Parker cements future with Hammers
The central midfielder, who signed for the club from Newcastle in 2007, had been the subject of interest from Barclays Premier League rivals Tottenham, who had a bid for the 29-year-old rejected during the transfer window. The Hammers announced this afternoon that Parker had signed a new contract that will see him stay at the club for another four years, with the option of a further 12 months. Hammers co-owner David Sullivan said last year that Parker's importance to the club was so high that he was the only player that he would not consider selling. The midfielder, who made Fabio Capello's provisional World Cup squad, was an ever-present for the East London club during last season's campaign, in which the Hammers narrowly avoided relegation. Parker's 30-yard drive against Wigan secured the club's Premier League position for another season but his future at Upton Park was thrown into doubt when Spurs boss Harry Redknapp tabled an £7million offer for the midfielder last month. The former Chelsea midfielder, who has been voted the club's player of the year for the last two campaigns, says he always knew that he would remain at Upton Park. "I am just absolutely delighted to have signed the contract," Parker told the club's official website. "Everyone knows I enjoy playing my football here. I really wanted to stay here, give it a shot and see what can happen. "With the transfer window there is all this big hype," he added. "There are obviously times when it is stressful but from the outset I always knew this was where I was going to be. "The owners came out and spoke last season and I am more than happy." The Hammers' faltering start to the campaign has left them rooted to the foot of the table after defeats against Aston Villa, Bolton and Manchester United. Worried fans will not want to see a repeat of last season's efforts in which the club only narrowly avoided relegation under Gianfranco Zola, who was replaced by Avram Grant this summer. To make matters worse, a daunting clash with Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea at Upton Park awaits Grant's team on Saturday, but Parker has urged supporters not to panic. "There is no question that we have got a good squad of players," he continued. "We have got players who have come in and done really well and we have got players who have come back to fitness. We are looking forward. "We have had a tough start. In saying that, we have shown some good things this year but we need to do that for 90 minutes. I am sure that it won't be long before we start clicking and you can see the best of us. "There is no hiding the fact that we need to try and pick up some points. In the Premier League there never seems to be an easy game - whenever you're looking for one the next game that comes along is never easy." The champions make the short trip across London having scored 14 goals in three straight wins so far. The Hammers, meanwhile, have only hit the net once and questions have even been raised about Grant's future at the club. Parker is hopeful that his team can put in a similar performance to the one that saw Chelsea need a controversial Frank Lampard penalty to leave with a point. "We got a great result against Chelsea at home last year and played really well," Parker continued. "We drew 1-1 and their goal probably wasn't even a penalty. We go in there with great hope and, if the fans get behind us and we can put on a performance, you never know."