Grading Pochettino and Bilic's work this season: Who comes out on top?

Slaven Bilic - West Ham Vs Birkrikara

The Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham bosses find their clubs in promising positions after seven Premier League games.

Slaven Bilic

When Sam Allardyce was replaced by Slaven Bilic as West Ham United boss, a few uneducated pundits cried that it was a huge mistake, that the east London club wouldn't get anywhere without Big Sam and that the Upton Park outfit would struggle from the off under the Croat.

Back in the real world, Bilic has guided to West Ham to third in the Premier League table after seven games. It hasn't all been plain sailing, of course, with the Hammers looking at their best on the counterattack and therefore failing to dictate games at home, where Leicester City, Bournemouth and very nearly Norwich City have got the better of them.

But, allayed with some fine player recruitment, the Hammers have picked a very good choice indeed to take the club forward. As a former West Ham defender, Bilic knows all there is to know about the Upton Park atmosphere and his calmness has spread to the players, who have shown no fear against some of the top flight's best sides.

Verdict: Capital One Cup elimination was a disappointment, although West Ham's Europa League exit has been seen as a positive. Bilic's penchant for counterattacking football has seen the Irons struggle at Upton Park - but to be third after seven games, with wins against Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool to their name, is nothing short of exceptional. Grade: A

Mauricio Pochettino

After the heartbreak of cup defeat against Arsenal, there is a very different sense that now surrounds White Hart Lane following a 4-1 win against Manchester City.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino's tactics and, most importantly, team selection have frequently been questioned already this season. But his best traits were on show as Spurs dismantled City, with a high-tempo display proving the north London side's fitness levels are now back up to where the Argentine wants them.

Tottenham's expectation levels are a little different to West Ham's so fifth place after seven games is seen more as par for the course at the Lane. The Argentine, however, is starting to receive more rave reviews for Spurs' league form, while he looks as though he can achieve a lot with those brought in over the summer - Toby Alderweireld, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli (signed in January but only arriving for this season) and more.

Verdict: The manner of Tottenham's Capital One Cup disappointment against Arsenal lost a lot of support for Pochettino, while it was a slow start to their Premier League campaign. But the north London side's first team have slowly progressed and the win against Manchester City has taken the excitement levels at White Hart Lane to fever pitch. Grade: B+

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