West Ham United midfielder and vice-captain Scott Parker was voted the 2011 Football of the Year by the Football Writers Association today.
The 30-year old Charlton Athletic, Chelsea and Newcastle player had been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award last week, missing out to Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
To use American terminology, there is no player who is more deserving to be called the Most Valuable Player (MVP) to his club than Scott Parker.
While Manchester United fans can argue they wouldn’t be top of the league without Nani, they have the Premier League top scorer (Dimitar Berbatov), PFA player of the year nominee Nemanja Vidic, as well as Wayne Rooney amongst many others. Arsenal have a number of top class midfielders to go with Robin van Persie, whilst Tottenham have both Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart pulling the strings in midfield. Peter Odemwingie you say? I say Chris Brunt. Charlie Adam? David Vaughan. Carlos Tevez? Vincent Kompany. Chris Samba? OK, you have a point.
Scott Parker has carried his West Ham on his shoulders this season. From his infamous half time team talk in their 3-0 half time comeback at West Brom, to his opener versus Liverpool in the Hammers’ 3-1 win; Scott Parker has been all over the field for West Ham.
James Collins and Nemanja Vidic are the only players I can think of that give Parker a run for his money for the number of times he has thrown himself in front of shots this season.
All this hype for Scott Parker may be tarnished should West Ham fail to avoid relegation this season. They currently sit in 19th position, 2 points adrift of safety.
West Ham travel to title-chasing Chelsea this weekend, followed up with a trip to Eastlands to face Manchester City. After that they will have 3 games to save themselves, against three sides who are amongst the relegation candidates; Blackburn (H), Wigan (A) and finishing the season with Sunderland (H) who are in a good position to be safe by then and therefore not as much to play for.
Scott Parker’s fine form in particular from February saw West Ham pick up 11 points in a 6-game span up to March 19th. At this stage, we thought West Ham were dragging themselves to safety. Then came the international break where Scott Parker came close to playing a full game in England’s 2-0 victory over Wales, only to be substituted late on for Phil Jagielka.
Parker was seemingly unfit or at least too bigger risk to play in England’s friendly with Ghana at Wembley 3 days later. Coincidentally, West Ham’s form has fallen; throwing away a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 versus Manchester United, losing 3-0 at Bolton and then losing 2-1 at home to Aston Villa this past weekend.
Scott Parker is listed as a doubt with an achilles injury ahead of West Ham’s trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend. Perhaps resting him in hope he’ll be fit for West Ham’s final 3 games of the season may be the best suggestion to Avram Grant should he want to avoid taking a team out of the Premier League for a second consecutive season.