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Monday, May 12, 2008

Another award for title winner Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has won the LMA Manager of the Year award after leading Manchester United to a 10th Premier League title in the last 16 years and next week's Champions League final.

The Scot's award was announced at the LMA annual awards dinner in Nottingham this evening.

The award is voted for by the entire LMA membership and takes into consideration the performance of all managers during the season, based upon all the resources available to them.

It completes a double for Ferguson, who also won the Premier League award.

All the awards were presented by England head coach and LMA president Fabio Capello.

Ferguson has won the main award once before, in 1999, when he took United to a Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble.

He succeeds Reading boss Steve Coppell, who won the award in both of the previous two seasons.

Ferguson said: 'It is a tremendous honour that my fellow managers and LMA members should deem me worthy of this award. I am very proud to receive it.'

The winner of the Championship manager of the year award was West Brom boss Tony Mowbray after steering Albion to the title and promotion.

Swansea manager Roberto Martinez won the League One award, and Graham Turner lifted the League Two award after taking Hereford to automatic promotion in their first season back in the Football League.

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said: 'The awards recognise the achievements of the managers across the four top leagues in England.

'Recognition by your peers is an incredible privilege and this year's winners should be proud of their achievements.

'The LMA would like to congratulate all the managers for playing such an integral role in another fantastic season.'

Manchester United Champions Celebration Video Clip


Champions Manchester United


Edwin savours JJB drama

Sunday's title triumph at the JJB Stadium eclipses last season's Premier League success, according to goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

United clinched the 2006/07 title when Chelsea failed to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, while the Reds' players watched events unfold on television rather than out on the pitch.

"It is so much better to actually win it on the day," said the Dutchman. "This feels so much better than last year.

"I was grateful to win it last year and I was very happy but this has felt so much better. It might mean having to go through a few anxieties but it was all worth it."

A clean sheet at the JJB Stadium laid the foundations for United's 2-0 win, setting a club record for the lowest number of goals conceded in a league season. While delighted to concede just 22 times, van der Sar was adamant that it would have meant nothing at all if United hadn't seen out the season with victory over Wigan.

"Defensive records are not a major thing unless you win something at the end of it all," he said. "When I was at Juventus we had the best defensive record in Serie A in the two years I was in Turin, but we didn't win the league either campaign so it didn't mean a thing.

"If we had lost the title on the last day to Chelsea then our great record wouldn't have added up to much either. It would have gone down in the record books but I couldn't have celebrated it.

"It's all very nice when they bring you silverware, so it is special now. This defence have worked very well together this season. We have a lot of quality in the department.

"As a defence we have done well but that is because we have had others in the team working hard to help us. Likewise, the forwards score because the defence gives them a sound base. It is a team thing and it is a great team."

Carrick: This title was tougher

Michael Carrick says that his second Premier League title was more difficult to win than the first – but he has already set his sights on a hat-trick of league championships.

Two titles in two years with the Reds, it’s been a success-filled start to the midfielder’s Old Trafford career. And now he’s got the trophy bug.

“Being champions last year, we wanted to prove that it wasn’t a one-off,” he told MUTV.

“This season wasn’t as straightforward as last season. We didn’t start too well and being behind Arsenal like we were, people were saying it was over. But to come out on top like we have done is very satisfying, we have really earned it.

“It was great winning it on the day. Last year, even though it was a fantastic feeling that we were champions, I was sat in the front room in my house when we won it.

"It’s not quite the same as winning your game to win the title. It was a terrific feeling, and once you get it you want more of it. We’re driving on for the third in row already.”

Such was Carrick’s focus on the job in hand at the JJB Stadium that he completely forgot about Chelsea’s game against Bolton Wanderers.

“I didn’t know until well after the final whistle what had happened at Stamford Bridge,” he admitted. “It was a good ten minutes after the final whistle when Mick Phelan [first-team coach] told me it was 1-1. Up until then I had forgotten all about it, I was so focused on the job we had to do.

“We knew that if we won the Chelsea result didn’t matter. That’s all I was interested in, but I think it’s better that we won it on points rather than goal difference. It shows we’re true champions.”

This title may have been more difficult to win, but Carrick says it wouldn’t have been possible had the squad not been strengthened in the summer. There is no doubt that the additions of Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Nani significantly boosted United’s stock.

“Determination and discipline within the squad was important,” he adds. “I think the lads that have come in have really strengthened the squad as whole.

"Everyone has played their part. If it wasn’t for the numbers and quality that we have, we might not be league champions right now.”

Champions Set Their Sights On Moscow

Sir Alex Ferguson won his 10th Premier League title yesterday and challenged his players to prove themselves his best Manchester Unitedside ever by winning the Champions League as well. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a first half penalty but, fittingly, it was Ryan Giggs, equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's appearance record of 758 games, who sealed the 2-0 win at Wigan that secured the title by two points as Chelsea drew 1-1 at home to Bolton. United and Chelsea will meet again in Moscow in the Champions League Final on Wednesday week and Ferguson said:

"If we win the Champions League you will have to say this is the best team. I think it would have to be judged that way because they are so young. This squad is definitely the best. We are bouncing into the Champions League Final now. If we had lost the title today it would have been difficult to go into that game. When we lost the title at West Ham in 1995 we went into the FA Cup Final and we were dead. We were flat and we lost to Everton. But we are not dead this time - we are alive."
Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail