Bless him. Scotty rocked up at the Boleyn and put in his typical performance: 100% commitment, running himself into the ground, diving in front of shots, covering as many blades of grass as his ageing legs and lungs would allow, even charging into the penalty area on one tunnel-visioned run - and, of course, getting caught in possession twenty five yards out from his own goal, thereby setting up West Ham's opening goal!
If any game summed up Scotty, this was it! He had that trademark exhausted pout on his face from first minute to last and, all so typically, he accepted after the game that it was the players and not the manager who were to blame for the team's truly shocking performance. He said the same about Curbishley, Zola and Grant when at Upton Park, because Scotty knows where his bread is buttered!
So, how many shots did he have on goal? None of course. And how many chances did he create? None of course. And how many of our goals could he be held directly accountable for? At least one because he lost possession as he dwelt on the ball; and you have to wonder where he was during the last 15 minutes of the game as West Ham players ran through unchallenged on the Fulham goal.
Mind you, that didn't stop the match day commentator raving, "Apart from losing possession for the opening goal, Parker was the one blameless player in the Fulham team." Unfortunate then that we probably would not have won the game but for that all so crucial and all so trademark Parker mistake! But there, in a nutshell, is why Parker was ludicrously named "Player of the Year" in the season we went down - because the press love a trier and Scotty tries and tries and tries; he doesn't succeed, but boy does he try and so many can't see beyond the mask of his effort. Never mind the quality, feel the bursting lungs!
So, here's an interesting thought - Scott Parker is now on course for his THIRD relegation from the Prem, achieved with THREE different clubs. Now that's quite some record for a player who some claim is a "great" of the game!
And for all those who idolised him for running around like a headless chicken in his West Ham days, compare the contributions of Parker and Noble on Saturday. I know who I would rather have in my team!