David Moyes confirmed the decision to select Kurt Zouma on Tuesday evening was his alone and the availability of the player for Sunday’s clash remains with him.
After the narrow 1-0 win over Watford Moyes said that he was only concerned with picking the best team to win and that the club would deal with the fallout from Zouma’s attack on his pet cat.
Moyes told BT Sport post-match: “The club will sort the other side of it out and I will look after the football side.”
However, the manager has now clarified that Zouma’s availability was a decision left solely to him.
“I have a really good relationship with the board. At no time did the board come to me, which was very good. I made the decision,” Moyes said. “I understand how people feel. But I also think the right thing to do was to put him into his work and the investigation will take care of what’s coming.”
Moyes was referring to the RSPCA and Essex Police investigation into Zouma’s actions with their findings set to be revealed in the coming days.
West Ham have fined Zouma the maximum allowed, two weeks wages, but opted against suspending the player whilst their own internal investigation was being held.
“It’s not for you to be the judge. It’s the law to be the judge. The law is the people who will make the decision on it. That’s for us to see where that goes with the RSPCA’s investigation which is ongoing. We’ll see what the outcome of that is,” Moyes added.
“If you think missing the game is the answer, then would you know how many games you’d say he should miss? What would you think be the right number?” Moyes asked reporters.
Zouma’s fine will be donated to animal welfare charities and Moyes believes this is a positive from the situation.
“I think the financial side is as heavy as the club can give. I hope that, from, that, the charities will benefit greatly from it. At the moment we’ve just come through a pandemic where the charities have struggled. I wish this situation had never happened. I wish we weren’t even talking about this.
“But if any good is going to come out of this, then they are going to get a substantial money out of this, the charities. I can understand the public’s opinion. But I’m also one of the public. I see myself as a football supporter, a human being, I understand where everybody else is with this, I really do. I can’t condone it, what he’s done. But as a football club, and me as a football manager, are doing what we see fit.”
Moyes added: “We’ve punished the individual. It sounds like there are people who want to be the judge and the jury, whereas really it’s the law of the land who will be the judge and jury. Not you. Not me. He works for us and at the moment, he continues to work.”
The manager said that Zouma was remorseful for his action and has asked for the player to be forgiven by West Ham supporters.
“I understand how people feel, I really do. There’s nothing we can say which will make people feel any better. But now we’re asking for a bit of forgiveness from everybody. Maybe, come on, look, he’s made a bad mistake, he’s going to get better. We all in life make mistakes.”