Grant backs Parker for England

BY foxsports • February 5, 2011

Grant wants the England manager to pick Parker, who made the preliminary squad but missed the final cut for the World Cup in the summer, for Wednesday's friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen. Parker, 30, has managed just three caps for his country but Grant believes currently he is the best performing midfield player in the Premier League. Grant said: "Tell me one midfield player who is in better shape than Scott Parker. I know Fabio very well and it would be good for him to have a player like this in the squad. "I saw many players in my life but I didn't see a better professional than him (Parker). I like the tradition of English players giving everything without agents or anything around. "Scott is one of them. He always gives more than 100% and in difficult days he was always there for us." Capello spoke with Grant at Upton Park after West Ham's FA Cup victory against Nottingham Forest and the England manager is understood to believe Parker does not have the pace to run the midfield at international level. Grant, however, said: "His influence on and off the pitch is an example for others. At international level you need someone to come in on a certain day and give you everything, so the character is very important. "I am sure Fabio does not have anything against Scott Parker personally. From his side he thinks he is doing the right thing, but I have a connection with him and my opinion is different. My opinion is that he can help the English team a lot." Grant, however, has a more pressing concern on Sunday when West Ham attempt to take revenge on Birmingham for knocking them out of the Carling Cup in the semi-final last month by leapfrogging over them and out of the Premier League relegation zone. The Hammers currently lie 18th, behind Birmingham only on goal difference. And Grant, who has strengthened in the January transfer window by bringing Gary O'Neil, Demba Ba, Wayne Bridge and especially Robbie Keane to the club, insists it is time to step up the battle for survival. Grant said: "The important thing about this team is the development. We are learning from our mistakes. The football we are playing is better." The acquisition of the experienced Keane, who scored on his debut against Blackpool in midweek and is on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season, could be key. Grant said: "Robbie Keane is a very good player and a good character and is good for our style of play. He will have a good impact. He has a lot of knowledge about football and his style suits the way our team plays." It was Keane's partnership with Nigerian striker Victor Obinna which was most impressive. Obinna has scored five goals in his last two matches and Grant said: "It is not easy to come to English football and have an impact immediately, but he did well for us and he is improving. He has a lot of quality." Grant believes it will take at least 38 points to survive in the Premier League this time, three more than last season, and expects a frantic scramble until the last weekend. Asked whether the thought was keeping him awake at night he replied: "It will be five or six teams involved. Do you see a manager who can sleep easy? I am sleeping good but not easy."

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