BEIJING, Oct.1 -- Scott Parker's tenacious displays for Newcastle this English Premier League season have won him a recall to the England football squad for the upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against Macedonia and Croatia.
David Beckham celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league match against Real sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Sept. 17. (AFP/File Photo)
Photo Gallery >>>But there was no call-up for former captain David Beckham, despite England's midfield options being reduced by injuries to Aaron Lennon and Owen Hargreaves.
Parker has been drafted into Steve McClaren's squad as a straight swap for Bayern Munich's Hargreaves, who broke a leg earlier this month.
Parker, who has won two caps, has not been involved with the England set-up since being left out of Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for Euro 2004, the Swede having decided that his all-action style was ill-suited to the international game.
Beckham was axed by McClaren after the World Cup but has refused to give up hope of resuming his international career.
Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder said Parker fully deserved his recall. "He is doing what I said he would do, have a better season this year than he did last," Roeder said.
"He made a big impression last year with our supporters and the players in the dressing room and already in a short space of time as the leader of the team, he has created an even bigger and better impression.
"As a manager, if they were all like Scott Parker, it would make the job that much easier."
Wayne Rooney returns to the squad after serving a two-match suspension for being sent off in England's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal. Darren Bent makes way to accommodate him.
Gary Neville is also back in the fold, at the expense of Luke Young, while Michael Dawson drops out to allow his Tottenham team-mate Ledley King to return after his recovery from knee surgery.
England are currently top of their Euro 2008 qualifying group after wins over Andorra and Macedonia earlier this month.
Peter Crouch's goal sealed a hard-fought victory in Macedonia and McClaren will expect a more comfortable match when the two sides meet again at Old Trafford on October 7.
England then travel to Croatia for what is expected to be their toughest assignment in group E. The two teams last met during Euro 2004 with Rooney scoring twice in England's 4-2 victory.