Downing happy to leave Reds

Stewart Downing admits he was happy to get away from Liverpool after signing for West Ham United in the summer.

Last Updated: 06/10/13 at 13:03 Post Comment

Stewart Downing: Joined West Ham United in the summer

Stewart Downing: Joined West Ham United in the summer

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Despite featuring heavily last season for Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers had made it clear he could leave.

So Downing did not have to think too much about finalising the switch to Upton Park.

"I didn't have to think about it that long," Downing says. "I just said: 'OK, I will sign tomorrow.' And that was it. Done," he revealed to the Daily Telegraph.

"Brendan pulled me and said: 'I've just found out they've accepted a fee today.'

"He [Rodgers] said he couldn't promise I would play every week. That's understandable, but at my age [29] I need to play and there's a World Cup coming up so I want to give myself a chance to get into the England squad."

"I need to play. I could not go through that again. I'd missed three or four months when Brendan first came and the season before that I was in and out.

"I came back in the summer and with new players in the [Liverpool] team I was determined to have the attitude: 'It's up to you to try and get my shirt.' And that's how it felt until that conversation.

"It looked like I wasn't going to play [at Liverpool] and with two years left on my contract I knew they wouldn't offer me a new one.

"I didn't want to sit around because Brendan will want to keep on spending and reinforcing and wanting his own team. So I had to make a decision and Sam Allardyce gave me the opportunity."

Ambitious

Downing insists that he has joined an ambitious club.

"There are good ambitions here - moving to the Olympic Stadium and with Andy signing, and with the manager wanting to keep strengthening," he continued.

"I was happy to make that move. It's a great club, a club on the up and finished 10th last year and we want to finish as high as we can.

"He's made it clear to us that he wants to finish higher and I think we can do that. I liked his [Allardyce's] ambitions.

"He's not one to sit around, Sam, he wants to keep improving so I thought it was a good time to come here.

"He's quite persuasive and he's very straightforward, which is all you can ask for as a player.

"He told me to come here, come and enjoy my football and he would improve me as a player - simple things but things that you want to hear.

"I look at it as a whole: am I going to be playing regularly? What type of team is it? Am I going to fit in?

"And the stadium tops it off. All factors come into it but the biggest one for me is playing regularly I didn't have to think about it that long."

Downing, who has 34 caps, has not given up on playing for England again.

"I certainly still want to play for England," he added.

"Obviously I've not played for a long time but you never know. I just want to give myself a chance and coming here and playing well for West Ham gives me a better chance than if I had stayed at Liverpool."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Mark Hughes angered by officials in Stoke win over Hull

Mark Hughes was pleased with Stoke's 1-0 win over Hull but angered after the officials missed a challenge on Stephen Ireland.

Sean Dyche downbeat after Burnley lose to Swansea defeat at Turf Moor

Burnley boss Sean Dyche says his side must start turning performances into wins after losing 1-0 to Swansea at Turf Moor.

Jonas Gutierrez wants top-10 finish for Newcastle after return

Jonas Gutierrez has targeted a top-10 finish with Newcastle after returning to the squad for the win against Aston Villa.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company