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Scottish Mag

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SCOTT PARKER is ready to make the Premiership pay for his eight-month nightmare - and spend next summer reaping the rewards in Germany.


Parker admits he became a "lost" player during his year in the wilderness at Chelsea when everything went against him under Jose Mourinho.


But the midfielder is convinced his move to Newcastle represents the opportunity he has craved to force his way into in Sven Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad.


Parker, who has signed with PUMA, has not played a minute of league action since breaking his foot in a freak manner against Norwich last December.


His £6.5million move to the north-east represents a fresh start - and the midfielder admitted he is desperate to make up for lost time.


Parker said: "I need to do well for Newcastle but I think there's a space there in the England midfield.


"We've got some world-class players but I feel there is an opportunity in the holding role.



"I need to reproduce the form I showed at Charlton and I'm sure I'll have that chance. I had a driving ambition to win things when I went to Chelsea.



"I wouldn't have gone to any other club which didn't share that ambition.



"The key is for me to show what I can do. I want to do what I'm good at - and that's playing football. I just want to play and do well.



"I'm never happier than when I'm playing and I want to help take Newcastle on to better things.



"By January, I'd like us to be in the top six with England being back on for me again. That would be brilliant for me and it's in the back of my mind."



The key for Parker is putting himself back into Eriksson's mind. The Swede handed Parker his debut against Denmark in November 2003 but a 12-minute cameo in Sweden four months later was his only other taste on the England stage.



Most of Parker's great games, as he confesses, were in Charlton red rather than Chelsea blue.



As the 24-year-old admitted: "I think I became something of a forgotten man. It was a non-event of a season for me.



"But I left Chelsea feeling I hadn't failed. It was just a lack of opportunities.



"I broke my foot against Norwich just when I felt I'd turned the corner and started to see daylight - and that just summed it up.



"When it happened I told myself I could get back and give it a push.



"But I tried to push it too hard, re-injured myself in February, and from that point I knew in my head that my Chelsea career was coming to an end." The few conversations Parker had with Jose Mourinho emphasised that feeling but, for the midfielder, there is no point in looking back.



He added: "Spurs were keen on me but as soon as Newcastle showed their interest I wanted to come here.



"This club speaks for itself - it does when you get up here and see it for yourself.



"The fans and the place are crying out for trophies. I saw the hunger and desire for winning things that the Chelsea fans had but it really is a different league here in terms of that.



"That's no disrespect to the fans in London. But here it's football, football, football. Nothing else matters.



"All they need is a team that can win something, just one trophy. And if that happens, you'll see Newcastle United explode as a club."



Parker has joined a team which finished 14th last season and is aware that Souness is many pundits' choice as the first manager for the chop.



"We realise that we need to get off to a good start," he said. "There is a lot of pressure on the team and us as players need to do well."



Arsenal at Highbury tomorrow represents a tough test for Souness and his team, although Parker can tell his team-mates what it takes to overcome the Gunners on their own patch having won there with both his previous clubs.



"I played in the Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea, and that was a great win, but the 4-2 one with Charlton in 2001 was unbelievable," he recalled.



"We were 1-0 down and, to be fair, it could've been eight but before we knew it we were 2-1 up and they kept on going in after that. It was one of those games, a great one.



"They are beatable. We know that and we're going there as a squad knowing that. If we play to our capabilities we know we can get a result.



"Of course you have to be cautious against them. They're so quick in attack and can make that switch from defence so quickly.



"But if you can play a solid game and defend well, you've got a chance of hitting them on the break.



"We looked at them against Chelsea last week. Sol Campbell isn't there and they miss the strength he gives them.



"Alan Shearer will be up there for us and we're going into it thinking we can get something out of them at the back."



For Parker, as much as Newcastle, that would be lift-off.



But after last season, the clouds have lifted. He can see the stars and is reaching for them.

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I'm desparate to have Emre & Parker playing regurlaly, obviously, but also Bowyer too. That would mean the 5 man midfield I suppose, with N'Zogbia & Dyer thw wide men, but I really think the traditional 442 is the best formation. I'd be tempted to play Bowyer on the right vs Arsenal, even though its clearly not his best position, and its something Ive hated when its happened. But, like I said especially given his pre-season form, I'd still be temped to try it vs Arsenal. With N'Zogbia on the left, and Dyer/Milner in the free-role behind Shearer.

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