Barnes hails Parker

Liverpool and England legend John Barnes has hailed the impact made by West Ham United talisman Scott Parker ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash between the Hammers and the Reds.

Barnes, who now works as a television pundit, played alongside Parker at Charlton Athletic for a short period in 1999, when West Ham's No8 was an aspiring teenager.

More than a decade later, Parker has followed Barnes into the senior England side and the former Reds winger believes his former team-mate is more than worthy of his place in Fabio Capello's squad.

The 47-year-old has been impressed with the way Parker has added characteristics to his game that were not so readily apparent during the pair's time together at The Valley.

"He deserves his call-up I know Scotty very well, I was at Charlton with him. My last year playing football I was at Charlton, Scotty was just getting in the first team, he was known as an attacking midfield player and now he's an all-action midfield player. He can defend, he can attack, he can do everything.

"I really thought he would just be an attacking midfielder when I saw him at Charlton, that's what he did, but he's matured to realise responsibility for the team, so now he plays as an holding midfielder sometimes, but he's fantastic and he's well worth his place in the England squad."

To read more from Barnes, supporters should grab a copy of Sunday's matchday programme, which will be on sale in and around the Boleyn Ground priced £3.50.

Alongside an interview with the 79-times capped wideman, there are also exclusive and insightful features including Wayne Bridge, Gary O'Neil, Lars Jacobsen and Thomas Hitzlsperger.