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My Scott Parker Man Crush: A Tribute To England and Tottenham's Old School Captain

by David Hillier
29 February 2012 13 Comments

Today Parker has been named skipper for tonight's friendly against Holland. Here's the tribute to Scotty I wrote earlier this month when Spurs had just held Liverpool to a draw at Anfield thanks to his true grit.

Scott Parker is oak. More than oak;  he is iron.  He is steel.  In last night’s pretty dreadful match against Liverpool he waged what appeared to be a one-man war of attrition against his opponents, unafraid to put foot, head or abdomen in where it mattered to keep the Tottenham clean sheet intact.

It is matches like this that make Spurs fans remember just how long it is we’ve been waiting for a midfielder like him;  we have grown to like-nearly love- Tom Huddlestone but he is just too flightly, too unprepared to stand up in the really big games and announce that he will be the difference between the teams.  Wilson Palacios could tackle but passing a ball accurately over a distance of more than three feet proved a feat beyond him.  In fact, go through all our prominent centre-midfielders before Modric landed and it is an exercise in not-bad players that reflected our position as Big Team Bum Sniffers; Jenas, Zokora, Taino, Mendes, Brown… Carrick was good, but we didn’t mourn his departure the way we would Scotty.

Because in Scotty we finally have the real deal.  The word immense is bandied about far too frequently, especially by those with an oncoming copy deadline, but last night he did the jobs of four men. He gained another Man of the Match award that you suspect he chucked in the dressing room bin with a shrug, such is his unflashy nature, and their regularity.

It is different now with Private Parker.  Every ball that went into that Gerrard-friendly area between penalty spot and dee he got his head to…

Spurs were not at their best last night, not by a long shot.  We missed VDV, we desperately missed Lennon’s pace on the right side, Liverpool’s doubling up on our Gareth was a set-example in the How To Stop Bale Mugging You Off guidebook.  Modric was all quarterback passes and nifty steals but they were too far back and not prising holes in the penalty box.  It is clear that we need another pacey player, someone that can cover on the flanks and another striker as Louis Saha looked exactly like a player who has scored one Premiership goal this season (though he wasn’t helped by us just punting balls onto his head the whole time). As a result of all this our mentality was different.  We have got used to, spoilt by even, an all-encompassing attack!attack!attack! philosophy and last night, stymied by a lack of bodies and perhaps the absence of the talismanic manager on the sidelines, we sat back and looked vulnerable, especially when Suarez came on.  It was a throwback to years of old, of the days of midfielder mediocrity, where a trip to Anfield would be expected to result in a draw at best.

The difference is we wouldn’t even have got that draw in those days.  We would have caved.  But it is different now with Private Parker.  Every ball that went into that Gerrard-friendly area between penalty spot and dee he got his head to.  Every player that went through he got to the ball first.  It was a lesson in old school football.  He even hoofed it out a few times, perhaps not the sort of stuff we’re used to but a throwback to when footballers were men and preferred playing in the snow because it hurt.  These were precisely the sort of games we would have lost before Parker, often capitulating to a 2 or 3 nil that would have us bemoaning the ifs and buts that never seemed to go our way. But times are different for us now, and though yesterday was by no means a vintage (or even enjoyable) performance, we were very grateful that Parker is a Spur.

If you liked this you’ll definitely like these

Tottenham: How Younes Kaboul Became Everyone’s Second Favourite Player

Tottenham Without Lennon: A Cockerel With It’s Wings Clipped

Tottenham Need To Find A Klinsmann Or A Ginola To Be Truly Great

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Acton_Yid 2:07 pm, 7-Feb-2012

How I wish we had Parker before his time at Chelsea (briefly) and then Wet Spam. Ironically, if we'd had him before the "lasagne-gate" era against Wet Spam, we may well have had Champions League football 2 or 3 seasons earlier...

MattYid 4:08 pm, 7-Feb-2012

Whilst I agree with your assessment of Parker, I disagree with your assessment of the game. If our sole ability as a team is to "attack, attack, attack", such a strategy gets you nowhere over the course of a season. Sometimes, particularly on injury-stricken, managerless Away trips to an in form Liverpool on a ground they've not lost on this season, you have to dig in. Spurs not only did that, we did it superbly. I saw no evidence of these deep, long balls you talk of. Maybe once or twice but, by and large, we looked to get the ball down and play, as is our way. Make no bones about it, we were up against a good, in form team last night in a very hostile atmosphere and we expertly kept them at bay. We did lack the pace to really strike on the counter, but the gameplan almost worked to a tee when Bale raced thru in the final 5min. I actually think that the BELIEF Spurs fans have that that performance shows we are not quite a "top" team is more evidential of that very fact than the performance itself. We regard "top" teams from afar and assume that they are all guts and gusto, going into every game with a barnstorming attitude to winning. It's simply not true. "Top" teams do realise that it is all circumstantial and, sometimes, you have to approach games differently. I don't think we played for the draw at all. We played for a win, just the tactics were much more to keep Liverpool at arms length and hit them on the break and steal a win. That was absolutely the correct tactics and we very, very nearly pulled it off. Rather than the performance, a lack of personnel showed our shortcomings. Had we had the "Top" striker we all know we need, playing that way would've proved far more fruitful. It's not the Spurs way. We won't set up nor play that manner more often than not, but we do need to be able to do so as and when it is required, as it was last night. While Parker was immense, so were most of the Spurs team. All the focus on Scotty should not detract from the superb Jake Livermore alongside him. I don't think he gave the ball away once and covered the entire pitch too. Dawson was also excellent, as was Walker, but the whole team played well. It was exactly the performance of a top team, it just did not quite contain the players of a top team sadly, & only in 1 or 2 positions which should've, in all honesty, been covered in January.

lieutenant 5:12 pm, 7-Feb-2012

scotty parker was awesome, bookies had le pool big favourites great team effort..lacked any goal threat bale? doh! "north london lalala" ic-casuals dudes posse outlaws c`mon!

Harry Futile 6:17 pm, 29-Feb-2012

Solid chap. Re England : Just the sort you need in the magnificent-quarter-final-failure-foxhole.

Frontwheel 2 11:00 pm, 29-Feb-2012

Great at the sideways pass

TAMBO 11:20 pm, 29-Feb-2012

All he did all game was jump on a tripod.

Creg 12:55 am, 1-Mar-2012

Parker isn't as good as you make him out to be, drawing at Liverpool isn't as much of an achievement as you think it is (you join Cardiff, Wigan, Blackburn, Swansea, Norwich, Sunderland, Stoke this season). Carrick is a better player and Sandro could easily be.

Lord Creator 1:37 am, 1-Mar-2012

Parker isn't dreadful (or brilliant), and has some very obvious limitations but at 31 cannot really be anything other than a bridge for Tottenham/England. The last few games I've seen him play both his positioning and tracking of runners has been poor - maybe this is always the case, but if it's a case of tiredness then I dread to think what he'll be like playing in 30'C after a full season.

davidhillier 1:43 am, 1-Mar-2012

Creg-I didn't say it was an achievement, I just said that in years we would have lost the game. Also never said Carrick was better or worse, just that we would miss Parker more than we ever missed Carrick. And, though I fully take on board that Carrick has more England caps/Championships/Champions League apps, and that it is folly to judge a man by his ability to get into the England squad against Holland, it's surely worth noting that Parker was captain and Carrick wasn't even in it. Agree with you on Sandro though.

Frontwheel 2 1:10 pm, 1-Mar-2012

Sandro will become a world class player,he needs to stop silly challenges as he gets too many early yellow cards which stunts his game.Surely has to be a starter against Manc's,I just hope he is told where to play as Arry forgot to tell him on Sunday.

Leon 1:55 pm, 2-Mar-2012

Parker is the one that has made the real difference this season. Sandro should watch and learn. The man is old skool. Totally self-less, plays for the team wit a thou shalt not pass attitude. No histrionics or ego. He gets hit hard but gets up, dusts himself off and gets on with it. If footballers were film stars Parker would be Clint Eastwood. For once, an England Captain the country can be proud of...and he's our boy too. Special mention to your phrase 'big team bum-sniffers'. Genius.

!ohnny X 12:53 am, 3-Mar-2012

He has certainly mastered the sideways pass a la Ray Wilkins.

Randy 12:28 pm, 13-Apr-2012

I thought he was better at the Hammers. He is a great talent struggling to stand out on a team that is pretty loaded with talent. I do think he is a great talent but he is simply not up there with the true greats of the game. His quiet nature used to be a strength, but there are times he could have been a lot more visible as a leader this year, especially on Spurs latest flame out. But, he is still a great player.

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