Paul Parker

  • Rooney shouldn’t be rewarded for failure

    All the talk today has been of Wayne Rooney reportedly letting it be known that he wants to leave Manchester United, and that he is not interested in negotiating a new contract at the club.

    Manchester United have let so many great players go in the past and they've coped well. It should always be the case that no one player is bigger than the club, whether that club be United or anyone else.

    Wayne hasn't really helped himself. Things are against him at the moment - his confidence is low while he continues to be vilified in the press for his off-field indiscretions.

    But things could all turn

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  • Johnson should replace Walcott

    Everything is rosy for Fabio Capello after beating Bulgaria 4-0, but Switzerland are a much tougher proposition for England on Tuesday.

    You've got to sweep the last game under the carpet and look to the next one - and it will be a tough, tough contest.

    We can't afford to go a goal down. It will be very difficult to get it back if that happens because their goals-against record is top notch. They're one of the best defences in the world, and it's down to the way they defend as a side. It is absolutely incredible how they do it.

    They're not the best side to watch: they'll straight away try to

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  • Forget about Euro 2012, Fabio

    I read some quotes from Fabio Capello saying England can win Euro 2012 and nearly burst out laughing. Does anyone honestly think we can overhaul Spain, Holland and Germany within two years?

    Instead he should look to the longer term and build a team for the 2014 World Cup. Now is the time to look beyond the present players and give the next generation a chance to settle into the team.

    If it means we do not do well at the Euros - or even fail to qualify - then so be it. It will be a sacrifice worth making.

    It doesn't mean we have to get rid of all the senior players. I would keep the likes of

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  • Spurs will be dangerous at Old Trafford

    Match of the weekend: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

    Tottenham's recent record at Old Trafford is absolutely woeful, but perhaps this time they might have a chance of getting something from the game.

    Rafael van der Vaart must be the top candidate for signing of the season, especially considering the price Spurs got him for.

    He looks like a man at the top of his game at the moment whereas his opposite number, Paul Scholes, is all too often going missing when teams don't allow him the time and space to pick out the passes, which he can still do brilliantly.

    Whether United line up with

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  • Gerrard should keep armband

    I think Steven Gerrard
    should keep the England
    captaincy whether or not Rio Ferdinand plays against Montenegro on Tuesday.

    We need some continuity in
    the side, and that means not passing the armband around from game to game.

    The England
    captaincy and it should be held by someone who is assured of his place in the
    side, and who is not a permanent injury risk.

    I think it was a rash
    decision handing the captaincy to Ferdinand in the first place, and England have
    played well under Gerrard's leadership - it seems to have brought something
    extra from him.

    There is talk that Capello
    will leave

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  • Saddened by Gazza plight

    I was saddened and disappointed to hear that
    my old England colleague Paul Gascoigne has again been arrested for

    I was caught driving over limit myself
    about 20 years ago, and I didn't expect any sympathy then. I knew I'd done
    something wrong and learnt my lesson.

    Gazza has to realise the same thing, that he
    has done something ridiculously stupid and only has himself to blame. Hopefully
    this time will be the moment when he realises that this has to

    However, it's not as though this is the
    first time he has been in trouble with the law. There is only so much patience

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  • Rooney fighting the flab

    Blog originally published on July 15... 

    We've all seen the photos of Wayne Rooney in the newspapers, squeezed into his United shirt for the friendly up in Aberdeen, along with all the usual 'fat' puns in the headlines and comparisons with other generously proportioned footballers.

    Poor Wayne. He's the type of person who is liable to put weight on without too much effort. His body shape will not allow him to do as he pleases and he's one of those players who simply cannot afford to let himself go.

    But that is what he has done this summer - he has been pictured smoking fags, eating fast food

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  • Rooney walking a fine line with Fergie

    Under pressure: Alex Ferguson - Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion

    After Wayne Rooney went against his manager's comments about an ankle injury dogging him all season, claiming that he had no such problem, he has given Ferguson a dilemma.

    Whether Ferguson rests his out-of-form striker, maintaining his stance that he is not fully fit, or plays him against West Brom, the decision will be heavily scrutinised.

    I think he will say to Rooney that if he has no problem with his ankle, go out on to the pitch and prove it. In doing so he will deflect the attention back on to Rooney. If he thrives,

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  • Wembley semis killing Cup

    Yet again we have the ridiculous situation of two FA Cup semi-finals being played at Wembley this weekend.

    I know why the FA made its decision a couple of years ago to stage all last-four clashes at the national stadium; I just don't agree with it.

    Playing a final at Wembley is what the FA Cup is supposed to be all about. Isn't it every boy's dream to lead out their team at the famous stadium in the final? I doubt a semi-final appearance features in many young lads' dreams.

    Using the stadium at that stage of the competition only serves to devalue the achievement of actually reaching the

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  • City still not title contenders

    Come the end of the season, Manchester City's win over Chelsea may well have an effect on the title race, but I don't believe it adds too much credibility to their credentials as championship candidates this season.

    City have shown on a number of occasions that they can raise their game against the big clubs, but equally they have carelessly dropped points against sides that on paper they should be beating.

    Even the victory on Saturday was not emphatic, with the three points secured via one piece of individual brilliance by Carlos Tevez.

    His undoubted talent will only stretch so far. Playing

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