David Moyes has defended his decision to select Kurt Zouma for West Ham’s 1-0 win over Watford with the manager believing Zouma’s availability is a decision for ‘the club’.
Speaking ahead of the match to BT Sport, Moyes explained his decision to select Zouma by stating that he is one of West Ham’s “better players.”
After the match, the manager passed the decision of Zouma’s future availability to the board by saying: “The club will sort the other side of it out and I will look after the football side.”
Moyes added: “My feeling was Kurt has apologised and I understand that a lot of people will not just accept an apology I understand that. But to me, he came out and he said that very honestly and as I said before I had to do my job then and that was to pick the best team I possibly could.”
The Scot was adamant his decision was the correct one and not one to send a poor message to his players regarding discipline.
“The club are dealing with it and I look after the football side and I had to try and get a result tonight and Kurt at the moment is in our first eleven so the decision was to play him,” Moyes said.
The decision to include Zouma was criticised far and wide and not just by angry social media users but by many former players who were shocked at Zouma’s inclusion.
“I’m really surprised [he picked Zouma],” Owen Hargreaves told BT Sport. “I know he’s arguably their best centre-half but the situation and everything that’s happened, he may get fined a couple of weeks wages and miss a few games but no body knows how to deal with this, it’s such a bizarre situation, nobody condones what happened but I’m surprised he’s playing, I’d of thought he’d miss a few games and been fined but it’ll be interesting to hear what David Moyes has to say.”
Former Hammer James Collins told the BBC: “I think there is a lot of anger about [Kurt Zouma being picked to play] and rightly so. It’s a big call from the football club, I personally don’t think it is the right call.
“I don’t think the club should have made him available for the game. I think there should be some sort of sanction against him. It’s a huge call from the club but in my opinion, they have got it wrong.”
Zouma put in a fine performance but was serenaded throughout by the Watford fans with a plethora of chants over his actions including, “RSPCA, say RSPCA” and other more expletive-laden songs.
The club are set to hold an internal disciplinary meeting regarding Zouma’s actions which will determine the defender’s availability going forward with the Frenchman also potentially the subject of a police enquiry. This sorry episode is a long way from over for Zouma, Moyes and West Ham.