Scott Parker pipped Gareth Bale to the football writers’ player of the year by two votes, it was a close run thing in the end which either means that they were both brilliant, or there hasn’t been an outstanding player throughout the whole season. I believe the latter to be correct.
All credit to Parker (and Bale the PFA player of the year) but a look at the player of the year hall of fame and names such as Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo suggest there hasn’t been a stand out player throughout the season. The likes of Bale, Nani, Nasri and Van der Vaart have had periods of great form but none of the mentioned have taken the league by the scruff of the neck in the same fashion of the previous winners. Therefore I’m delighted that, for me the most consistent performer in the league Scott Parker won the vote.
All credit to Parker, he isn’t the flair player who has lit up the league, but a battle hardened warrior who almost is single-handedly keeping his team afloat, it’s a shame that his talent is spent battling to keep West Ham United afloat because I believe he should be plying his trade in the upper echelons of the game.
He finally got recognition from Don Cappello and won his first cap for a couple of years against Denmark in Copenhagen, following it up with a starting role against Wales where he instantly struck up a great midfield partnership with Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard. Why he wasn’t involved in the England set up sooner is beyond me, he offers a hell of a lot more than one-paced Barry, mistake prone Carrick, one-trick Huddlestone, inconsistent Jenas and inexperienced Henderson who have all been given a shot in between Parker’s caps.
It could have been a lot different for Parker, if he hadn’t ‘rushed’ in to the move to Chelsea in 2004. He produced a man of the match performance in a 4-2 win at the Valley for Charlton against Chelsea and before you knew it Roman threw £10m and the promise of glory at the Addicks to get him to move across London. I can hardly recall a single moment where Parker shone at Stamford Bridge, joining a long list of players such as Duff, Wright-Phillips and Robben who took one step forward and then two backwards at Chelsea.
Once he left west London after limited opportunities under Mourinho after Ranieri got the boot, he joined the St. James Park circus, which some say was an equally misguided move. On arrival at the Magpies he left behind his free running direct attacking approach, in favour of a more dogged box to box ball winning style and turned into the player he is today. If he had somehow manufactured a move to Man United, Liverpool or Arsenal (I wish!) I’m convinced he would be a regular England international and managed to get his hand on some elusive silverware.
He has been the ‘Hammer of the Year’ every season since he arrived at Upton Park, he more than any Premier League player deserves the title Mr. Consistency and that is exactly why he won the writers’ award. It’s easier to play well and work hard in a winning team where your hard work translates into points and medals, but it’s a different story slugging it out every week only to see your team lose.
It’s been a career filled with mixed fortunes for Parker, it maybe now that he finally reaches the heights of international football and perhaps even the Champions League if he leaves Upton Park. It is sadly ironic that it might take relegation for Parker’s beloved West Ham for him to get a move and play at a level where he belongs.