It is beginning to look as if Capello has grasped what Parker can bring to the international table, and significantly, it is not what he has spent the best part of 3 years doing at West Ham. My gripe about Parker all along is that he is used in the wrong way by West Ham. Playing Parker as your midfield general is as crazy as playing a tall, strong, slow centre half as a left back. Yes both positions are in defence but they require different skills.
Martin Samuels writes,The most intriguing selection concerns the partner for Wilshere in deep midfield. In training yesterday, the most in-form midfield grafter in the Barclays Premier League, Scott Parker of West Ham United, was played alongside the Arsenal man, presumably instructed to win it and give it in the old-fashioned way."
Win it and give it, in the West Ham midfield, before Hitz recovered? Give it to who? To Behrami? That's like playing Grid Iron Football, he would make it to the next ten yard line and then go to ground under a tackle. Give it to Boa? Why not just give it to the opposition and miss out the middle man? Give it to Kovac? Why not pass it back to a centre half or directly into touch as that's all Kovac will do anyway. Give it to Noble? Fair enough now he has recovered his game but when he looked up prior to Christmas, what did he see? Cole close marked with his back to the opposition goal; and nothing else. Diamante was the answer, of course, but Zola never had the vision to use him properly and give Parker the role that Capello is now considering him for.
Why? Because Parker is Billy Big Boots at West Ham and wants to be the midfield general. That and Parker's drive and frustration. If nothing is happening, it is quite natural to try to make things happen, especially when you have the hunger of Parker.
And that drive may be his undoing in an England shirt. He looked very good against Denmark because he held his position and did his job. But we saw against Germany what happens if your holding midfielder deserts his sentry duty and wanders into no man's land - you are over run! So Parker needs to exercise restraint and self discipline, he needs to play the part of a cog, not try to be the complete machine on his own.
Never mind England, next Saturday is a much bigger game, and we need Parker to hold and hold and hold again when the Mancs come to Upton Park. I thought he was superb against Spurs because he did exactly what it should say on his tin. He covered, he closed, he won the ball and he gave it to others, more gifted playmakers to set up the play. If he was needed for that role at Tottenham, how more pressing will be the need when Rooney, Valencia, Nani, Scholes and company look to get at our back four?
But some think Parker had a quiet game at Spurs. They want to see him driving forward, they want the all action figure they are used to seeing and will bay for him to play that role at Upton Park. And THAT could be our undoing.