The Big Interview - Havard Nordtveit

New signing Havard Nordtveit speaks exclusively to ahead of his 1 July arrival at West Ham United
West Ham United’s first summer signing, Havard Nordtveit, speaks exclusively to ahead of his 1 July arrival in east London...
Havard, welcome to West Ham United. First, tell us how excited you are to be joining the Club...
HN: “Thank you. It has always been a dream for me to play in the Premier League and now I have a big opportunity to do it with West Ham. I can’t wait to start.
“This team has something special and there’s something in the spirit of it that I can fit into. We will see – I’m going to work hard and hopefully I can have have some good moments with the Club.”
With the new Stadium sold out, how excited are you to be playing in front of 60,000 fans here week-in, week-out?
HN: “That’s football – that’s the passion they have. In Germany, we had an average of 52,000 every second week at Borussia-Park, so 100 per cent you have the audience behind you and you can give even more. I’m looking forward to trying out the new Stadium – everyone is saying good things about it.”
What can the fans expect from you?
HN: “I’m a player who can play many roles on the pitch, but I’m from Norway, so a little bit more of the running and the tackles and try to spread the balls around me. I’m looking forward to showing what I can do, and hopefully I have something to help West Ham achieve even more.”
You’re not a stranger to England – you had a spell at Arsenal. Tell us about your spell there, do you think you come back with a point to prove?
HN: “I came to Arsenal when I was 17 and from there I got a lot of first team experience in training and friendlies. I sat on the bench in the Premier League, but never got a minute, so of course it’s something I’m dreaming of. Now I’m back, I’ve had five-and-a-half years in the Bundesliga. Hopefully that experience will help me to come into the game here.”
How much has your experience in the Bundesliga improved you as a player?
HN: “Of course. It’s first team football. We struggled at the start when I first went there, but we came through the relegation battle and then finished fourth in the second year and lost to Dynamo Kiev in the play-off for the Champions League. We were mid-table the third year, but then came third and got into the Champions League. We played Man City, Sevilla and it’s been a really good experience.”
You must have been impressed with what you’ve seen from West Ham this season. One man in particular, Dimitri Payet, has taken a lot of the headlines – how much are you looking forward to playing with him next season?
HN: “He is a fantastic player. He can do something different on the field and I’m really looking forward to meeting him and seeing his qualities. It’s a team – and it’s not only him who has been really good for West Ham this season. It’s a team effort and I’m looking forward to trying to make it even better.
And a word on the manager, Slaven Bilic. How big a part did he play in you joining West Ham?
HN: “Of course it’s a big part. He took his time to meet me, talk with me and show me he was interested. What he has done at West Ham speaks for itself and I’m really looking forward to working under the boss.”