Monday, October 31, 2011

Scott Parker the 'New' Dave Mackay

Scott Parker had high praise lavished on him after Tottenham's victory over Queen's Park Rangers when his manager compared his display with that of the Spurs' legend from the successful era of the 1960s, Dave Mackay.  Parker was thoroughly deserving of his 'Man of the Match' award for an all round performance that allowed Spurs to showcase all their skills as they overcame their west London rivals.

Scott Parker - the 'new' Mackay
Since joining Tottenham at the end of the summer transfer window, Scott Parker has played in seven Premier League games and helped Spurs to six wins and a draw.  That sequence of results followed on from the two heavy defeats by the Manchester clubs when they conceded eight goals.  At the end of the home loss to City, Spurs looked a thoroughly demoralised and dispirited side.

Throughout the summer, Harry Redknapp made it clear that Parker was the player he really wanted to sign but the transfer saga dragged on to the bitter end with neither Spurs or West Ham willing to come to an agreement.  Then  other teams became interested and it looked as if Parker would once again complete a transfer but not to White Hart Lane.  Coming from West Ham, Parker was not every Spurs supporters favourite player and even though he'd won the Player of the Year award last season, many weren't convinced about this thirty year old.  However, he signed on the last day of August and has brought experience and an authority to central midfield.  With his style of play, Parker's presence in midfield has granted Luka Modric a greater freedom to use his sublime creative skills further up the pitch to the benefit of the attacking force of Rafael Van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.

Composed on the ball, determined when not in possession, tough in the tackle and careful in his distribution, Parker has brought a decade of Premier League experience to White Hart Lane and the team has a much better balance in its play.  Parker captained the side at Blackburn in the absence of the injured Ledley King and even without the armband he leads by example, going in where it hurts and not afraid to hold back when looking to win the ball.  His reading of the game enables him to intercept passes that could have led to dangerous situations if the move  had been completed and his energy throughout is such that he appears 'out on his feet' before the end of a gruelling match.

On Saturday, Tottenham displayed all their attacking skills and freedom of movement, especially in the first half, as they took a two goal interval lead against QPR.  The second half was less swashbuckling as Rangers greatly increased their efforts but at the end while people discussed Tottenham's exciting, intricate and pacy attacking play, the excellent goals they scored and Gareth Bale's and Rafael Van der Vaart's contribution to the victory, there was a universal acknowledgement that it was Scott Parker's display which deserved the 'Man of the Match' award.

It's unusual after an exciting attacking performance with a player scoring twice, for the central, holding midfield player to be receiving such praise.  Even in the first half when Spurs were totally dominant Parker was putting in a hard working performance to win the ball, pass it on to an attacking player and then be there to disrupt any thoughts Rangers might have had on putting pressure on the Tottenham defence.  It was his endeavours throughout the game which allowed Spurs the freedom to attack on all fronts and he gave his best display in a Tottenham shirt, allowing everyone to see why Harry Redknapp was so insistent on signing him for Spurs.  If Tottenham had been more clinical in their finishing, Rangers could have suffered another heavy defeat.

Dave Mackay 'Legend'
To have been compared with the legendary Dave Mackay is an incredible accolade.  Spurs supporters are only too aware of the tremendous influence Mackay brought to the 'Double' team and he received a tremendous reception when presented to the crowd at White Hart Lane in the Europa League game against Hearts.  The success achieved during the 1960s was greatly dependent on his 'never say die' approach, his total commitment and his amazing skills.  Such praise from his manager will give Parker something to live up to but if he goes anywhere near achieving the standards of the great Scot, Spurs will have spent the £5 million they gave to West Ham United very wisely.

So often Spurs supporters think, 'If only we had Dave Mackay in the present team.'  If Harry Redknapp is correct we might have the next best thing, another Scott - Scott Parker.


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