Parker is Hammer of the Year

SCOTT PARKER was perhaps a slightly surprising winner of the Hammer of the Year Trophy which was presented following Sunday s victory over Middlesbrough, and even manager Gianfranco Zola felt that it was a very close race. The 28-year-old midfielder, who

SCOTT PARKER was perhaps a slightly surprising winner of the Hammer of the Year Trophy which was presented following Sunday's victory over Middlesbrough, and even manager Gianfranco Zola felt that it was a very close race.

The 28-year-old midfielder, who missed the last eight games of the season with a groin injury, took the prize ahead of Robert Green, though Zola had other players to praise for their efforts this term.

"Before he got injured, Scott Parker had been terrific for us and made a big difference," he said. "The way he plays is very important to us on the pitch.

"All I can say is that is was very difficult to pick a player of the year, because there were so many who deserved it. Matthew Upson was one of them, also Herita Ilunga.


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"It has been a year where the level of the performance has been high from everybody."

Parker has made 52 appearances in claret and blue since his �7million move from Newcastle United in the summer of 2007.

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His time at West Ham has been blighted by injury, but he did make 32 appearances this season, scoring just the one goal in the 2-1 defeat at Bolton Wanderers.

His game is certainly not about scoring goals, but he is the heart of the team when he plays, with most moves going through him.

So who was Zola's player of the year?

"I don't know," he admitted. "I think it was very close. Ilunga, Upson along with Parker and Behrami as well before he got injured, was up there as well.

"If it was possible I would have shared it between all of them."

Jack Collison pipped James Tomkins for the Young Hammer of the Year trophy, while Carlton Cole's breathtaking strike at Wigan Athletic was declared Goal of the Season.

Junior Stanislas completed the awards by being awarded the Doris Bell trophy, for the most improved player of the year.

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