Smells like team spirit, says Sam
Sam Allardyce has seen a big turnover in players since he took over at West Ham 16 months ago but is happy 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 Premier League eight games into the season.
Allardyce had to win over a large section of West Ham supporters, who felt his managerial style was at odds with the history of the club.
But the former Newcastle boss seems to have appeased most of their worries having dealt with the loss of a high number of players.
"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."
Allardyce has been able to bring in a number of high-profile signings with the backing of co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan.
The likes of Kevin Nolan moved down a division to join West Ham while they were in the npower Championship, and since achieving promotion they have managed to secure a loan deal for Liverpool's £35million striker Andy Carroll.
Former West Ham defender Rio Ferdinand, whose contract at Manchester United expires next summer, has been the latest big-name player linked with Upton Park.
And although Allardyce reckons a deal is unlikely, he did not rule out taking the 33-year-old back to his boyhood club.
He said: "I wouldn't know at this stage of the season, it's highly unlikely that we would consider Rio Ferdinand at the moment.
"But if it's at the end of the season and he hasn't got a new contract, and he is released by Manchester United, then we would be interested - if we can sustain our Premier League status.
"If he wants to live back in London eventually, which is where he comes from, which you know perhaps quite a few players want to do when they come to the end of their careers, then that is an advantage for us.
"The chairman likes to think big as well, which is a nice thing. It's nice to have a chairman that thinks big.
"Everything has to be in place. If Rio wanted to come back, then a financial package (would need to be arranged) and so forth, and whether Manchester United wanted to release him or not."