The decision has been made, Scott Parker has completed his move from Tottenham to Fulham for a fee of around £4m. There has been uncertainty over the past number of weeks as to where Parker would be playing this season but he has opted to remain in the Premier League at Craven Cottage with former Spurs manager, Martin Jol. Harry Redknapp who signed Parker for Tottenham in August, 2011 was very keen to take him to Loftus Road to spearhead Queen’s Park Ranger’s bid for an immediate return to the top flight.
Parker made his debut for Tottenham in the 2 – 0 success over Wolverhampton Wanderers in September, 2011. It was Spurs first win of the season after two heavy defeats against both Manchester clubs. Parker and the other debutant that day, Emmanuel Adebayor, helped stabilise the Spurs team which went on a 11 match unbeaten run until losing in controversial circumstances at Stoke City in mid-December.
Scott Parker was very much the type of player Harry Redknapp likes to sign – a player he knows, someone with experience, a reliable player who will fit into the team, a player of character, a leader on the field and one who is combative but skilful as well. Parker fitted all of those categories and he linked very well with Luka Modric and brought composure to central midfield where previous occupants had tended towards the ‘headless chicken’ approach – here, there and everywhere but not very effective or productive.
Parker played impressively for Spurs that season.He had high praise lavished on him after Tottenham’s victory over Queen’s Park Rangers in October when his manager compared his display with that of the Spurs’ Legend from the successful era of the 1960s, Dave Mackay.
Spurs finished fourth but missed out on the Champions League as Chelsea won the trophy. Parker was a totally committed player who gave his all in every game and it told on him as the season went on. He was particularly strong in a scoreless draw at Liverpool in late January when a weakened Spurs team held on for the point with every tackle and block in the final minutes appearing to come from the exhausted Parker. By the end of the season, Parker was struggling with injury and missed the final few games but with England in the European Championships, he was declared fit and played in every match, again giving his all.
As a consequence of these efforts, he missed the start of last season with injury and wasn’t available until January. Then with Sandro and Mousa Dembele linking well he was unable to regain a place in the team. The injury to Sandro against QPR gave Parker his chance to get back into the side and he retained his place for the rest of the season. He never regained the level of performance he’d shown the previous season and it was not unexpected that Andre Villas-Boas would look to strengthen the midfield.
With the arrival of Paulinho and now Etienne Capoue, it was expected that Parker would be next to leave after Tom Huddlestone’s move to Hull with Jake Livermore also going there on loan.
Parker, although almost 33 years of age, still has ambitions to play for England and the opportunity offered by Fulham to play in the Premier League would improve his chances of a recall by Roy Hodgson.
Best wishes to Scott Parker and thanks for your past efforts for Tottenham. You are a player who was often linked with Spurs but unfortunately you didn’t make it to White Hart Lane until late in your career. Perhaps if you’d made the decision earlier we’d have seen the best of you as a player.