Parker’s West Ham absence tells a sorry tale

Footballer of the Year Scott Parker was sorely missed by the Hammers against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

There is as much chance of Scott Parker missing out on this season’s Hammer of the Year award as there is of John Terry being best man at Wayne Bridge’s wedding.

The 30-year-old Football Writers Player of the Year has been a vital cog in the West Ham machine during this difficult campaign and it is easy to see why.

Parker has played in all seven of West Ham’s Premier League victories, and in the five league games he has missed this season, the Hammers have gleaned just a single point – from Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Blackburn Rovers.

It makes for sorry reading. Parker has also missed the 3-0 defeats by Liverpool at Anfield and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the same score at home to Arsenal and the 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa at Upton Park.

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And so, Parker’s continued absence is one that has left the Hammers on the verge of relegation and manager Avram Grant wondering when his luck might change in the injury department.

So will Parker being wearing claret and blue at Wigan Athletic on Sunday? Grant still doesn’t know.

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“I said he would be back two weeks ago, so I don’t know,” admitted the manager. “I didn’t think it was such a bad injury. I thought we would miss him for one game or two, but we have missed him since Manchester United, even though we know he played against them in the second half when he was injured.”

Parker is not the only one missing of course, as Grant was quick to point out.

“When we had a good run we played with a midfield that was Thomas Hitzlsperger, Scotty, Mark Noble and Gary O’Neil and three of those four are not playing,” said the manager.

“We miss them all, but especially Scott because you know what his contribution to the team is.

“I think the other players did well against Blackburn, but of course with Scotty and others it is better to play with them. There is no-one more than me and the staff who want him to play, but if he cannot, he cannot.”

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