June 20 2013 Latest news:
Nathaniel John, West Ham Correspondent
Friday, July 6, 2012
Keeper relishing the chance to work under Big Sam again
New West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen is delighted to be working with Sam Allardyce again after joining the Hammers on a free transfer.
The 37-year-old put pen to paper on a one-year deal with an option of an additional year last month, but only officially joined the club on Sunday when his deal with Bolton Wanderers expired.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be here under Big Sam again, having worked with him before for a few seasons,” he said.
“It happened very quickly because when my agent said that West Ham were interested I told him to sort it straight away because I know how Big Sam works, how well he looks after the players and how good his backroom staff are.
“They were the factors behind why I wanted to come here.”
Following the departure of Rob Green to Queens Park Rangers, the West Ham No.1 jersey is up for grabs, and Jaaskelainen is keen to stake his claim on the shirt, under some stiff competition from fellow new arrival Stephen Henderson.
However, having battled with Adam Bogdan last season at Bolton for the same prize, Jaaskelainen is determined to re-establish himself as one of the best keepers in the Premier League.
“At the start of pre-season, all the goalkeepers are in the same place, but obviously I want to go and get the No.1 place and keep that consistent level I have done over the years,” he said.
Having made the move down to the capital, Jaaskelainen is looking forward to seeing what London life has to offer, but admits that his job will always come first.
“The main focus is playing for West Ham and to work hard for this football club and if I get to see London then that’s good, but it’s not my main focus,” he added.
“Pre-season is a little bit different this time because I didn’t play any games this year, so all off-season I’ve been looking forward to coming back and training again.
“Hopefully I can play here for the next two or three years.”