Allardyce: Hammers weren’t fit enough last season

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 July 2011

Pic by Avril Husband/Griffiths Photographers; Sam Allardyce Press Conference and meeting with the photographers at Boleyn Ground 22-06-2011

Pic by Avril Husband/Griffiths Photographers; Sam Allardyce Press Conference and meeting with the photographers at Boleyn Ground 22-06-2011

Avril Husband/Griffiths Photographers; 2-3 Links Road; Woodford Green; Essex IG8 0SS; M: 07896 577634; Griffiths Photographers M: 077

West Ham boss shocked by fitness levels of squad

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has expressed his surprise at the poor levels of fitness among the squad he inherited from last season.

The 56-year-old revealed that having looked at the stats of the Hammers squad, the players weren’t in the best shape in terms of their fitness levels – a fact that shocked the former Bolton Wanderers boss.

“I’ve looked at their stats and it doesn’t reflect well physically,” he said.

“It wasn’t great. Fitness has always been a massive part of football but never more so than now.

“If you haven’t got the capabilities of an athlete, you can’t be a footballer.”

Despite having several international players within the squad, Allardyce claims that some of the Hammers team should have been doing more in games.

“I was shocked considering the size of the squad and the quality of the players, many of whom were internationals,” he said.

“They really should have been pulling out much more.

“You look at their ability to perform at a high intensity and their sprint distances which is the level of speed needed to create the opportunities to win football matches.

“Compared to the levels at Blackburn and Bolton, they weren’t good.”

The shocking statistics will not surprise many Hammers fans, who saw first hand the poor second-hand performances from their side, which could well have been fitness related.

Recent figures show that West Ham conceded the most amount of late goals in the Premier League last season and this is something that Allardyce will want to stop.

The former Newcastle boss is a man known for being fitness focused and has concentrated on getting his West Ham squad up to scratch in pre-season.

Allardyce’s team have just three games left to prove their fitness before the start of their season on August 7.

The Hammers face away trips to Wycombe (Saturday) and Dagenham & Redbridge (Tuesday) before a home game against Real Zaragoza on July 30.

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