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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore