4570: Parker's the top man for Hamme
by : Colin Illingworth
When Scott Parker signed for Chelsea in 2004 he should have established himself as a regular for England, but limited first team appearances, being played out of position and a metatarsal injury put paid to his Stamford Bridge career.
A move to St James’ Park 18 months later started off brightly with some heroic performances which led to an England recall, but his hopes of becoming a staple fixture in the international squad were dashed when his injury jinx struck again. And his spell on Tyneside ended on a sour note as a section of the Toon Army turned on the former Charlton man after he made the cardinal sin of criticising the fans’ expectations, as he struggled to recapture that early dynamic form.
However, Parker now has an excellent opportunity to get his career back on track at Upton Park under his former mentor Alan Curbishley, and the majority of West Ham fans believe it is a great bit of business.
“Personally I think it's a great signing, and from the sound of it, he'll be good value at around £8m,” said Upton Park season ticket holder Matthew Beeby. “For an English player with his experience, and of his age, I think it's a good bit of business. Add in the fact that he's a Londoner and will be playing under the manager who previously got the best out of him, I think it's a good signing. He won't need time to settle into his surroundings, or the league, or to get used to the manager. I just hope that he leaves his injuries up in Newcastle.
“He should fit nicely into our midfield, providing the bite that will allow our more creative players to shine. He's also another leader both on and off the pitch – I can't see a repeat of last season with players like him and Lucas Neill in the side. They just won't stand for it.”
Fellow West Ham fan Richard Dicken believes that Parker is a quality player who will undoubtedly improve the team.
“He is a good tackler and will hold in midfield, in much the same way as Reo-Coker did in the last half of the season. His passing is better than Cokers, which will be a plus, he also pops up with more goals, which was something we missed last season from midfield. I would expect his attitude to be better as well. Again he is a good internationally capped player. He improves the team and squad and I would like to see plenty more like him at West Ham.”
And lifelong Hammers fan Stephen Johnson believes it’s time for Parker to show his true potential.
“I think it could be a good signing. He has a lot of potential and a lot to prove. I don't think his career has progressed as most pundits thought it might so now it's time for him to really show his ability.”
Scott Parker is widely regarded as the most under-rated English player in the game and a number of people cannot understand why he is continually overlooked by Steve McClaren. He is tenacious in the tackle, can break up play and drives teams on, and when given the opportunity he can also score special goals and set up his team-mates. However, Newcastle fan Paul Atkinson believes that Parker’s departure from St James’ Park is no big loss.