‘I am happy at Tottenham'

“I have always sought to improve my all-round game, but what serves every player well is experience and I have a lot of top-flight football under my belt now,” says Scott Parker in this exclusive interview with Ayon Sengupta.

Scott Parker deserves all the high praise showered on him. Parker, last year's FWA (Football Writers' Association) Player of the Year, has definitely added stealth and vigour to the Tottenham Hotspur side since his bargain GBP5.5 million move from relegated West Ham United at the start of the season. More than halfway through the season, the London club sits third in the table, just four points behind the two Manchester clubs and ahead of more pedigreed outfits like Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Parker, 31, at last seems to have found a club which justifies and appreciates his talent. His midfield partnership with Croatian Luka Modric has been the key to Spurs' amazing run so far and an EPL triumph doesn't look unlikely. His club form has earned him an automatic position in Fabio Cappello's Euro 2012 squad. The English midfielder, in an exclusive chat with Sportstar, talks about his club and national commitments.

How would you rate your season so far?

Answer: It has been very positive. I didn't arrive until the end of August and it couldn't have gone much better — as we have only suffered two defeats in 20 Premier League games, 16 of them being wins. The team have played some excellent football and it is a great group of players to be a part of.

What are the goals that you have set for yourself for 2012?

Our aim is to qualify for the Champions League next season and anything on top of that is a bonus. We will just take each game as it comes, try to win as many as we can and see where that takes us. This is a tough league and you cannot take anything for granted. The teams at the bottom can beat those at top so there will probably be a few more twists and turns before anything is settled.

What do you think has been the secret of Tottenham's great run in this season's EPL?

We have got a great squad full of top players, with cover in all positions. Having good players is the key to success and this team has developed over a fair period of time, with many of the lads having been here a number of years. This sort of continuity can only help and it certainly makes it easier for the newer players like me to come into such a settled, talented side.

What have been the roles of manager Harry Redknapp and other officials of the club in the team's success?

As I mentioned before, the team has been developed over a number of seasons with young players having made great progress over the years to become top players. It is a great credit to the manager and the board that they had the vision to buy and develop good young players and we are seeing the benefit now.

What do you think makes the EPL the most watched League in the world?

It is a very competitive and exciting league and, although it sounds like a cliche because it is said so often, there are no easy games at all. Each week and each game presents a big challenge, with different teams adopting different styles. It is fairly unique in that respect as you don't get the variety of styles in many other leagues.

With the Euro in Poland and Ukraine this year, it's a big year for England. How do you rate the national team's chances there?

I obviously think England have a big chance of doing well as you need to be confident in your approach to competitions and believe you can do well.

Who do you think are the favourites for the title in 2012?

There are a number of sides who could do well, but I guess you could say Spain will be favourites because they are the holders and current world champions.

How does it feel to be an integral part of the English side after waiting in the sidelines for so long?

I had to wait for my chance and I am simply trying to make the most of the opportunity. I desperately wanted to play for my country and I am grateful to have been given the chance.

You had been part of the England national side in every age group. How difficult is the final transition to the senior national squad?

All you can do is play to the best of your ability and hope that you get selected for the squad. It is out of your hands really, but once you are selected you have to make the most of the opportunity because there are so many other players vying for a place.

You are being considered as one of the best English midfielders now. How does it feel to be so highly recognised, what additional pressure does this bring to you?

It is a compliment if that is the way I am being viewed, but I do not concern myself with what is being said or written. My concern is purely over performing on the pitch and playing to my maximum.

You have matured over the years as a player. What are the areas you worked on and improved to be a complete player that you are today?

Nothing in particular, I have always sought to improve my all-round game, but what serves every player well is experience and I have a lot of top-flight football under my belt now.

You are one of the few top players who have moved a lot. What do you think has been the reason behind that and was it difficult?

Moving clubs is often about circumstances. You don't sign for a side thinking you might be moving on soon, but many factors come into play and sometimes it can be the opinion of others rather than the player that determines whether a player stays at a club or not.

The most important thing for me now is that I am happy at Tottenham, playing for an ambitious club that wants to be challenging for honours.

* * * Parker's pick

Footballing idol and role model: Paul Gascoigne

Favourite ground: Wembley Favourite cuisine: Sushi Favourite car: Range Rover Favourite movie: The Bodyguard Favourite music: Soul