Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Parlour Gunning for Glory as Boro Aim to Build on Success

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Parlour Gunning for Glory as Boro Aim to Build on Success

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Ray Parlour has proved himself as one of the Premiership's midfield elite, but can he make a difference to Middlesbrough? Chief Sports Writer Simon Rushworth reports. WHEN Steve McClaren made Ray Parlour the fourth of his quartet of international signings this summer the penny finally dropped that Middlesbrough really do mean business. Michael Reiziger, Mark Viduka and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink may be celebrated professionals in their own right, but to lure a member of Arsene Wenger's title-winning team to Teesside was possibly the club's greatest coup to date.

Boro, of course, have been synonymous with big-name signings throughout chairman Steve Gibson's colourful reign, and there are those who will argue that Parlour's capture is unlikely to set pulses racing at a club used to welcoming flair players of the calibre of Fabrizio Ravanelli, Juninho or Gaizka Mendieta.

Perhaps not. However, Parlour, with his untouchable pedigree, adds a certain kudos to McClaren's quiet revolution which previous players have been unable to provide. Few clubs in Europe, let alone in the Premiership, could have persuaded the 10-times capped England international to leave the Gunners behind and, until this summer, Middlesbrough would not have been among them.

Yet the prospect of an historic first season in the Uefa Cup and McClaren's increasing standing within the English game clearly attracted a player who has won three titles, four FA Cups, one League Cup, one European Cup Winners' Cup and three Charity Shields during a dazzling career. Never before have Boro signed such a successful product of the domestic game.

But Parlour's arrival is proof that one of the Premiership's fastest-improving sides have suddenly ascended to a new level of competitiveness and ambition.

"There are some great players here and it won't take us any time at all to get together and make the situation work," explained the 31-year-old expected to see out his career at the Riverside Stadium. …

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