VIDEO Hurst: Hammers should stick with Zola
The former Chelsea forward is widely expected to leave Upton Park this summer, with new West Ham co-owner David Sullivan believed to be keen to axe the Italian following a dismal campaign.
However, Hurst - who netted 180 league goals for the Hammers as well as firing England to World Cup success in 1966 - believes the inexperienced Zola will improve over time.
“I would stick with Gianfranco Zola," said Hurst. "I think arguably a couple of years ago he was a bit inexperienced, but he has had two really tough years and he must have learnt an enormous amount in those two seasons.”
Speaking at the launch of the Evo-Stik League sponsorship, Hurst listed the reasons for his old team's poor campaign.
“West Ham’s season has been poor by any judgment. We have had some problems on the financial side for some time. We have had a change of ownership and this is all unsettling for the players.
"The main thing is that we have survived, and now next season is a great chance for the new owners to bring across all of their ideas."