Long before West Ham United’s relegation to the Championship, speculation started to build about the future of the Hammers’ midfielder, Scott Parker. As the Upton Park side’s poor form continued and their demise became increasingly likely, a host of Premier League clubs appeared to be forming a queue for the former Charlton Athletic man’s services. However, three games into their Championship campaign, Parker remains a West Ham player and very much a key figure in his new manager’s plans.
With the new boss in place, Sam Allardyce has been looking to rebuild, bringing in Kevin Nolan, Abdoulaye Faye, Matt Taylor, Joey O’Brien, John Carew and George McCartney, ahead of what West Ham fans will be hoping is the first step towards a swift return to the top flight. However, despite the new look Irons chasing promotion, the challenge would not appear to offer the career fulfilment the midfielder is looking for.
A regular in recent international fixtures, Parker’s England ambitions would appear to be on the verge of being realised. In the absence of Steven Gerrard, Parker has taken his place in a new look midfield, anchoring behind former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere in England’s last two European Championship 2012 qualifiers, against Wales and Switzerland. It is this recent experience that Allardyce feels has contributed to Parker’s most recent feelings about his future, telling the
Many a Premier League manager, weighing up a bid for Parker, may feel the logic lies in the current Football Writers’ Player of the Year plying his trade in the second tier of English football. Although Parker is still believed to be in the thoughts of England Head Coach, Fabio Capello, a season competing against Championship opposition simply does not compare favourably against his rivals for England’s midfield. Although West Ham will be hoping to present Parker with Premier League football once again next year, the rapid emergence of Jack Wilshere as a senior international has shown how quickly international selection can differ. While Allardyce’s recent additions to his squad will show West Ham are aiming high, completing a minimum-two-year spell of relegation and promotion-chasing is a far cry from the European competitions and trophy-chasing offered by potential suitors.
While West Ham United supporters will join their manager in hoping Parker will resist temptation and remain a West Ham player, it is likely that the 30-year-old’s ambition to play in the top flight and represent his country could see him look to pastures new. Allardyce has questioned those surrounding the former Chelsea man, but, should such influences exist, they may prove to hold some truth in the final days of the transfer window.