Scott Parker epitomises a traditional English footballer – his work-rate, endeavour and energy have been features of his game before and during his time at Tottenham. The England international truly does wear his heart on his sleeve while on the pitch, and his presence will be missed in north London after two seasons at the club.
With a central midfield trident of Sandro, Mousa Dembele and new signing Paulinho set to be the thrusting force in the Tottenham team this season, and the impending signing of utility man Etienne Capoue, first-team opportunities for Parker would have been limited if he stayed at Spurs. After an up-and-down time at Tottenham, few would argue that it is Parker’s time to leave the club.
Parker signed for Spurs in the summer of 2011 from West Ham, and initially it looked like an astute piece of business by Harry Redknapp. The combative midfielder was a driving force in a Tottenham team serious about mixing it with England’s best, and was recognised at the time as one of the standout players for a club on the rise.
After representing England at Euro 2012, an Achilles injury saw him miss the start of last season, and unfortunately Parker has not looked like the same player since. Although his admirable qualities of determination, endless energy and commitment are there to be seen and appreciated by the Spurs fans, Parker has failed to replicate the performances of old since his return to the fold.
In a Tottenham team primed for swift counter-attacking and slick passing, Parker does not have a place. Last term he was guilty of holding onto the ball for too long and coughing up possession.
Spurs fans will thank Parker for his efforts during his time at White Hart Lane, but with the club’s ambitions rising, it is the end of the line for the 32-year-old.
The new-look midfield may well have international players throughout and quality evident, but the old-fashioned attributes that Parker offered will need to be replaced by one of the three incumbents. Parker’s departure also robs Tottenham of a true leader in the engine room – something Andre Villas-Boas will look to Mousa Dembele to replicate this season.
A move to QPR makes sense for Parker – a reunion with Redknapp, another London club (his fifth of his career) and a project worthy of his work-rate and dedication. Other Premier League clubs could do worse than signing Parker, who is available for a couple of million and still able to put a shift in at the highest level.
Scott Parker, take a bow – your efforts over the last 24 months have not gone unnoticed and the Tottenham fans will wish you every success in the future.
image: © StartAgain