Richard Bates - Why Scott Parker is Premier League player of the year
Published: 28 Mar 2011 - 10:39:45
When the PFA end of season awards come around, who should be in the running for the much-coveted Player of the Year accolade?
In no particular order, I'd suggest Gareth Bale, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Nemanja Vidic and Nani are all there or thereabouts. So where does West Ham United's talismanic midfielder Scott Parker stand? For me, he is the leading nominee.
Here are five reasons why Parker deserves the honour:
1) Mr West Ham United
No other player in the Premier League can say they are as integral to their club's fortunes as Parker. When you take a look at the team's statistics, he comes out on top for tackles won, total fouls won, blocks, interceptions and pass completion. He has also chipped in with seven goals in all competitions.
The darling of the Upton Park crowd, Parker is undoubtedly going to pick up the Hammer of the Year award for the third time in a row.
2) A natural-born leader
While centre-back Matthew Upson is West Ham's skipper, Parker is a player who doesn't require the captain's armband to lead by example.
When the Hammers travelled to West Bromwich Albion at the beginning of February, Parker deputised for the injured Upson. Delivering a rousing half-time speech, he helped spark a three-goal comeback, allowing Avram Grant's side to emerge with a point. Striker Carlton Cole described the inspirational team-talk as 'tear-jerking'.
Ten days ago, Parker completed the full 90 minutes in West Ham's goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Shortly afterwards, it was revealed that his father Mick had passed away just hours before kick-off.
Paying the ultimate tribute to his departed dad, Parker put in a typically dominant performance as he played a key role in the Irons securing a precious point in their fight for survival.
Having damaged his shoulder in training the day before, Parker was a severe doubt for West Ham's home game against Liverpool at the end of last month. Unable to walk or move his arms, he insisted on having intense treatment and a pain-killing injection to ensure he was available.
Turning in a man-of-the-match display, he scored an exquisite goal to set his side on the way to a 3-1 victory.
5) Playing in struggling team
It is very rare for a player at a club loitering around the relegation zone to be considered as a serious candidate for this type of award. In what has been a truly remarkable season, Parker's impressive form has seen him receive plaudits from fellow professionals, managers and the media alike.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Richard Bates
- Richard Bates is a clued-up, forthright and candid football writer. Every Monday, he’ll be devoting his Football.co.uk column inches to the most talked-about Premier League issues. A West Ham United season-ticket holder, Rich has been accused in the past of having a somewhat blinkered perspective when it comes to his beloved Hammers, but he’ll let you be the judge of that. Follow Richard on Twitter @richardbates_89
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