JACK Collison admits Scott Parker’s will be ‘big boots to fill’ if, as expected, West Ham’s own Football Writers’ Player of the Year leaves during the summer, and the mantle of motivator and driving force is passed to those below him.
It will be up to the likes of Collison and Mark Noble to pick up where Parker left off, should he be snapped up by a growing list of Premier League clubs clamouring for his signature.
As far as Collison is concerned, he is content simply to be on the pitch playing, following a horrific year out with injury. But he is likely to be one the supporters will turn to as the club bid to regain their top league status to embody the spirit of the club, in the way Parker has, and lift those around him.
“We’ll see what happens. They are big boots to fill. Scotty Parker has been unbelievable and it’s been a pleasure for players like myself and the other young players to watch him day-in, day-out in training,” he said. “The intensity he attacks everything with is quite amazing.
“Obviously a lot of clubs are going to be interested in Scotty now and I don’t think any West Ham fan can say anything bad about him. He’s worked his heart out all season and, at times, has done unbelievable things.
“I remember the Wigan [home] game. He was ill all week, turned up on the weekend, scored a goal and was absolutely unbelievable. He could hardly move on the Friday, so things like that will always live with me and it’s been a pleasure to play with Scotty.”
Collison accepts the revolving door at Upton Park may go into overdrive during the summer, but he has urged whoever pulls on the famous shirt next season to give their all for a swift promotion.
“Football is a very interesting game, isn’t it? I’ve only been in it a short time and I’ve been at West Ham for five or six years now and I’ve seen a lot of players come and go. It’s just something you’ve got to live with,” he said.
“I’ve said before that West Ham is a massive club and it’s important that we bounce straight back up and get back where we belong in the Premier League, because that’s what the fans deserve.
“It’s all experience and I know a lot of the young players are relishing the opportunity. It’s a massive club and the people should be working hard to play for the claret and blue. We’ve got great traditions.
“Obviously it hasn’t been a great season, but the people above will have a busy summer and will be eager to bounce back.”