Scott Parker is now a member of Tottenham Hotspur. Much has been said, both positive and negative, about the new arrival. Advocates point to his class among a poor West Ham side and England international status, whilst detractors point to his age and status as another overpriced English player.
But we're going to bring back our Chalkboard Analysis feature to look at Parker. What are his skills, and what can he do to better the Tottenham midfield?
Scott Parker was often burdened with an anchor man responsibility with a poor West Ham defense behind him. It became that much more imperative for Parker then to anticipate passes and stop attacks before they had a chance to develop. Parker's role in last season's 3-2 win versus Stoke City proved his capabilities in this area.
Parker had five interceptions in the game with the majority coming on dangerous balls into the box. It shows a fine ability from Parker to read the attack an put himself in the positions to stop dangerous passes.
For Tottenham, this ability is vital. With Sandro injured, Tottenham has no midfielder with this capability. Parker can slot in and drop deep to stamp out opponent's attacks.
Parker was dominant in West Ham's 1-0 win over Tottenham in September 2010. The main thing that stood out was Parker's precision, he never seemed to put a pass to the wrong space or man. This is proven in the chalkboard, as Parker only misplayed two passes as he completed 96% of his passes.
This level of precision would be a large improvement for Tottenham. With the likes of Jake Livermore and Niko Kranjcar starting in central midfield this season, Spurs have lacked accurate passing and good decision making in the center of the pitch. Likely paired with Luka Modric, Parker can help start attacks from the back without exposing Tottenham to the counter-attack.
You might remember this goal Parker scored as West Ham shocked Liverpool 3-1 last season. It only serves to highlight the scorer Parker has become, as he tallied seven goals for West Ham last season. Parker has great timing on his late runs from the back and the skill with the ball at his feet to capitalize on it.
This goal event highlights Parker complete abilities in the attacking third: the timing to make his forward run, his passing to set up the one-two pass, movement to get free, and then finishing to put in the brilliant goal.
Spurs supporters have not seen a central midfielder with the all-around game the likes of Parker's since perhaps Michael Carrick, or perhaps more accurately Gus Poyet. Parker is 30 now and may be on the tail end of his prime, but his ability to influence all areas of the Tottenham game cannot be underrated.