Phil Parkes: ‘Captain Bonds was a great leader who was an example to everyone’

I think it’s brilliant that the East Stand at London Stadium is going to be named after Bonzo. I heard about it when doing a piece with Ken Dyer for the matchday programme for the Liverpool game and Ken, a good friend of Bonzo, told me what was going to happen.

I think it was way overdue but at least it’s happened now. I think Bonzo has been the most influential player in our history. Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters get more recognition but that was more for their role in England’s World Cup-winning squad.

Certainly I feel like Bobby belonged to everyone because he was captain of that England side whereas Bonzo was ours. He belongs to the fans of West Ham. For me, and I know I’ve said it before, he epitomises everything we used to stand for: Loyalty and giving 100 per cent week in, week out. He never let anyone down. He was a great leader and example to everyone.

Someone who perhaps isn’t particularly a fan favourite at the moment is Marko Arnautovic. What was all that saga about last month? Did he really want to go or was it just a ploy to get a new contract and more money? Personally I don’t think you should have a brother as your agent. You can pick your friends and pick those you work with but you can’t pick your family, and that might come back to haunt him one day.

It was almost a carbon copy of the Payet situation except Marko didn’t personally speak out about wanting to leave. He’s signed a new contract now but who is to say this doesn’t kick off again over the summer? But let’s see how he does for us between now and the end of the season.

When he gets his head down and plays, he’s a handful and he was, until recently, loved by the fans. This love, however, can quickly turn to hate. The thing I found funny about this whole saga was the line about him wanting the move to win trophies in China.

And one trophy we won’t be winning this season is the FA Cup after our humiliating exit at the hands of AFC Wimbledon. I didn’t watch the game but I saw the highlights, and I’m glad that’s all I saw! I couldn’t believe it when I got told the third goal went in just after half time.

It was typical West Ham. Wimbledon couldn’t beat anyone, bottom of their league and played us after some hammerings. We had a half decent side out there – it wasn’t as if we were playing our reserves or youngsters.

We just didn’t turn up and didn’t fancy it. It was cold and under the lights, which at these sorts of grounds are tough because it makes you see things. As a ‘keeper it’s quite hard to pick up the flight of the ball when you’re used to playing in top flight stadiums.

But there are no excuses for what happened – we should have quite easily dealt with them. Now you look who is left in the Cup and we could easily see our record of being the only side outside the top flight to win the FA Cup be taken.

Yes there are still a few Premier League sides left – like Man City – but it could quite easily be two Championship sides in the final. As for our season, I don’t see why we can’t push on and finish seventh. We’ve got players coming back from injury and then Pellegrini is going to have quite a selection headache.

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