Kurt Zouma is loving life in West Ham United colours at the moment.
Once again, the French defender put in a colossal performance for the Irons, playing a crucial role at both ends of the pitch in the side’s 2-1 win away at Luton Town on Friday evening.
Immense throughout in the heart of the West Ham back-line, Zouma then turned attacker and headed in James Ward-Prowse’s corner on 85 minutes for his first goal of the season and to double the Hammers’ advantage, after Jarrod Bowen’s opener in the first half.
Newly-promoted Luton Town were up for the battle though and ensured a tense final few minutes at Kenilworth Road when Mads Andersen turned the ball home, but West Ham held on for a third consecutive win to return to the top of the Premier League table.
“It was a great feeling to score such a goal in a tough game like this,” said Zouma, who captained the side for a fourth consecutive match. “It is always tight in these types of games. James sent in a great ball for me and I just had to put it in.
“You never know what’s going to happen, especially in those types of games. We knew Luton were going to put pressure on us and we’d need to stay calm. It wasn’t easy because they tried to put a lot of pressure on us, but getting the second goal was crucial. I’m glad I was able to help the team get this win.”
The Premier League’s newest stadium was rocking on Friday evening as the Luton support looked to buoy the newly-promoted Hatters to victory in their first home league match.
Zouma always knew the passion and enthusiasm from the Luton fans would play a role, and make a tough test that much more difficult, but was pleased with how West Ham dealt with the added pressure.
He continued: “This is what the Premier League is about and it’s what we like to see! It’s their first game at home in the Premier League and they made it tough for us. We tried to get the win and that’s what we did today.
“We had a solid match, particularly defensively with a lot of headers and tackles. Getting a win like this is never easy. No game in the Premier League is easy, but we’re happy with the three points.”
The No4 has worn armband throughout the season so far for West Ham and Zouma is relishing the responsibility of leading the side into each match.
“I’m proud to be wearing this armband. I didn’t know this would happen. The manager came to me before our first game against Bournemouth and told me I’d be wearing the armband for a few games, and I haven’t lost yet so I’m very happy.
“I’m trying to lead the team as best as I can and, today, I helped by scoring. We want to win games and that’s what we did.”
It has certainly been a highly positive few weeks for the Irons. A third successive league win, added to a draw at AFC Bournemouth on the opening day of the season, has the Hammers on ten points from four matches played.
David Moyes’ side are once again top of the Premier League and there is every reason to be confident, according to their French No4.
“We’ve started very well but the Premier League is a long and tough season,” he concluded. “We need to rest during the international period and see how things go after that. We’ve started well and we feel confident and happy.”