You have to love the guy. How many times over the last three games has Scotty put his body and head on the line, throwing himself in front of shots, taking more hits than Brian Close facing the Windies bowling attack!
There were some glorious moments last night. One when Scotty fell to the ground, the ball a tantalising six inches or so away from his chin, and I swear Scotty was trying to eat it! He flopped forward on his belly like a beached walrus, his arms flapping like fins, his legs kicking forlornly behind.
Then there were the direct hits to the face. I think I counted two last night.
And best of all the glorious moment when Scotty, looking dazed and confused, was given a shove in the back by a team mate and pointed in the direction of the touchline, obviously with the instruction to go out and block yet another attempted cross with his hooter. As Scotty stumbled towards the edge of the box he looked just like his namesake Scott Tracey with his strings hanging limp.
But as heroic as this all is, I have a question. What is Parker bringing to the team beyond being a punch bag? Our play is disjointed with the defence and the attack looking divorced from each other. What creativity there is in midfield is coming from Gerrard and Parker looked lost last night.
And there is another issue. Time and again France, Sweden and the Ukraine have been allowed far too much space in the lines between the back four and the midfield four. Young has been at fault, as the BBC pundits highlighted last night, but far too often Parker and Gerrard have retreated too deep, too quickly, standing on the toes of Terry and Lescott rather than offering a shield in front of them. We paid the price against France, with Gerrard belatedly stepping up and unable to close in time, and better teams will murder us.
Parker has performed better than I expected but sooner or later his head is going to be knocked off. Better marking of space and tracking of runners would, I believe, render a lot of the heroics unnecessary. But that would require football intelligence rather than simple do or die endeavour!