West Ham United's newest signing Stewart Downing has enjoyed a non-stop week - playing for Liverpool against Celtic in Dublin last weekend before completing a move to the Hammers on Tuesday and preparing for Saturday's season opener against Cardiff City. He tells us all about it in our latest player blog.

The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind time for me, I must admit! I was starting for Liverpool against Celtic last Saturday, thinking I was in the plans there for the season.

Then within a couple of days they accepted the bid from West Ham and I was on the way to London. It has been a bit fast but I have certainly enjoyed the week.

I have been made to feel very welcome here, the lads are great, which helps you to settle in and training has been enjoyable so hopefully I will be involved on Saturday.

Sam is quite persuasive, I'll give him that, but I didn't need much persuasion to come down here. As soon as I spoke to him I knew it was right to sign, I'm the right age, it's a good club and I just think that with the way the manager plays and with his ideas it will suit my game. I was to repay his faith with good performances.

The area is certainly a lot different to where I'm from in Middlesbrough! Life is a lot faster, but it is a great thing for me and I have enjoyed the first week of being here, and I am looking forward to a few good years in London to enjoy it and do well for West Ham.

West Ham is a great club with a great fanbase and we have got a good manager with good ideas. I am excited by it, I think it is a good time for me to come here.

We were at the Boleyn Ground to train on Thursday and I think that was a good idea, especially for the new players to get used to the surroundings before the first game of the season.

It is a great stadium, I have seen the atmosphere as I have played here many times, and I am looking forward to hopefully getting off to a good start against Cardiff.

Crossing has been a big part of my game throughout my career, certainly in my spells at Middlesbrough and Aston Villa. That was what was based our game around, crosses and getting the ball into the box.

With a player like Andy's abilities in the box, it is good for us to get the service in, whether that's me or Jarvis or Joe Cole out wide. We have got a big target to hit and I am really excited by that.

I have obviously thought about England with a World Cup at the end of this season, and I have probably got more of a chance of getting in the team and playing on a regular basis here than I did at Liverpool.

That was another part of my thinking, so now I have got a full season to prove to Roy and this is my best chance to do that.

Everyone is looking forward to Saturday now - you can sense it around the ground. The fans and the players want to get started and we need to get off to a good start.

It will be a tough game against Cardiff but with the fans behind us and if we play like how I have seen in pre-season then we have certainly got a chance of winning.

The aim has to be to improve on last year. We were tenth and with this squad and the players we have got, we should push for Europe. We have the ability to do that and just need to prove it on the pitch.

Come on you Irons!

Stewart

Stoke