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14th Feb 2022

Gary Neville disagrees with calls for West Ham to sack Kurt Zouma

Callum Boyle

‘Do I think he should never play football again? No, I don’t.’

Gary Neville has taken a stance against calls for Kurt Zouma to be sacked by West Ham United, saying he should be allowed to continue playing football.

Zouma has faced widespread criticism after footage obtained by The Sun last week showed the defender abusing his pet cat and was subsequently fined two weeks’ wages, while the RSPCA took his cats into their care.

West Ham and David Moyes were also criticised after Moyes chose to start the Frenchman in their game against Watford last Wednesday.

The 27-year-old was also set to start during their game against Leicester City on Sunday but at the last minute pulled out of the squad after complaining of illness.

But while many have called for West Ham not to play the Frenchman, Neville has taken an opposing view and feels that even though he should be punished, he should still be allowed to play.

“Sometimes, with social media, you aren’t sure how some things are going to fly as well or how something is going to grow,” he said on his Sky Sports podcast.

“It’s that balancing act of doing the right thing, but trying to stand by your team members and players who have made mistakes.”

Neville also admitted that Moyes had managed to handle a difficult situation the best he could and admitted that the hierarchy above Moyes at West Ham should have made the call for him.

“Kurt Zouma made a terrible mistake. The reality of it is that David Moyes was left in a difficult predicament.

“I think he has just about got it right. Some people will say he got it wrong. Some will say he got it right.

“I think it’s very difficult for a manager. The club have to set the tone. If that’s my club, I’m taking that away from the manager. I am protecting the manager.

“Zouma will always regret what he’s done, it was a stupid thing to do.

“Do I think he should never play football again? No, I don’t. I think he should be allowed to play football again.

“Do I think he deserves to be punished, fined two weeks’ wages and banned for two or three games? Yes. So should he have played the other night? Maybe not.”

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