster a decade ago but never got the opportunity to show what he could do at Anfield.

"I am 31 now and ready to play in the Premier League. It is a chance I want to take well with West Ham and want to show what I can do and help the team do as well as we can this season. I am very much looking forward to it and I hope our fans are too."

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