Parker: Prem is key for England

Co-owner David Gold has already stated his belief that Parker will
leave Upton Park this summer, while new boss Sam Allardyce has also
said it was likely he will be sold. The midfielder is refusing to
enter any debate until after England’s Euro 2012 qualifier with
Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday. However, speaking at the
Millbrook testing plant of England sponsors Vauxhall, where he also
took part in a Q&A session with local workers, Parker outlined
an inescapable truth for a player who has only just broken back
onto the Three Lions scene. “Not many players do get picked from
the Championship,” he said. “That is just the way it is. “But it is
too early to say exactly what is going to happen to me on a
personal level. I am sure we will see over the next couple of
months. “There is speculation but it is easy for me to block it
out. “If I was 22 it would probably be a different story and my
mind would be elsewhere. “Now I am quite experienced. I know how
things work.” Parker is expected to start on Saturday, which would
represent the first time he has kept his place for back-to-back
qualifiers in his entire career. Given he feared never playing for
his country again after Fabio Capello axed him from the provisional
World Cup squad without featuring for a single minute in the two
warm-up games, Parker is understandably keen to remain involved.
“My aim is to be there come this time next year,” he said of the
prospect of playing at Euro 2012. “I know there is a long way to go
and things can change but if I can help in any way, that is what I
will try and do. “I never felt like quitting England. My mentality
was always to work hard and force my way in. “It was quite
difficult not to be selected for the World Cup. After that I
thought my chances would have been limited. “But the Wales game was
a massive chance for me. I felt if I didn’t perform in that game I
would not have pulled on an England shirt again. “In football,
especially at international level, when opportunities come along
you have to grab them.”