Parker the perfect pick to replace Terry

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Scott Parker's worthy status as a leading contender to succeed John Terry as England captain represents quite a change in fortune for the Tottenham midfielder.

Despite the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard laying claim as favourites to take on the armband, Parker would not only be a popular appointment but a sensible one by Fabio Capello.

Rewind almost two years, and Parker was adjudged by Capello not to be of the required standard to play international football after initially making England's provisional squad for the 2010 World Cup.

The 31-year-old was the only member of the 32-man squad to not feature in a single minute of England's two warm-up encounters prior to the tournament; a baffling decision given is form in an, albeit failing, West Ham side.

Another season of inspirational displays at the heart of the Hammers' midfield led Capello to consider Parker for selection once again, and he returned to the fold with a substitute appearance against Denmark in February of last year.

Capello still retained doubts that Parker possessed the range of passing required to succeed for England, but handed him a start against Wales the following month, and has relied on him ever since.

Parker has featured prominently since that moment - making five further appearances for his country, including a man-of-the-match display against World Cup winners Spain.

The former Charlton trainee can now, perhaps, be regarded as Capello's only automatic pick in midfield - in the absence of Jack Wilshere - which makes him a strong candidate to be made captain.

Parker was born to lead and, such were his inspirational performances for West Ham, was regularly mistaken - and forgivably so - as the Hammers' captain. However, that honour belonged to Matthew Upson.

Upson, though, could never galvanise his troops like Parker, who famously roused a second-half comeback against West Brom last season with the Irons trailing 3-0 at the break. Just ask Carlton Cole how it made him feel.

One can draw comparisons between the motivational techniques of Avram Grant and Capello, and Parker's experience of holding the dressing room at Upton Park will stand him in good stead if made England captain.

John Terry previously revealed that he has often asked Parker have some input in the England changing room, such is the respect he commands from teammates.

It really would be a struggle to find a player with a bad word to utter about Parker, who is also hugely popular with the heavyweights in the national press - an important quality to have as England captain.

However, Parker is relatively shy when in the spotlight, and noticeably does not enjoy press conferences and may be reluctant to fulfil media commitments that come with the post in the lead-up to a major competition.

But the positives far outweigh the negatives when Parker's credentials to succeed Terry are perused, and Twitter has been awash with messages supporting his potential promotion to the England captaincy.

Parker's stock has never been higher, and I am unwavering in my opinion that he is the right man to be appointed England captain. One can only hope Capello agrees.

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