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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 15 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 23, 2011

Fergie: Parker deserved FWA gong

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed the decision of the Football Writers Association to make West Ham captain Scott Parker their player of the year for the 2010-11 season.

• Blog: Hats off to Scott Parker
• Redknapp: Parker could leave
• Fergie: Chelsea better than Arsenal

Parker overcame Gareth Bale to be crowned winner of a prize that has been running since 1948. He is only the second Hammers recipient, following in the footsteps of legendary England skipper Bobby Moore, and comes in a season when his club could well be relegated.

Ferguson has been dubious about the merits of such prizes ever since David Ginola won in Manchester United's 1999 treble-winning year, a decision he still feels was "an insult'' to the Old Trafford outfit at the time.

Centre-back Nemanja Vidic, winger Nani and striker Javier Hernandez have all enjoyed impressive campaigns for United, who remain in contention for a Premier League and Champions League double, and Ferguson could be forgiven for expressing similar sentiments now as he did 12 years ago.

Instead, the 69-year-old claims Parker deserves the honour and believes it makes a refreshing change, with Parker the first winner from outside the established 'big clubs' since Alan Shearer, then of Blackburn, won it in 1994.

"It is a good step forward to give it to a really good professional,'' said Ferguson. "Scott Parker has certainly done a good job at West Ham. There is no doubt about that.

"He is probably the player who has driven them on and motivated them to still have a chance of staying up, even though they have a mountain to climb now.

"I remember when we won the treble, David Ginola got it. I have nothing against him at all but it was an insult to Manchester United that it was felt not one United player had a better season than he did.

"It is nice to recognise someone outside the clubs who always get publicity like United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.''

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