Tony Cottee Column: Parker’s time at West Ham made him the player he is today

“Playing for the Hammers gave the midfielder the confidence needed to succeed at highest level.”

I was at the England game on Saturday, and although I hate to say it, I was a bit bored in the first half. The second half was better, especially with the goal, but one player stood out for me.

That player was former Hammer Scott Parker.

He was simply outstanding for England and he is really settling in well to that deeper, holding role that he is given by Fabio Capello.

Parker breaks up the opposition’s play before setting up his own side’s attacks and every successful team needs a player like him.

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I believe that he will have a huge part to play for England at next year’s European Championships and he is one of the first names on the teamsheet.

There is no doubting that Parker’s spell at West Ham made him the player that he is today.

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He burst onto the scene with Charlton, before being overshadowed at Chelsea and suffering injury at Newcastle.

Moving to West Ham gave Parker a chance to resurrect his career and that is exactly what he did.

During his time at the Hammers he became a firm fans’ favourite and developed as a player.

He was allowed to be the main man and the big star at West Ham and I think that this has helped him cope with representing England and has given him the confidence to succeed at the highest level.

Back to current West Ham matters, and on the injury front, it is good to see Guy Demel back in action for the reserves.

It was a shame that he suffered a hamstring injury so soon after joining the club and I look forward to seeing what he can offer.

With him back in action, it looks as though the Hammers may not sign another central defender, even though Winston Reid is out with a dislocated shoulder.


It will be interesting to see what happens, but I think in the Championship you need to have four central defenders and four centre forwards, especially for a long, 46-game season.

The Hammers head to Coventry this weekend and looking at the game I expect them to return with three points.

There are some away games in this league where you will be happy with a point, but this is not one of them.

Coventry do not have the best of squads in the Championship and have not made the best of starts either, which is why they are close to the bottom of the league.

The Hammers have to exploit this and I am going to put my neck out and predict a 2-0 away win.

There will be over 6,000 West Ham fans heading up to the Ricoh Arena which is fantastic and it just goes to show that the supporters are fully behind what Sam Allardyce is doing at the club.

West Ham’s away form has been fantastic this season, and it is sure to be a great day for the travelling fans.

There is a chance that Matt Taylor will be involved in the game, although I would prefer it if he wasn’t rushed back in to action.

It is important that he is 100 per cent fit before he comes back, not 50 per cent, otherwise he could get injured again and be out for longer, which is what happened last time he came back away at Southampton.

With Jack Collison and Sam Baldock in goalscoring form, I don’t think that Allardyce will want to change his starting XI too much.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John

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