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Sullivan: Parker protected himself from injury

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 Feb 2012

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West Ham owner David Sullivan has accused Scott Parker of pulling out of tackles ahead of his move to Tottenham at the start of the season.

Parker, who moved across London following the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship, won the FWA ‘Player of the Year’ last season for his all-action performances.

But Sullivan said the 31-year-old changed his style to protect himself in his final few appearances for the East London club in an attempt to avoid injury.

“This might not please many people but look at Scott Parker’s performance in the first five games this season,” Sullivan told the West Ham til I die website.

“To me it didn’t look like he was doing the tackling you’d normally expect him to do.”

“He was running about, he was doing okay but he wasn’t doing the tackling we know he can do because he knew that the one thing that would stop a move, would be an injury.”

“To me it looked like he didn’t want to be there. He told us he didn’t want to be there.”

“He was protecting himself, either consciously or subconsciously. He’s gone to Spurs and he is back to his old self.”

Sullivan also spoke of his regret over not securing Senegalese striker Demba Ba on a long-term deal.

Ba invoked a clause in his contract at the end of last season which allowed him to leave for free upon the club’s relegation and has since been in prolific form for Newcastle in the Premier League.

“It was probably one of the worst mistakes I have ever made,” Sullivan admitted.

“I’m told he’s got a seven-million-pound buy-out clause at Newcastle, and he gets half the money. So if they sell him for seven, they will only net about three.”

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