The Hammers moved up to eighth after beating Liverpool 3-1 at Upton Park on Saturday and the result was warmly welcomed by midfielder Downing who feels Sam Allardyce has at his disposal a much deeper squad than last term.
"Competition for places is definitely a good thing," he told the club's official website.
"Last year even if you weren't playing well you got into the team because we didn't have enough players. But now the manager will be having headaches picking the team, I'm sure he'll like that.
"We've got more options on the bench. You saw Morgan (Amalfitano) come off the bench (to score against the Reds), he's come here to play.
West Ham, who have two wins, a draw and two losses so far this campaign, travel to Manchester United on Saturday as they look to string two victories together against the under-fire Red Devils.
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball