Guy Demel is relishing the opportunity to finally make his mark on England's top division with West Ham United after a career spent mainly plying his trade at some of the biggest teams in Germany.
The Ivory Coast international spent a season with Arsenal at the turn of the century without making a single appearance before moving abroad and enjoying huge success with Borussia Dortmund and then Hamburger SV. After playing a pivotal role in West Ham's promotion back to the Barclays Premier League last season, Demel has been a key player in a Hammers backline that has managed five clean sheets already this season.
Guy, you missed a few weeks recently through injury. What was the problem and how has it progressed?
GD: "I tore my hernia, so I had to have an operation two weeks ago. After a couple of days we started the rehab and everything went really well. This week was my first week back training with the team and I got the opportunity to play 20 minutes at Newcastle, so I was very happy, though I need a couple more games to get back my top form.
Was it frustrating getting injured after starting the season so well?
GD: "Yeah, but that kind of thing happens in a season. What is important is the team so it doesn't really matter who plays. It is always better to come back into a team that is winning, rather than come back in a team that is struggling.
"I am happy that the players in my position in those couple of games did really well. It is good to have competition in the team and now I am just looking to get back on to my best form and give my best when the coach and the team need me.
"There are so many games in this league so I am sure that I will get my chance."
Was it hard coming off the bench against Newcastle when they were throwing everything they had at West Ham to try and get a goal back?
GD: "Of course it is quite a difficult thing to do because the game was quite intensive. Newcastle were really pushing in the last few minutes, but I think we did really well and my team-mates really helped me as well, but it wasn't easy to be fair.
"Hatem Ben Arfa and some of the other lads are quick so it is difficult to catch them but the most important thing is that we won today, we are near the top of the league, it is a good start to the season."
Was the Newcastle win West Ham's best performance of the season so far?
GD: "I think we have had others too. Manchester City at home, QPR away. But now we have to have success at home in the next game just to make this game count.
It was West Ham's fifth Premier League clean sheet and their sixth in all competitions. The defence really does seem to be playing well at the moment?
GD: "This is our strength this season. Everyone in the team defends. Of course there is the back four and the keeper, but the whole team defends and even the players when they come off the bench have done well.
"When the first defender is the striker then everything works well."
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