West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

David Moyes explains last-minute Kurt Zouma change, requests ‘forgiveness’ for star

West Ham manager David Moyes has spoken about Kurt Zouma

West Ham boss David Moyes has explained why Kurt Zouma did not feature against Leicester at the King Power, despite originally being named in the starting eleven.

Zouma has been the centre of plenty of controversy in recent days after he was filmed kicking and hitting his pet cat. The Irons have fined him two weeks wages, worth £250,000, while the RSPCA have taken the cats into their care.

West Ham raised eyebrows on Tuesday as they allowed Kurt Zouma to play against Watford even though investigations were ongoing.

Moyes then confirmed that the centre-back would be available to play Brendan Rodgers’ side on Sunday afternoon. He was selected to start but pulled out of the match shortly before kick-off. Fellow defender Issa Diop came in to replace him.

West Ham took the lead through Jarrod Bowen in the 10th minute. The right winger raced onto a looping Diop pass before beating Kasper Schmeichel with an accomplished low drive.

But they could not hold onto the lead until half time as Aaron Cresswell gave away a penalty in the 44th minute. He rose to clear a corner, only for the ball to hit his elbow.

Foxes midfielder Youri Tielemans stepped up and dragged his team level from the penalty spot.

The home side made it 2-1 thanks to Ricardo Pereira in the 57th minute. They looked set to gain all three points, although it was not to be as Craig Dawson connected with a late Bowen corner to level the score.

West Ham ‘showed resilience’ – David Moyes

Moyes told Sky Sports (via BBC Sport) after the draw: “We started the game quite well, had control but gave it away before half-time, gave them a leg up and it was a penalty kick. They got a goal from it and second half we did not play well but showed resilience to get a point.

“We had not really given them many opportunities, we had chances but did not take it. We were punished for it.

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“You have to remember this (Leicester) team was winning the FA Cup and league title not so long away. They have some really good players here, we are trying to stick at it, we have had some difficulties and still pulling out wins and results.

“In the first half I felt annoyed after going into a good lead and gave them a leg up. It says lots for the players, we have come quickly and made massive strides in the last couple of years. I will squeeze everything out of them and I want us to challenge the top teams.”

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Moyes talks late Kurt Zouma change

When asked about Kurt Zouma, Moyes added:”He was ill before the game, wanted to play, we wanted him to play as well. He was sick during the night, he stayed away from the players and did not eat much.

“Once he got out he did not think it was possible. We told Diop to be ready. It is a stomach bug, probably something he has eaten.

“I hope that we have changed a bit of how West Ham is perceived, but more on the pitch. We have a good, exciting young team that we are trying to improve.

“West Ham have done great work down the East End of London, young supporters coming in and a lot of good things being done. We should not allow something like this to blight what has gone on.

“A mistake has been made and there are managers with players who have made mistakes. You want to feel there is forgiveness and an apology has been made.”

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