"I got a lot of stick for agreeing to join West Ham but I think my decision has been vindicated. The captaincy wasn't ever promised but I was told I would be important.
"If I'd only joined for the money, I'd have sat on the sidelines last season, let the others get on with it and picked up my wages.
"I didn't do that. I was in the trenches and helped get us out. Now I'm hoping the gamble comes good because the chairman is ambitious and the manager is hungry. We want to achieve much bigger and better things.
"I only got back on Thursday night from Asia and in the morning the manager called to ask if I was ready to train. He said he was going to announce me as captain. I didn't take much in for the next minute because it was so overwhelming."