Manuel Pellegrini and his backroom staff put the West Ham United squad through their paces for the first time in Switzerland on Tuesday morning.
Having arrived in the Alpine nation on Monday evening, the players took to the training pitch at the home of local Swiss 3. Liga club FC Bad Ragaz.
There, in humid conditions, under threatening skies and with thunder rumbling in the nearby mountains, manager Pellegrini gathered the 30-man group together for a five-minute introductory talk before the players set of for a warm-up run.
Next, assistant coach Ruben Cousillas, second assistant Enzo Maresca, fitness coach Jose Cabello and assistant fitness coach Felix Cao put on a circuit of drills, with and without the ball, to build up the players’ fitness levels ahead of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper coach Xavi Valero took Adrian and young stoppers Nathan Trott, Joseph Anang and Daniel Jinadu for a specialist session to work on their footwork, distribution and handling skills.
The 90-minute session was completed with an eleven-a-side training match, on a one-third size pitch. To begin with, the players were allowed just one touch, further testing their technical and movement skills.
For the record, the ‘non-bibs’ beat the ‘yellow bibs’ 2-0, with well-taken goals from Jordan Hugill and Declan Rice.
To the side, physiotherapist Dominic Rogan worked with birthday boy Winston Reid, who is continuing his rehabilitation from the knee surgery he underwent after being hurt at Swansea City in March, while rehab fitness coach Eamon Swift did individual work with Michail Antonio, who suffered a hamstring injury while playing against Southampton later the same month.
Throughout the entire session, the players’ physical output was measured using GPS tracking, allowing the staff to monitor distance covered, sprints made, top speed and average speed.
The Hammers will hold another single session on Wednesday morning before upping the intensity of training with triple sessions on Thursday and Friday ahead of their opening pre-season fixture with Challenge League club FC Winterthur on Sunday afternoon.
Pellegrini will also test his players against Wycombe Wanderers, Preston North End, Aston Villa and Ipswich Town before kicking-off the 2018/19 Premier League campaign at Liverpool on Saturday 11 August.