West Ham take on Chelsea at the London Stadium on Sunday in a London derby that will see two recent managerial appointments face off.
Both Manuel Pellegrini and Maurizio Sarri arrived in London before the new season started with plenty of expectation placed on them.
The pair have gained a reputation in Europe for the way their teams play and, as a result, they were seen as individuals who could implement a more attacking brand of football as West Ham and Chelsea looked to move into a different direction ahead of the new campaign.
So how do the Chilean and Italian coaches match-up?
Despite results and performances improving significantly since succeeding Slaven Bilic in the London Stadium dugout, David Moyes still left a lot of West Ham supporters in discontent largely due to the way he had the Hammers playing.
In short, under the Scotsman, West Ham’s football was nothing close to that of the West Ham way. With that in mind, the hierarchy at the east London club came to the conclusion that they needed someone else at the helm to take the team forward with Pellegrini being seen as that man.
However, the style of football that Pellegrini had installed at the likes of Manchester City, Malaga and Villarreal has yet to be seen at the London Stadium with West Ham, overall, not starting the season particularly well.
That being said, it is still early days, of course, and the Hammers’ 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park last Sunday was encouraging both in terms of the result and performance.
Given they have had home games against Bournemouth and newly-promoted Wolves, though, supporters may feel the club really should have more than one win and three points on the board
And while a victory against London nemesis Chelsea on Sunday could be a game changer in West Ham’s season, it has been a lacklustre start for the club under Pellegrini
TT Grade: C-
In contrast to Pellegrini and West Ham, Chelsea have begun this campaign in impressive fashion with Sarri in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
The Blues sit top of the Premier League table on goal difference ahead of Liverpool having taken a maximum of 15 points from their first five fixtures and already look like a Maurizio Sarri team.
The former Napoli head coach has moved Chelsea away from the pragmatic style they had become recognised for under former bosses Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho and now has them playing some incredible stuff.
Dubbed as ‘Sarri-ball’ back in his homeland, Sarri has implemented a style of football that sees Chelsea playing out from the back, dominating possession and pressing extremely high up the pitch.
There are still a few things that need to be ironed out with Sarri himself admitting he has not been happy with his side in the defensive phases of play (via Telegraph) but, nevertheless, Chelsea look to be on course for a good season.
TT Grade: A+
There is no doubting Pellegrini’s ability as a manager. He has had really good spells in La Liga with Malaga and Villarreal, while his time at the Etihad can only be seen as a success.
He guided Manchester City to their second Premier League title, winning two League Cups along the way, something Sarri would probably kill for with the 59-year-old yet to win a major honour himself.
However, over the last couple of years and even though he is still trophy-less as a manager, in terms of coaching, Sarri has elevated himself right up there alongside the best.
Therefore, there is only one winner in this clash between the two new Premier League bosses and that is, of course, Sarri.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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