Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughEngland's forgotten star - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough England's forgotten star - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

England’s forgotten star

The Premiership has produced a lot of world class home grown talent over its 20 year existence.

The likes of David Beckham and Steven Gerrard have produced magical moments for both club and country, but one English player has the talent to be one of the best midfielders in the premiership.

His hard working character has seen him put challenges in where other players wouldn’t, collect the ball from his back four and distribute well to his other team mates. Not to mention his shooting ability outside the box, but he still seems to be forgotten by most football fans and his international manager.

No, I’m not talking about Manchester United‘s Paul Scholes, even though he is a legend in his own right, but the ever impressive Scott Parker. Some may laugh and think I’m crazy to even mention him in the same breath as say Gareth Barry, Jack Wilshere and Steven Gerrard, but he does deserve praise and here is why.

Well let’s start with the obvious. Parker is the type of player that puts his all into every game he plays, if it’s against their main rivals Arsenal in a highly intense game or against Wigan Athletic. Some players only have the option to play either a physical game or a passing game but Parker applies both to his own game, which explains why he has started 17 of Tottenham’s 21 league games so far. He’s never been shy to go in for a 50/50 challenge when sitting in the middle of the park.

When Scotty P is in your team you know he will give you consistency, which is what managers want from all their players but especially from someone who can help your team dictate play. He does that by sitting in front of the two centre backs which helps Spurs keep their shape when trying to win the ball back. If there’s any chance of him getting the ball he will hassle an attacker by sticking with him until he creates enough pressure that a mistake occurs and he can make a challenge. Something that other creative midfielders will not do and it’s something that they can learn from a player like Parker.

His ability to read the game defensively is very impressive too, intercepting opponents passes in the last third and then distributing the ball to start an attack, but it’s not only his defensive qualities that make him a great player. 

With the ball at his feet you can see he has the confidence to take players on and get Spurs further up the pitch. His sharpness allows him to play give and goes with his teammates in the middle of the park, moving into little gaps between opposition players creating an option for another return ball. That’s why he fits so well into Harry Redknapp’s team with players like Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart playing alongside him with similar attacking minds. He can also pick out a player in space with one of his passes with either the inside of his boot or the outside of it, which gives him an advantage over players like Gareth Barry and Michael Carrick. Let’s not forget his ability to sweetly strike the ball and hit the back the net when given the chance around the edge of the box.

With all these qualities why do fans hardly cheer his name and why has he struggled to get games for the national side over the years?

The reason behind that is because he has been unlucky in what position he plays in. England has been a national side that picks players with big names instead of players that have performed well at their clubs over the years. Managers have tended to start Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the middle when they’ve been fit which was, and still is, unfortunate for any other English center midfielder.

Another reason why he wasn’t being picked for the national side before was due to him playing at an underperforming West Ham. Some managers won’t admit it but the club you play for can affect if you get picked to represent your country. Parker was carrying a struggling West Ham on his back for so long when they were fighting relegation season after season. Now he is at a better club in Tottenham and playing with a better standard of players. Now he is involved in the national set up and has been a starter for the past few internationals. 

The Tottenham man may be out for a game or two after Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli so called ‘accidental’ stamp on Parker’s head but that will not stop the player from progressing in his career and help his side try and finish in the Champions League spots for next season.  

Twitter: @MediaJB

Football Friends bring you the latest football news and opinion from football fans around the world. Football News