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There is a myth that has grown around Scott Parker that suggests he is somehow the lynchpin of both the England and Spurs sides, and that he is much closer to being a world class player than many are willing to admit.
The fact is this: Parker bombed out at Chelsea when he moved to a big club, was relegated with West Ham and none of the top English or foreign sides decided to move for him when he was available last summer.
Why? Because Parker is a fundamentally limited player. I have previously described him as a water carrier, and I stand by that assertion.
But he is, in fact, not even a good water carrier. Yes, he has a high pass completion rate, but his inability to move the ball effectively into dangerous areas, and to players in space, was central to England’s inability to dominate possession against Italy.
The idea that he is an all-action, combative midfielder is also slightly tempered by the fact that Danny Welbeck completed as many successful tackles as Parker did during the tournament.
If Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry or Jack Wilshere had been fit, Parker probably would not have been in the side. He looked out of his depth against Italy, constantly second-best when up against the superior Italian midfield, and should not be part of the English first XI in the future.
In many respects, Parker sums up much what is wrong with English football—the glorification of effort and strength over technique and the ridiculous feting of average players who have achieved little during their careers.