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Captain Parker- The Right Choice

The naming of Scott Parker as England captain for their friendly against the Netherlands on Wednesday was met by severe scepticism from many people. But why?

Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard was favourite to be given the armband, but post captain naming, Scott Parker is a perfect captain in many ways, whether people accept it or not.

Parker has enjoyed a meteoric rise in profile over the last few seasons, going from the wilderness at Newcastle United to becoming Tottenham‘s key midfielder, via a very impressive stint at a poor West Ham United. 

It’s no exaggeration to state that Spurs are a better team when Parker is in the side, and despite boasting just 10 England caps, it could soon be the same story for England such is the 31-year-olds influence in the middle of the park. 

Gerrard may still be the man who leads the Three Lions in Poland and Ukraine at Euro 2012, but especially in the short-term,, Scott Parker is the perfect man. His unbridled enthusiasm and discipline in midfield is priceless, and his unfaltering desire and work ethic is something sure to capture the hearts and affections of the on looking England fans. 

Parker has played just 20 times for Spurs but already can be labelled a fans favourite. The words glamorous and Parker don’t go together, but the pairing of the Tottenham player and professional go hand-in-hand. 

His lack of tournament experience isn’t an issue in the immediate short-term, for international friendlies where games often lack pace and meaning Parker is the ideal leader, busying himself in the middle of the park, encouraging a greater tempo, something caretaker manager Stuart Pearce will need if he is to persuade the FA to award him a permanent contract. 

Oddly, Steven Gerrard – and the other captain candidate Joe Hart – are likely to not feel hard done by, mainly due to the lack of an ego with Scott Parker. One would imagine that his England team mates will feel nothing but happiness for him, realising the reward given to someone who has given his all to whoever has asked for it, a player who has worked his way up to the heights he has reached now with little fuss and maximum effort. 

Parker’s pedigree can only be heightened by his last season at West Ham United last campaign, almost single handedly keeping the Hammers in the Premier League, giving his all in every single match, including an inspirational half time team-talk at West Brom when they trailed 3-0 at the break, with the final result ending 3-3. Carlton Cole stated afterwards that “if you were there you would have had a tear in your eye.” It’s this passion and commitment which makes him the perfect, for now, England captain. 

Whilst everything else surrounding England is in doubt and uncertainty, Scott Parker will provide a stable platform to build off of, and with Steven Gerrard playing just 12 times this season in the league for Liverpool struggling with several injuries including a recurring groin injury, stability is almost crucial. 

Although it may not be a permanent appointment (talking about Parker not Pearce), for now it is the perfect antidote for England as it will epitomise what every England fan wants to see: urgency, passion and commitment. Who leads England at Euro 2012 is unknown, but Parker is a leading candidate.

Alex O’Loughlin @AlexOLoughlin18

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