Sandro’s form to keep returning Parker out of the Spurs fold
Scott Parker nears a return to fitness following Achilles surgery, however, with the form of Moussa Dembele and Sandro in the Tottenham engine room exceptional of late, winning back his place in the team will take a massive effort.
Spurs are flying after a shaky start under Andre Villas Boas, but four straight Premier League wins has seen them climb to fifth, just one point behind the Manchester clubs and they host table-toppers Chelsea next. They’re excellent value at 19/10 to secure a third top-four finish in four seasons.
Sandro has been the man tasked with filling Parker’s shoes as the defensive-minded midfielder, with Dembele given the freedom to inflict damage in the final third.
The Brazilian has been a fixture in all of AVB’s plans this season, starting each of Spurs’ league games, as well as the crunch Europa League clash with Lazio, and he won’t be swayed by Parker’s brilliance of the previous campaigns if he doesn’t think he’s good enough this year.
After naming Michael Dawson as club captain, the Portuguese coach has neglected to pick him for a single Premier League game this term and was even prepared to ship him off to QPR at one stage. Brad Friedel looks like he is in for similar treatment having been ousted for Hugo Lloris to start the last game against Aston Villa, despite exceptional early-season performances.
At Chelsea, Ramires was favoured by AVB for his robust qualities in the middle of the park which Sandro shares and everyone knows what happened to Frank Lampard when he decided that the England international and Blues legend was too old to do a job.
Parker will be 32 by the time he’s ready to start playing again and, if he can reproduce his form of the past few seasons, which saw him crowned Football Writer’s Player of the Year in 2010/11, he should be welcomed back into the first team fold, although if AVB’s made his mind up about him already it probably won’t matter how well he does.
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