I know Sullivan and Gold have claimed Parker is not for sale and maybe they meant it when they said it...in fact maybe they still do. But if Liverpool, Villa and Tottenham move into a bidding war, would it really make sense to retain "Mr West Ham" as one poster calls him? It seems odds on that one of Parker or Behrami will be sold, would it really make sense to part with Valon rather than Scotty?
I am not a huge fan of either, it must be said. Both are good players but neither are great. Neither scores often enough to qualify as a top notch midfielder in the modern game and neither plays enough killer balls. Both are prone to dwelling on the ball too long, running head down rather than picking out a pass and both are prone to giving away free kicks in dangerous defensive areas because of poor technique in the tackle.
Before I move on, I can hear the howls of derision already but, moan as much as you like, the statistics confirm all these criticisms. What both offer is high energy, box to box enthusiasm. Both are dynamos, both would be perfect for a Duracel advert, both look better than they actually are because of their total commitment. But effort is not enough, which is why Parker was overlooked for the World Cup.
One of Zola's major errors was trying to accommodate both in his midfield. Behrami was played wide right and wide left but he is a winger who cannot cross, a wide midfield player who cannot shoot either. Whilst Parker is every bit as goal shy. Behrami's true position is in centre midfield, breaking up the opposition's play and releasing the ball quickly to somebody who can do something with it. Much the same as Parker. How many times last season did we see both running up blind alleys and falling over in the hope of winning a free kick, rather than playing an intelligent pass? How rarely did we see a killer pass or cross into the box from either? Yes, you will find examples - the Parker pass in the Burnley game for example - but there weren't enough examples. Collison, when fit, is a more creative player than both.
So why should we sell Parker rather than Behrami? Well Parker's stock is high and Valon's is low. If any of Spurs, Liverpool or Villa offer anything above £12m, we should take it. This time next year, Parker will be worth £6m to £8m tops. In a reasonable team, his errors rather than his commitment to the cause will stand out; and he will be heading towards 31, with, at best two more years in the game.
Behrami, on the other hand, is better than he appeared last season. To be seen at his best, he needs better players around him, unlike Parker who benefits from being the best amongst dross. Behrami is a cuter player, winning more free kicks than Parker, and will play to his limitations if told to do so. Parker thinks he is Gerrard, Behrami knows he aint! If we sold Behrami now, we would be lucky to get £8m, but this time next year, he could be worth £15m if Grant can get him playing to his strengths. Time is on Behrami's side, it is very much against Parker.
So ignoring the fact that Parker is English and Behrami is Swiss, I would take £12m for Scott and say to Valon, now you're our top man.