Push for Parker

Gianfranco Zola believes West Ham United midfielder Scott Parker can force his way back into the senior England squad.

The reigning Hammer of the Year has been in inspirational form so far this season, launching himself into crunching tackles and driving the team forward at every opportunity.

The 28-year-old has earned three England caps, the last of which came in a 2008 UEFA European Championship qualifier in Croatia in October 2006, but has yet to feature under Fabio Capello.

However, Capello did call Parker into his squad for the 2-1 friendly win in Germany last November, and Zola insisted the midfielder has the talent to catch the eye of his compatriot again.

"Why should his international career be over? For me, in his position, he is one of the best in the Premier League and, as far as I'm concerned, he's always been playing well for me. He's done fantastic and I'm trying to help him to be even better.

"I don't think he should stop thinking he can be an international because he's a good player and is excellent also as a person in the group."

When asked if Parker could force his way into England's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, Zola admitted his vice-captain faced a tough challenge.

However, with six months until the squad fly out to South Africa, the Hammers manager said the all-action player could still come into the reckoning.

"I don't know about the World Cup. It's not my call, it's Capello's. Obviously Capello's team has done very well so it's not going to be easy for him, but he has to continue the way he is playing and a door might open - in football you never know. That's all he can do, really.

"With Scott, he combines very well. He's very good organising the action and he helps the defence a lot. It's the combination of the two that makes him one of the best in my opinion."