Tottenham v Basel: Scott Parker keen to pick up a medal he can call his own

Spurs' midfielder has waited six years for the chance to feel more than a bit-part winner

Scott Parker is desperate to win the Europa League with Tottenham Hotspur, so that he has a medal which he can call his own. This evening, Parker's Spurs will face FC Basel in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. After a long season they are just four games away from a European final in Amsterdam in May.

Parker, understandably, would be desperate to be there. He has tasted success before, but only as a peripheral part of the Chelsea squad which won the League Cup and the Premier League in 2005. Parker was awarded two medals that season, but does not feel particularly attached to either of them, and does not know where they are.

"In the Carling Cup, I played in a few games before that and then I got to the final and I got injured," Parker explained, yesterday. "That was the one where I just thought I contributed quite a bit. But still didn't really feel at the bottom of my heart – and it was the same in the league – I didn't really feel I had any sort of contribution to it. I got a League medal as well but I don't know if it was official because obviously you have to play a certain number of games."

Parker, who made just four league appearances that season, does not even know where it is. "There were four of us who didn't play enough games but I think the club got replica medals made. I wouldn't know where it is now, though. I wouldn't have a clue. It says a lot I suppose, doesn't it?"

So Parker is desperate to win something which he can be proud of and if Spurs are Europa League champions this year he would certainly have been a big part of that. Then he might feel more confident about putting a medal on display. "It would have to go on the fireplace, wouldn't it?" Parker joked. "That would go somewhere a little bit more special. I'm not like that, but I'm sure I would treasure that a little bit more than my league one."

And Parker, now 32 years old, must be aware that he does not have infinite time left at the top level. "It's something that I'd love to do and at the end of my career, to look back and say 'This is what I did and this is the time we had'."

Parker's focus to win this trophy is matched by his manager, who has always been a frank supporter of the Europa League. "He told us from the outset that we were going to try and win it, that we were going to go strong and it was a part of our season that we needed to look at," Parker said.

"It's a big competition, there's big teams in it as well. If you've come away at the end of the season and you've won this competition you've done bloody well. You deserve a lot of credit, as a squad and as a team to achieve that. Because it's difficult, playing Thursdays and Sundays, there's big teams coming into it when the Champions League boys get knocked out. It's a very tough competition."

A real winning mentality would help Spurs but Parker feels the emergence of one after recent results. "Winning becomes a habit," he explained. "When I was at Chelsea we used to ground out results when we weren't playing well. There's a know-how. On Saturday [at Swansea] that was the case. I don't think we deserved to win the game but we did."

Tottenham v Basel

KO 8.05pm, White Hart Lane

TV ITV

Ref M Mazic (Serb)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
News
Lavigne performing in Seoul at the beginning of last year
people
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?