In his match programme notes for their defeat to the Hammers, Pulis wrote: "West Ham attracted a lot of the wrong headlines earlier in the season and many pundits were forecasting gloom and doom for them.
"So I think Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke deserve enormous praise for knocking the club and the team into shape to leave them now challenging for Europe.
"Gianfranco was a truly wonderful player in his time and what a privilege for this country that he chose to demonstrate his talent in our own backyard.
"Now he is cutting his teeth in management - and doing so very impressively by the evidence we've seen so far.
"I think Steve has also played a highly significant role at Upton Park after a much under-rated contribution behind the scenes at Chelsea for so many years.
"That said, I'm sure they'd be the first to admit they acquired a pretty good set of players when you look into it.
"In Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Kieron Dyer and Scott Parker you have players with England caps to their name, then there's Mark Noble who's captained the under-21s and Lucas Neill who's captaining the Aussies right now."