Posts Tagged ‘Scott Parker’

The majority of plaudits from White Hart Lane this season have gone to Gareth Bale and Rafael Van Der Vaart and there is no denying both players deserve all the praise they get. However for me, it is Spurs’ Luka Modric that has been the ‘heartbeat’ of everything positive the Lilywhites have done this season, with his determination, range of passing and the odd goal scored, the diminutive Croatian has been a star performer this Premier League season. It is such attributes that have caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, who is looking to replace the now retired Paul Scholes and the Manchester United boss is reportedly readying a £25 million bid for the former Dinamo Zagreb player. If Modric were to leave North London, are there any natural replacements for the influential midfielder?

Charlie Adam

The Blackpool man was subject to a failed deadline day bid by Tottenham in January and Harry Redknapp is supposedly still keen to bring the former Rangers man to White Hart Lane, especially if Modric does seek pastures new. Adam has a more attacking presence to his play than Modric, with Adam’s twelve Premier League goals for Blackpool last season being one of the main things preventing them from being relegated sooner. The Blackpool man was the driving force behind the Tangerine’s play, much like Modric is for Tottenham, and cold easily slot into the Spurs team (with a slight formation adjustment). Tottenham play a 4-4-2 but Adam’s style of play is more suited to a diamond formation, with the Scot playing just behind the forwards, which would mean Sandro playing as an out and out defensive midfielder (much like he does already).

Scott Parker

It seems weird to say but this has been Scott Parker’s ‘coming of age’ season, despite being 30 years old; he has received the international recognition he deserves as well as being named FWA Footballer of the year. The former Charlton midfielder has been praised throughout this season, not just from West Ham fans, for his tenacious style of play and unbelievable work ethic. The midfielder would add a much needed bite to the Tottenham midfielder, something that Jenas, Sandro and Huddlestone don’t bring in abundance, or if any at all. The former Chelsea man is a leader, a fighter and could influence games in the same manner that Modric does.

Lassana Diarra

The Real Madrid midfielder is reportedly available for transfer as Jose Mourinho looks to raise funds for his own transfer spree this summer. I know with the Arsenal and Chelsea connection, many will slate me in the comments below but for me Diarra would be a huge assest to the Spurs side, with his strong play and ability to break up the play. Many believe selling the Frenchman was one of Wenger’s biggest mistakes in recent years, after impressive seasons and performances for Portsmouth and Real Madrid. Diarra is hardly a ‘like for like’ replacement with his more defensive mentality but the former Pompey player can play higher up the field, however my argument for signing Diarra is the balance it would bring to Spurs formation. Last season ‘Arry played a ridiculously attacking formation, at a huge cost to defensive duties, with Diarra in the middle alongside Sandro and Jenas (still think he is useless), would allow Gareth Bale and Rafael Van Der Vaart more attacking freedom (not sure Bale needs anymore) but VDV carely demonstrated last year his unwillingness to track back, such a formation wouldn’t require him to as much.

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Everyone is predicting the usual Arsene Wenger transfer activity, making promises that there will be changes but come the final minute of deadline day, Le Professeur will either sign an unknown and lets face it pointless squad player or no-one at all. Like so many transfer windows before, there are potential signings that are ideal for Arsenal and staring Wenger in the face, with fans, ex-players and pundits all calling for the Frenchman to open up the cheque book, but in his usual stubborn way Wenger refuses and Premier League rivals snap up the perfect signing for the Gunners instead. Here are the five players I think the Frenchman should sign, to which he will reply “I did not see them”.

Scott Parker

The West Ham midfielder has stated his desire to return to the Premier League following the Hammers relegation and will face no shortage of admirers, including Tottenham Hotspur. Surely the pleasure of getting one over your fiercest rivals in the transfer market is incentive enough, before you even consider the positives Parker would bring. The former Chelsea midfielder would add all the attributes this current Arsenal squad has been criticised for not having: experience, passion and strength in the middle of the park.

Gonzalo Higuain

Reportedly available for £15 million as Mourinho looks to fund his own transfer spree, Higuain is the perfect striking partner for Robin Van Persie. The Argentinian has an impressive goal scoring record for Real Madrid and has all the attributes of a world class finisher, something Nicklas Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh seriously lack. The forward would happily share the goal scoring burden that has rested solely on Van Persie in the second half of the season.

Maarten Stekelenberg

Many believe Wojciech Szczesny is the man for Arsenal between the sticks for many years to come, but for me I’m undecided. Making a move for current Ajax goalkeeper Martin Stekelenberg would give Arsenal that world class keeper that have tried to find since Seaman. All the keepers since the Englishman have hardly been household names, Arsenal fans are crying out for a Iker Casillas or Gigi Buffon, someone who has pedigree behind their name, and the Dutchman can offer them that.

Yoann Gourcuff

With Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri widely expected to leave this summer, the Lyon midfielder could step in to become that playmaker Arsenal will need. The Frenchman has earnt comparisions to Zinedine Zidane for his passing style and all round ability, with David Ginola claiming that Gourcuff is the best French player of his generation. The former AC Milan player can play in the attacking midfielder role but also as a withdrawn striker, something Arsenal could find very useful with regards to finding the ideal striking partner for Robin Van Persie.

Miguel Veloso

Although Arsenal have Alex Song as their strong defensive midfielder, more than one occasion this season the Cameroonian has gone missing. Veloso would bring consistency with regards to crucial interceptions and forceful tackles, as well as that leadership quality Arsenal have lacked for several seasons. Another bonus of signing the Portugese international is, rather surprisingly, he is a very accomplished left back, so should Gael Clichy leave this summer, the former Benfica player could be a candidate to replace the Frenchman.

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It is believed that Arsene Wenger will finally break all his beliefs and philosophies this summer and loosen the purse strings, after Arsenal finished yet another season empty handed. There is talk of a major squad overhaul with the likes of Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky and Nicklas Bendtner being linked with a move away from the Emirates. If this were to happen, who would be the ideal and realistic replacements for the Frenchman to try and sign?

Scott Parker is available for a reported £6 million following West Ham’s relegation and has all the attributes this current Arsenal squad has been criticised for not having: experience, passion and strength in the middle of the park. The England international would be the man to help Arsenal grind out results and no doubt, fellow Englishman Jack Wilshere would benefit greatly from playing alongside Parker. If the former Charlton man was to be signed by Le Professeur, it would mean Wenger having to break his widely criticised policy of only offering players over thirty one-year contracts, as Parker will want at least three years, to match his Hammers contract.

Andrea Pirlo announced this week that he will leave Italian giants AC Milan when his contract expires at the end of this current season. Although the Italian has been plagued by injuries this year and appears to lack his usual ‘sparkle’, the veteran’s experience could prove a real asset for Wenger’s side. The midfielder has won Serie A titles, Champions Leagues and a World Cup, this experience could have been key for Arsenal in February of this year when they were still in the hunt for four trophies. Pirlo will no doubt be touted by all the major clubs across the globe, but should Wenger pull off such a signing, then next season Arsenal’s young side will be in a much better position to maintain their challenge on all fronts.

Per Mertesacker has been linked with the Gunners since last summer and has recently signalled his intention to leave his current club Werder Bremen. The 6ft 6 in centre back has a wealth of experience and would inevitably form a resolute partnership with Thomas Vermaelen. Furthermore, should Wenger sign the big defender, this will help Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou improve and develop their game. An added bonus would be the German’s penchant for scoring goals from set pieces, something Arsenal haven’t really had since Tony Adams and Sol Campbell.

All the newspaper speculation constantly surrounds Ajax shot stopper Martin Stekelenberg, however, I feel Wenger should make a move instead for Diego Benaglio. The Wolfsburg goalkeeper has performed impressively for the German side this season and with question marks over Wojciech Szezesny and Łukasz Fabiański, the Swiss international would be a welcome addition to the Arsenal squad and a snip of the cost of Stekelenberg.

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Joey Barton this week came out and said that England haven’t used him enough over the years. There is a simple enough, but not very polite answer to that, Joey: “because you are…” This however did get me thinking: what players have the likes of Graham Taylor, the late great Bobby Robson and Sven the super Swede let slip through their fingers?

Ian Wright

Such a loveable character (even Spurs’ fans would fail at not loving that golden toothy smile), Ian Wright had an international career that spanned eight years with three different full time managers and yet still only achieved 33 caps (16 as a substitute.) This is such a small number, considering that in the seven seasons that followed World Cup 1990 Wright scored over 23 goals each season for his club.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole made only 15 appearances for England, scoring one goal. Glenn Hoddle, in defence of his decision not to select Cole for the World Cup in 1998, accused Cole of needing six or seven chances to score one goal. That must mean for Cole to become the second highest Premier League goal scorer with 187 goals, he had 1309 chances. Nice one, Glenn.

Matt Le Tissier

Anyone dubbed ‘Le God’ surely warrants more than eight England caps? And if that argument isn’t convincing enough for you, then perhaps the words of FIFA Footballer of the Century/Demi-god Pelé are, “If Matthew Le Tissier was Brazilian he’d be in the Brazilian first XI every game.”

Scott Parker

Has the rather unfortunate record of being the first player to earn four caps while playing for four different clubs. Overlooked constantly because of the rather frustratingly ineffective partnership of Gerrard and Lampard. Hopefully getting his time now under Fabio.

Tony Adams

Admittedly, Adams did play 66 times for England, scoring 5 goals, but if Bobby Robson hadn’t surprisingly omitted him from the 1990 World Cup squad and Glenn Hoddle handled the way he appointed Shearer captain over Adams better; then England may have gotten a lot more from the Arsenal man.

Steve Bruce

Despite being one of the finest English defenders of the early 90’s and captaining Manchester United, Bruce never earned an England cap, arguably the greatest faux-pas ever by any manager, especially when you mention a few of the players who earned caps during Bruce’s playing time: Keith Curle, Colin Cooper, David Unsworth and Neil Ruddock.

Robbie Fowler

Achieved 26 caps, scoring 7 goals; not prolific, but not a terrible return for a striker. Fowler’s problem was that he didn’t perform consistently enough at international level, so his inclusion is more on the basis that England’s managers didn’t know how to get the best out of him. There was never a doubt of his capabilities, as he showed time and time again during his years at Liverpool. Perhaps he could have been an England (not just Anfield) great, had he translated that into higher quality performances for the Three Lions.

Martin Keown

A controversial figure indeed, but there was no doubting his talent as a leader and heroic defender. Keown began his England career under Graham Taylor but was ignored under Terry Venables’ tenure. Hoddle recalled the Arsenal defender to his squad during his reign but, despite going to World Cup 98, he never played. It was under Kevin Keegan that Keown earned most of his caps, and he eventually retired from international football with 43 caps. Surely having Tony Adams and Keown together at international level made sense, after forming such a resolute backline at Arsenal

Julian Dicks

Unfortunately for Dicks, Stuart Pearce had filled England’s quota for hard and passionate left backs. However, Dicks won West Ham’s player of the season for four years out of seven, which surely warrants at least a friendly run out? West Ham’s gain was surely England’s loss.

A good performance become “one of the best ever”, a 25 yard free kick becomes “one of the greatest goals ever seen” and a nutmeg becomes “Unbelievable Tekkers”. Throughout the years, so many players have had fantastic debut seasons or even in some cases just a good couple of months but this doesn’t stop a sports journalists using hyperbole deliberately and unapologetically, linking them with Europe’s biggest clubs. Fleet Street’s elite have done this with the likes of Kieran Dyer, Leroy Lita and Francis Jeffers and where are those players now?

So, without further ado, I give you my opinion of the top 10 footballers from this season that are just classic media hyperbole.

Marouane Chamakh

The Moroccan made an explosive start to his Arsenal career with 10 goals in all competitions by the end of November. This then had the media and fans alike, raving that Arsenal had finally found the heir to Henry’s throne, high praise indeed, especially when you consider that since then Chamakh has scored only one goal…against Leyton Orient.

Charlie Adam

The Scotsman was an average player at Rangers but, after dropping down to a smaller ‘pond’ with Blackpool, now looks like the bees knees. Any attacking midfielder was going to thrive within a team that doesn’t comprehend the idea of defending and I just feel that moving on to either Liverpool, Man United or Tottenham will be a big mistake for Adam.

Gareth Bale

Harry Redknapp stated that Bale is worth £80 million, but I find myself struggling to comprehend this over exaggeration; the Welshman managed to destroy a depleted post-Mourinho Inter Milan defence, but when Nemanja Vidic is left spellbound by the former Southampton man then I will take notice.

Scott Parker

We all know Scott Parker is a very good player, but hype has turned this accomplished box to box player into West Ham’s very own Zinedine Zidane.

Connor Wickham

Apparently has the ability to be as prolific as a young Michael Owen, but then again, so did Francis Jeffers.

Adel Taarabt

Admittedly he had limited chances at Tottenham Hotspur, but that doesn’t stop him being a flop. Lets just stop these £10 million rumours to Chelsea now and realise the Moroccan has found his level as QPR’s attacking talisman.

Rafael Van Der Vaart

He had a blistering start to his Spurs career, but in recent months has gone off the boil and struggles to finish a full ninety minutes; £8 million for a 75 minute man isn’t the greatest bit of business after all.

Andy Carroll

If David Seaman can’t pull off the ponytail then Carroll has no chance, but obviously this isn’t the Premier League’s worst haircut. Does scoring 11 goals for Newcastle United really warrant a £35 million transfer? You can nearly get six Javier Hernandez’ for that and he has 19 goals in all competitions this season.

Lionel Messi

Calm down, breathe…right, are you ok? Yes I have put the Lionel Messi in this list. When the little Argentinian scores more goals than games played in the Premier League, then I will be considerably more impressed with ‘Maradona’s heir apparent’.

Nicklas Bendtner

No one is raving about the very self confident Dane, but try telling that to Bendtner himself; such is the Big Dane’s ego that he believes he is amongst the game’s greats. Bendtner is on the list because he has somehow single handed turned himself into a demi-god in his own mind and yet does nothing for the media to warrant such praise.