Gold urges Zola to stay at West Ham after trip to 'hell and back'

West Ham United 3 Wigan Athletic 2

West Ham United co-owner David Gold hopes that Gianfranco Zola will remain as manager at Upton Park next season but accepts the Italian may want a sabbatical after going to "hell and back" this season.

Victory over Wigan Athletic virtually ensured Premier League survival for Zola, although he has endured a chaotic campaign following the change of ownership at the club.

"I would hope he stays," Gold said. "He has been through hell and back. It has been a very difficult season for him. He has had new owners, owners before who were not participating. Now he knows he is part of West Ham, whereas before he was isolated. So I hope that this moment of success we are enjoying will continue.

"I would have thought that he deserves another crack. But he's also a man who might feel that it's time for him to take a sabbatical. I don't know. You would have to ask him. But I'm very optimistic that we can come together and go to the next step."

Zola's position has appeared under threat since Gold and David Sullivan's arrival. Gold did speak to his manager during the team's run of poor form. Gold, however, added: "At no time did I feel that there was any requirement for a change. For a number of reasons. I asked Franco after what was I think our fifth straight defeat, 'are you ok? Are you on board?' You are always fearful that a manager may be finding it difficult. But he said he could keep us up. He's kept his word and he's done that. We couldn't ask more."

Meanwhile, Scott Parker expects to be on the beach this summer rather than in South Africa, but he has put together a strong case for an England call-up after guiding West Ham towards safety.

The 29-year-old won his last cap more than three years ago against Croatia, and admits his only focus at the moment is keeping his club in the top flight. Should Fabio Capello ask members of his squad such as Robert Green about Parker's qualities, he would be told that West Ham would still be in deep relegation trouble without the midfielder.

"He has given everything he can for the club, will win player of the year by a country mile, will win goal of the season, players' player of the year," Green said. "He'll win everything going.

"Scotty's always diving in front of the ball. He's taken the ball in the face and he has taken one in the privates this season and just picked himself up."

"If you are going on form then he's got to be up there. The yardage that someone covers is more than I've seen in football. I would love him to go to the World Cup. He's done everything he can do and is probably the reason why we are a lot safer."

Against Wigan, Parker unleashed a 30-yard drive to seal maximum points, before breaking free of his team-mates' celebrations to embrace Zola on the touchline.

"It's been an emotional year and that was an unbelievable moment," Zola said. "The game was going flat and the goal was unexpected. Absolutely, it was my favourite moment here at West Ham. It was a great goal and a great moment."

Parker, though, is not expecting an international recall soon. "I think if I had a chance to go to South Africa I would have been called into the squad more than I have," he said.

"All I can do is play well for West Ham and if I can keep producing the performances I am producing then hopefully it would be enough but realistically it is a tall ask."

Parker had to inspire his team-mates after they fell behind to Jonathan Spector's own goal. Ilan and Radoslav Kovac struck before half-time, then Hugo Rodallega struck before the winner.

It meant Wigan could not confirm safety on the day, although at times during the game they showed why some of their players are linked with moves to clubs higher in the table.

"We are fighting to avoid the drop and you have so many teams talking about our players – Charles N'Zogbia, James McCarthy, Victor Moses, Hugo," Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said. "That shows that we are doing something well as a team."

West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Faubert, Upson, Da Costa, Spector; Noble (Daprela, 90), Kovac, Parker, Behrami; Ilan (Franco, 71), Cole. Substitutes not used: Kurucz (gk), Gabbidon, B McCarthy, Diamanti, Stanislas.

Wigan Athletic (4-5-1): Kirkland; Melchoit, Bramble, Caldwell, Figueroa; J McCarthy, Diame (Scharner, 90), Watson, N'Zogbia (Scotland, 90), Rodallega; Moreno (Moses, 38). Substitutes not used: Stojkovic (gk), Gohouri, Sinclair, Boyce.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

Booked: West Ham Spector; Wigan McCarthy, Bramble.

Man of the match: Parker.

Attendance: 33,057.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada