Mohamed Diame believes West Ham United's strong start to the Barclays Premier League season has vindicated his decision to join the club.

The Senegal midfielder turned down a number of approaches to move to east London, including the opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League for an unnamed club.

However, with the Hammers sixth in the Barclays Premier League ahead of Monday's visit of Stoke City to the Boleyn Ground, Diame is feeling positive about his choice.


"People did say 'Why are you going to West Ham when you can play in the Champions League?' but they can see why I did now," the athletic 25-year-old told West Ham TV. "It is a very big club in England and I am very happy to be here, now I am hoping that our good performances will continue."

The No21 linked up with West Ham on a free transfer following his departure from Wigan Athletic, citing his desire not to be involved in a relegation battle as a reason to move south. With the likes of Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis and Alou Diarra also joining Sam Allardyce's squad, the Hammers have so far thrived in the Barclays Premier League.

"That is why I came here. When I spoke to the club I knew they were trying to build a very good team. We are working very hard every day on the training ground and you can see it is paying off."

Diame hailed last Sunday's 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St James' Park as the best result of his Hammers career to date. The midfielder, who travelled to Niger for a 1-1 international friendly draw in midweek, produced another outstanding all-action display on Tyneside to upset his Senegal squad-mates Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.

"It was a fantastic result against Newcastle, probably the best since I joined the club, and we worked very hard for the three points. The manager gave me a lot of confidence going into the game so I tried to give it back on the pitch and I think I did a good job."

Diame ended by taking time to praise his midfield partners Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble as the three continue to enjoy a blossoming relationship in the West Ham engine room.

"Kevin and Mark work very hard on the pitch. They allow me a lot of freedom and make my job a lot easier, so it is very enjoyable playing with them."

Stoke City