Scott Parker has been one of Tottenham's best players this season. A mainstay in the midfield, Parker was expected to step up and be an impact game in the North London Derby. Instead, he had his worst game ever in a Spurs kit.
The trouble started on Arsenal's second goal. Parker was indecisive, and slow to pick up an open Robin van Persie. Even when Parker got there, he did not close down van Persie, giving the Dutchman the chance to unleash a screaming equalizer.
Parker consistently showed an unwillingness to fully help out the suffering defense, whether by choice or by coaching. Whereas in the Liverpool match Parker consistently dropped into defense, acting as an anchor in midfield, Parker would consistently pull up in midfield as Arsenal counter-attacked. In Arsenal's third goal, as the entire Arsenal attack pushed forward on the counter, both Parker and Modric pulled up outside of the 18, rather than trying to break up play.
However, Parker's worst moment may have come on Arsenal's fourth goal. Robin van Persie led the break, while Parker dawdled at midfield instead of hustling back. That lack of hustle allowed Theo Walcott to burst past Parker as the right winger scored the decisive fourth goal.
Adding insult to injury, Parker managed to get himself sent off. With the result confirmed in the 87th minute, Parker went recklessly into a late challenge against Arsenal centerback Thomas Vermaelen. Already booked, the second yellow saw Parker sent off, and has a far worse result going forward.
The red card means that Parker will miss next week's home match against Manchester United. Given how Tottenham were run over in midfield in the teams' first fixture of the season, the addition of Parker was counted on to give Tottenham more strength against the Manchester attack.
Luckily for Tottenham, Sandro appears to be fit again. Still, as Parker leaves White Hart Lane for the English National Team's Wednesday friendly, he would be wise to think about why his play and effort dropped against Arsenal, and what he can do to fix it once he gets back from suspension.