Captain Mark Noble called team meeting to ‘have it out’ over Kurt Zouma cat-attack video

West Ham captain Mark Noble called a team meeting so the squad could ‘have it out’ over the Kurt Zouma incident, Hammers boss David Moyes has revealed.

Last week, shocking videos emerged of French defender Zouma kicking and slapping his pet cat.

The 27-year-old, who completed a £30m move from Chelsea last summer, apologised and was fined £250,000 by West Ham.

Over 300,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Zouma to be prosecuted, while animal charity RSPCA have taken his two cats into care.

Zouma played for West Ham in their Premier League match against Watford last week – less than 24 hours after the footage emerged – and was named in the Hammers’ starting line-up for Sunday’s clash with Leicester City before withdrawing due to ‘illness’.

The defender is set to return for West Ham on Saturday when they host relegation-battlers Newcastle United, and Moyes says the squad have already come together to ‘flush out’ any issues that arose following the Zouma saga.

‘Mark Noble does a brilliant job,’ said Moyes. ‘He brought the players together and they all spoke about the situation.

‘They had it out amongst themselves. He did the sort of thing an experienced captain would do, which is great for the manager.

‘There’s a lot of joined-up things at the football club. We might not always do the right things or get it right. But no matter what age we are, where we are, I have to keep learning. I had a new learning experience last week.’

Noble, 34, has spent almost two decades at West Ham, making more than 500 appearances for the Hammers.

West Ham boss Moyes added: ‘Mark did it off his own back, took responsibility and showed great leadership. All football clubs need leadership, whether from the top, the manager, the captain.

‘He took a lot of leadership and showed: “I’m going to get this out in the open and out of the way. We’re going to discuss it. See who’s happy and who’s not happy. Let’s flush it out”.

‘Ultimately we’ve got a lot of games and the players need to work together. Mark showed what he is and what he has been – a really good captain.

‘Sometimes you need a bit of adversity to drive you on. Now we need to make sure we use all the things to our advantage the best we can. It was our own doing so we’re the ones who have to fix it ourselves, nobody else.’

Some fans and pundits have urged West Ham to sack Zouma after he attacked his cat, but former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville does not believe the Frenchman should lose his job.

‘Zouma will always regret what he’s done, it was a stupid thing to do,’ he said on his Sky Sports podcast.

‘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.’

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