Are these marathon men the secret behind West Ham's brilliant start to the season?

Mark Noble

West Ham United can put their best start to a Premier League season for seven years down to good old fashioned hard work.

That's according to a new report by Sky Sports which has analysed how far Premier League players have run since the new campaign kicked off last month.

The list is unsurprisingly dominated by midfielders and has representatives from 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs.

But the Hammers have the joint most players in the the list with no less than three of their stars making the top 20.

Hammers style winning admirers

The East Londoners are still basking in their great start which has already seen them beat Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City away from home in their first three games on the road.

They are sitting pretty in third place in the Premier League, and Slaven Bilic's attacking and passing style has won the Hammers plenty of admirers.

Perfect mixture of flair and graft

Their form is based as much on graft as it is flair, though, according to the Sky Sports report.

Midfielder and Hammers captain Mark Noble is fifth on the list, having run 70.4km in the six games so far.

He is joined by fellow midfield star Dimitri Payet (16th, 65.2km), which is all the more impressive given his attacking role in the team and shows he has been putting in a shift at both ends of the pitch.

The Hammers trio is completed by left back Aaron Cresswell, who is in joint 18th place having run 64.6km.

Bilic commanding respect

It shows West Ham really are working hard for new manager Bilic to ensure his new style and philosophy, which has been a marked change from that of predecessor Sam Allardyce, works effectively.

Many pundits felt the Hammers were taking a big risk swapping Big Sam for the former Croatia boss.

But the ex-Irons defender has already showed he knows what the Upton Park faithful want and understands the 'West Ham way' - which is quite simply attacking football, played on the floor, mixed with hard work.

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