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Feb, 6, 2011

McCarthy fined by West Ham

West Ham striker Benni McCarthy has been fined £200,000 by the club after continuing battles with his fitness.

McCarthy missed out on the Hammers' 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of the season and, despite hitting his fitness target, was not at the right level for boss Avram Grant.

''He reached the targets but I think that affected his movement,'' said Grant. ''He's a very good player and one of the best finishers in training that I have ever seen, and I have had some good players. ''But now we need players with movement and the advantage of being quick, and we have others.''

West Ham have just signed Robbie Keane on loan and have Victor Obinna, Frederic Piquionne and Carlton Cole ahead of McCarthy, while his well-publicised battles with weight have reportedly led to a club fine.

McCarthy was challenged at the beginning of the season to lose 2.2lb over six weeks or face a fine of one week's wages each time he failed.

But his agent, Rob Moore, told the Daily Mirror: ''He wants to play and is not a guy who wants to sit around and collect his cheque.

''Avram has a job to do and the team are in a difficult position, so you can't blame him for making decisions he believes in, but Benni has had hardly any game time and it's inevitable he would get a bit disheartened.

''He's at the level of fitness and weight the club prescribed and they are happy with that. But he is 33 years old and we have to be realistic.''

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