Date: 17th May 2011 at 3:18pm
Written by:
Scott Parker

Could the former Chelsea man bolster United's midfield?

We all knew it was coming, West Ham United have been relegated to the Championship after losing 3-2 at Wigan.

Many said they were too good to go down having the likes of England Internationals Rob Green, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole at the spine of the side surrounded by players that would certainly command places in other Premier League starting 11s such as Demba Ba, Frederic Piquionne , Robbie Keane and Manchester Citys Wayne Bridge.

What the football world now anticipates is a mass exodus from the club with the Football Writers Association Play of the Year, Scott Parker, top of a number of clubs summer shopping list; but will the 30 year old London born midfielder be a shock target for Manchester United?

Journeying back a few years I am sure we can all remember Parker as the talented ‘Jimmy’ in the McDonalds advert, so it came as no surprise when he began to make regular first team appearances for Charlton Athletic before establishing himself as their most important player.

After big performances down at the Valley, Parker sealed a move to Chelsea which should have been the platform for him to showcase his ability on the European stage and establish himself as an England regular, but to his misfortune it collided with the Roman Abramovic era – so found himself surplus to requirements week in week out before cutting his loses and moving on.

In more recent years Parker has forced his way into the England International set up and caught the eye of many of the so called big clubs in England, who could all be willing to take a chance on the tough tacking midfield man, despite not making it at Chelsea and being the wrong side of 30.

The situation I would like to compare this to is the one of Teddy Sheringham in 1998.

With Eric Cantona retiring, it was obvious we were not sure on who should replace our footballing idol; was there anybody worthy of replacing Cantona? Surely the expectation would be far too much for any footballer to deal with, especially if a striker was brought in for tens of millions of pounds and expected to be our new Cantona.
So, Sir Alex Ferguson opted for Sheringham at a cut price. Not very high expectations from fans and media alike, he was no Bergkamp (who I actually thought we should have brought in following the Cantona departure) and certainly not seen as the future of United – but he was a man who knew he was brought in to do a job and he knew what that job was – short term glory.

Many viewed Sheringham as a stop gap signing, and at the end of the 98 season when United ended the season trophyless, perhaps it looked like a poor purchase.
However when Ferguson did get the man he wanted ahead of the 1999 campaign, (Dwight Yorke) – Sheringham still had a major role to play at United, and ultimately went on to win the treble, scoring in both FA Cup final and Champions League final and above the important goals, did make a fair amount of appearances in such a fruitful season.

Now I am not comparing the style of play, technical ability, positional sense or even the personality of Sheringham and Parker, but what I am suggesting is that without a doubt, we all know change is certainly on the horizon at Old Trafford. The great Paul Scholes is on the verge of retirement, the ever green Ryan Giggs’ legs will not last forever, the injury prone Owen Hargreaves seems to have given up his fight to stay at Old Trafford and the jury is still out on Darron Gibson – so for a minor fee, why not take a chance on Parker?

Although the media are constantly linking United with Modric of Tottenham and Sneijder of Inter Milan, it seems both players will cost well in excess of £30m and might not even have an interest in coming to Old Trafford – so would it be so bad to take a chance on Scott Parker?

He is proven domestically, he is a leader of men, and to say he could ‘do a job’ is an understatement. He will certainly not be deemed as Scholes replacement which would be a benefit to both player and club.

Scott Parker may not be the future of Manchester United football club, but like Sheringham was in ‘98, he is certainly a man who lives in the moment, gives 100% and I think will take his chance on the big stage with both hands, even if it does only last for two seasons.



10 responses to “Is Scott Parker At United Really Such A Bad Idea?”

  1. Jack says:

    i wanted us to sign him a while back to replace Keano (well as best as anyone could replace him)but his move to chelski took the shine off and he maybe the drop to newcastle.

    i am not sure how minor the fee would be but he would be an excellent signing during this transitional period.

    saf seems to like the 433 and parker can fill all the roles but i would still like to add a sneijder or at least a younger player with potential.

  2. Nathon says:

    Darron Gibiesta ha ha – I like it. The thing about Gibbo is in the final third I find him wasteful; yes he has a mean strike, but to have a dig every time is infuriating.

    Jack I agree Sneijder would be a welcome addition, however I think a fee of 10m would get Parker and id rather pay that than the 25m that has been touted around for Henderson or Rodwell.

  3. Mikey says:

    Seems like his heart is set on staying in London though, i think he is going to Arsenal or Spurs. The Independent are reporting Arsenal are really stepping up there interest, a leader their players need, so i wouldn’t be surprised.

  4. 'Are Wayne says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Parker at OT, I think he would bring stability to a midfield that has lacked it at times this season

  5. loopy says:

    parker is good but we still nid a younger player as substitute

  6. jonathan says:

    I think you raised good points, and he would fit in well immediately though it wouldn’t be as short term as Sherringham as he still has at least another 3-4 seasons at a high level. A real question is where it leaves Fletcher as they’re both box to box midfielders. Fletcher can also play a bit more advanced, but where does it put Ando then?

    I realize it takes a deep squad to go far in all competitions; but surely there’s only room for another CM if Scholes indeed retires. As it stands, we have Carrick, Fletcher, Ando, Gibo, Giggs (usually). We will hopefully give some chances for Pogba and Tunnicliffe too next season, so we’d better ensure we have room in the inn before taking another occupant.

  7. Nathon says:

    Jonathan you are spot on – there are alot of variables in this. So for instance, if Scholes does retire, Giggs legs start to go, Gibbo loses a bit of form, I think Parker would be ideal.

    Never would he take the place of Fletcher though – I rate him as our most influential midfielder.

    Obviousy if Ferguson does decide to give Pogba, Tunnicliffe or even that little rascal Morrison a go, then I can accept youth is the future – but if they arent ready to step up, I cannot see us lasting a full season with limited numbers in that position.

    • jonathan says:

      Thanks Nathon. What works in (potentially) bringing Parker in, is that he’s at the right age and experience to fit right in, and old enough that our youth can be gradually grafted in and hopefully be ready to take over in 3-4 years time. Let’s be honest, how many influential CM’s do you see in the Prem who are younger than 21? Even if Pogba and co. are the future, it will still be some time before they are a driving force.

      However, as I said earlier, Parker is box to box. In fact, Rio made a special point of that on Twitter a few months ago when people were calling him DM or holding. So the only likely scenarios are: a) Parker changes his style of play if he were to play alongside Fletch, or more likely: b) he’s brought in simply for greater squad depth and either deputizes for Fletch or becomes prefered to him.

      On a completely objective note, he’d be perfect for Arsenal. Whereas Parker would be a strong addition for us, he’d fill a complete void for them (both in play and character). But Wenger likely sees him as a dinosaur and horrible value being over 10 million.

      That’s the only way I can see it playing out. It’s not necessarily a negative thing, but just that people need to take deeper consideration of the existing team and the ramifications when calling for new blood.

      • Nathon says:

        I agree, he would be ideal for Arsenal but again your point is right, I just do not think Wenger would see the value of bringing in a 30 year old.

        At United I cannot see Parker raising the bar or performance levels of the side, but I do see him steadying the ship and bringing in a new lease of life to what has at times, been a lacklustre midfield this season.

  8. Jimbo says:

    I find Parker very over rated. I know he is the writer’s player of the season, but I can’t help but feel that is because he is English. English players are always more highly rated by the media. I honestly don’t think that Parker would add anything to the United team. He’s not good enough to make it in to the first team and at his age he is not going to develop. He is not the player United need and, being an English player, is going to be overpriced.