Player: Scott Parker
Club: West Ham United
Position: Centre Midfield
2010-11 Appearances (Goals): 30 (5)
Who?: Parker, or Scotty Parker as commentators seem to like calling him, started off his career at Charlton, playing for them between 1997-2004. I used to watch Charlton quite a lot at that time as my Dad was a fan and I remember him to be a tenacious player and everything good that Charlton ever did seemed to go through him. He came into the team when club captain Mark Kinsella got injured and played so well that Kinsella never got back into the team. Understandably, his performances started getting the attention of some bigger clubs and he moved to Chelsea for £10m in January 2004. His opportunities were severely limited, but just as he started to force his way into Ranieri’s team, the coach was sacked and replaced by Mourinho, who didn’t think he could find a place for him in the team. Parker moved onto Newcastle for a fee of £6.5m in July 2005. He became one of Newcastle’s most consistent performers in what was a very inconsistent team and was later made club captain by Glenn Roeder. Financial difficulties at Newcastle led him to being sold to West Ham for a fee of £7m in the summer of 2007, where he currently remains. His industrious and combative approach, coupled with an intelligent footballing brain, has finally started to get him the recognition he deserves on the International Scene and is likely to be an England regular for the next couple of years (or at least I hope he will…).
Why?: I know Parker seems the obvious pick from the bunch of relegated players but from my point of view, Scott Parker has been one of the most consistent English midfielders to have played in the Premiership over the past decade. For three consecutive seasons, he has been named ‘Hammer of the Year’ and in the 2010/11 season won the Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year. To win this accolade in a team that finished bottom of the division I think best illustrates why he is far too good to play in the Championship. I don’t think it would be too far to say that if a very poor West Ham team had stayed in the Premiership this season, it would almost entirely have been down to Parker. He is a loyal player that will give everything for his team. Any team in the Premiership would be lucky to have him fighting their corner.
Where?: This is a tricky one to call. For starters, I would definitely have him at Tottenham. I’m not sure we necessarily need him with Huddlestone and the emerging Sandro at the club already, but I think he is an amalgamation of the two. He may not quite have the vision of Huddlestone and he is probably not as athletic or able to cover as much of the pitch as Sandro seems to manage but he’s a good balance between the two. I am generally left with the feeling that we are lacking something if only one of Huddlestone and Sandro play, so think Parker would be able to provide the best qualities of both players. If he played in a central midfield with Luka Modric, I’m not convinced there would be many better partnerships in the league. However, the rivalry between West Ham and Spurs may prevent that transfer happening both from his point of view and the probable reluctance of the West Ham board to sell to Spurs. When Parker originally moved to Chelsea, it was probably too early in his career to go to such a big club. I think he deserves the chance now to finally play for one of the really big teams. I can’t see him going to Arsenal as he doesn’t seem like the sort of player that Wenger would go for, but if Fabregas does depart, I think he could provide a perfect foil for Wilshire in the centre of their midfield and would certainly provide a bit of bite that Arsenal have been lacking. Liverpool have been touted as a potential suitor as well and I think this could suit both parties so I would say this is his most likely destination.
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