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
  • Get to the point
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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor