Parker: Inspiring speech shocked me!

After a season of conflicting emotions, West Ham United captain Scott Parker has been talking to FourFourTwo about two events that helped shape his 2010/11 campaign.

Despite walking away with the Football Writers’ Association’s Player of the Year award, Parker's season ultimately ended in disappointment as West Ham were relegated to the Championship.

The former Charlton, Chelsea and Newcastle United midfielder was one of the few players from that side to emerge with any credit; his passionate displays endearing him to fans and neutrals alike.

It was this particular trait that came to the fore at half-time during a Premier League encounter with West Bromwich Albion. After a woeful first half display, which saw the Hammers 3-0 down, Parker produced a rousing dressing room speech, urging his fellow players to show that they were worthy of wearing the claret and blue.

The game eventually finished 3-3 with Carlton Cole – who netted the equaliser – praising his captain for an “inspirational” team-talk.

And looking back, Parker has told FourFourTwo that he was surprised at his ire, but felt it was his duty to rile his team-mates.

"I got caught in the moment. I can’t remember the words, but I was really angry," he says in the July issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out now.

"That’s not like me and I suppose it was that, rather than what I said, that shocked everyone!

"As a senior player you have a role. You have to help the manager and endorse his messages."

Now with the England squad ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland on Saturday, Parker is looking to advance his international career, after Fabio Capello handed the midfielder a recall to the national side in March.

Although aware that it could be his last chance to make a starting position his own, Parker feels he has nothing to prove to the Italian, even after Capello decided against taking Parker to the World Cup in South Africa last summer.

"I don’t think I had anything to prove, put it that way," he says. "Maybe it did serve as a motivation, but the manager made his decision and I can see why he made it."

The full in-depth interview with Scott Parker can be found in the July issue of FourFourTwo – out now – in which the midfielder talks about his favourite moment of the season and his secret to staying in shape.

The issue also features exclusive one-on-ones with Rafael van der Vaart and Nemanja Vidic and an in-depth report on how to save Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup. Subscribe now!

By Vithushan Ehantharajah