Paul Parker

  • Team spirit key for Spurs

    One of this weekend's stand-out displays was from Tottenham as they came
    from behind to beat West Ham at Upton Park.

    Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon may well have grabbed the
    goals, but the three points were won with a real team performance from Harry
    Redknapp's
    side.

    Unlike some Spurs teams of the past, this one is not entirely based on
    talented individuals. Sure, they boast the likes of Luka Modric and Defoe, but
    their real strength at the moment comes from a sense of togetherness and a good
    work ethic - attributes very much associated with Redknapp's teams over the years.

    But a manager can

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  • Disgraceful Hicks just doesn’t get it

    Tom Hicks Jr's
    (pictured, left) abusive email to a Liverpool
    fan
    was an absolute disgrace and shows the kind of regime that is in charge at
    Anfield.

    It was an unbelievable show of disrespect to some of the
    most loyal and passionate fans in the game, and he should have been sacked by
    his father (right) before he had a chance to quit.

    That kind of behaviour shows that Hicks has no idea how football
    works - particularly a club like Liverpool
    where the supporters are very close to senior players like Steven Gerrard and
    Jamie Carragher.

    I am told the email sent by the supporter, Stephen Horner, was

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  • Owen has it all to do

    At the ripe old age of 29, it seems odd that a player should
    still have to prove himself, especially one who has starred for both club and
    country over the years.

    But that is exactly the situation Michael Owen finds himself
    in after an injury-plagued and ultimately disappointing spell with Newcastle.

    He may well have played for two of the world's biggest
    clubs, scored 40 goals for his country and won the Ballon d'Or, but with his 30th
    birthday fast approaching he must feel like he is having to start all over
    again.

    Regularly we hear that Owen is a proven goalscorer. He may
    well be, but it

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  • Tough draw no bad thing

    England fans will be hoping for
    a good World Cup draw this evening, but the country has already had a big slice
    of luck.

    FIFA's decision to base the seedings on October's world rankings meant they snuck in ahead of France and Portugal, which would not have
    happened if it had been November's
    rankings - or recent World Cup performance.

    That
    was a big bonus for them and, though there are some good sides in the draw, England should
    not be afraid of anyone and should expect to reach the last 16.

    I'm sure Fabio Capello will want to win the group and
    hopefully avoid another seeded nation in the next

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  • Entertainment on cards at Anfield

    MATCH OF
    THE WEEKEND: Liverpool v Arsenal

    Last
    season's clash at Anfield was a real humdinger and if the two sides can
    recreate just half the excitement from that 4-4 draw, we'll have another
    cracker our hands.

    Pre-season,
    these two would have expected Sunday's game to be a clash of title contenders,
    but the way this campaign has panned out so far is entirely different.

    Liverpool
    are out of the title race already and for me Arsenal haven't got what it takes
    to sustain a challenge to the top two this season.  Arsene Wenger's side
    have not got the sheer power of Chelsea or the consistency and

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  • United need a defender

    Manchester
    United's defeat to Aston Villa will
    certainly have Alex Ferguson worried - it is always a concern when you lose at
    home to a team that have not beaten you for 20 years.

    I
    was not altogether surprised, though. Villa are physical and direct, and pose a
    different challenge from the teams you face in the Champions League.

    Clearly
    United's biggest problem lies at the
    back, where Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have struggled for form and
    fitness.

    When
    you hear Sol Campbell mentioned as a possible signing, you know there is a
    problem! Campbell has not played enough
    football, and

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  • Spurs can prove top-four quality

    Match of the weekend: Tottenham v Manchester United

    Yes, I know I'm picking a Manchester United game again, but this is one I always look out for as I supported Spurs as a kid.

    Tottenham do not have a good record against United, but this is a real chance for Harry Redknapp to prove his side's top four credentials. They have had a blistering start to the season while the champions have not quite hit their stride yet. A lack of self-belief was a problem for previous Spurs outfits, but this time they should go into the game brimming with confidence.

    Harry has got plenty of options up front, but I

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  • Capello must back Defoe

    Fabio Capello prides himself on picking his England team based on form not reputation, and Ihope he sticks by that policy and selects Jermain Defoe to start against Croatiaon Wednesday.

    Defoe is in red hot form, and has scored as many goals in hislast 150 minutes of Englandaction - seven - as Emile Heskey has in the last 10 years for his country!

    The Tottenham man is a confidence player and will feel hehas earned the right to line up at Wembley. If he cannot get into the side now,he will start to wonder if he will ever be picked.

    If Capello is looking to build his players' trust and confidence

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  • Chelsea to beat Liverpool

    Game of the week - Chelsea v Liverpool

    We don't always get a good game from these two but you never know; there is plenty of quality so hopefully we'll see a decent spectacle. Rafa Benitez has got a lot of sorting out to do after a really poor performance against Fiorentina in midweek. Given the current status of Serie A, I think it will have shaken them to get outclassed by an Italian side. It is not ideal scheduling for them to travel to Stamford Bridge immediately afterwards. Amazingly, there is talk of pressure on Chelsea, who have won all but one of their games this season. They have an

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  • Different kind of pressure for Ronaldo

    Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his £80m move to
    Real Madrid, we'll see exactly what the Portuguese forward is made of.

    The size of the fee, making him the most expensive player in
    the world, immediately ramps up the pressure on his shoulders.

    For that kind of money - and for the wages he will be
    getting - failure will not be accepted and he will be expected to perform from
    day one at the Bernabeu.

    That's an entirely different situation to the one he found himself
    in when he arrived at Manchester United.

    Back then, in 2003, he was a relatively unknown youngster who
    merely showed

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