Smells like team spirit to Allardyce
Sam Allardyce has seen a major turnover in players since he took over as manager of West Ham 16 months ago but is delighted with the team spirit at Upton Park.
The 58-year-old guided the Hammers back to the top flight in his first season in charge and they now sit seventh in the Barclays Premier League eight games into the season.
"The team had to have an overhaul because of the financial devastation of getting relegated. I mean it's that plain and simple," he said.
"When a team is relegated from the Premier League the first thing that the owners will say is 'where can we cost-cut in terms of bringing the financial commitment down to a level that means we do not lose too much money effectively'.
"The cost-cutting happened because it needed to. There were also a lot of players that didn't want to stay. So, they moved on. And then as time goes on, you re-emerge. I think that in the end some 40 players left and about 26 or 27 came in during my time."
Allardyce has won over half of the games he has overseen since replacing Avram Grant as the permanent manager at West Ham, and is pleased with the current squad at his disposal.
"At the moment, even with all that, I think we have got a healthy squad. Not quite as many as the last time that they were in the Premier League but I think it's a very committed squad and a very passionate squad," he said.
"They have gelled and bonded together as a team and are committed to the cause, which is to try to win every game that we play.
"It was different before, I think, because when you get players that are in the team that gets relegated, there is a lot of disruptions or a lot of players that basically want to look after themselves first.
"You don't have the unity and the spirit that you need to get that going. You have to sort that out pretty quickly and you need to rebuild that spirit. When you win football matches, team spirit tends to come together - and it's a little bit easier than when you don't."
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