Parker is one booking away

WEST HAM midfielder Scott Parker reached nine bookings on Saturday, leaving him just one yellow card away from a two-game ban. The 29-year-old England international may be in the form of his life for the Hammers this season, but he is now walking a fine l

WEST HAM midfielder Scott Parker reached nine bookings on Saturday, leaving him just one yellow card away from a two-game ban.

The 29-year-old England international may be in the form of his life for the Hammers this season, but he is now walking a fine line towards a possible suspension that West Ham could really do without.

Parker was booked for a late tackle on Hull's Egyptian striker Amr Zaki, and boss Gianfranco Zola chose to leave him out of the starting line-up for Old Trafford on Tueday night.

Despite that, Zola was still delighted with his contribution, as well as that of midfield partner Radoslav Kovac.

"Scott is one of my key players," said Zola. "Today he was really good, but I must say that Kovac right now has been massive.

"He is working so hard and he is also helping Scotty's game because he can be released a little bit more to go forward."

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Parker's recent form has been international-class, but Zola feels that he is unlikely to get a call-up anytime soon.

"I think he is a little unlucky because in that position he has got so many competitors, very good ones," he said.

"Plus I believe Fabio Capello is going to go for players he knows.

"But you never know what will happen, as long as he can play at this level, anything can happen.