Scott Parker has been voted the Vauxhall England Player of the Year for 2011 by fans on TheFA.com.
The online poll ran over the Christmas period and the Tottenham midfielder collected 17 per cent of all votes cast. Joe Hart was second and Ashley Young was third.
Thirty-two players represented England in their nine games in 2011 and Parker played in seven of them, including a star turn against World Champions Spain in November, a performance which no doubt went some way to earning him the award.
Parker’s name is now etched on the Player of the Year trophy, alongside those of Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargreaves and David Beckham.
“It’s a great honour,” said Parker. “Just looking at the names that are on the trophy it’s quite an achievement. It’s a proud moment for me.
“When you feel the fans are appreciating what you’ve done, it’s extra special. It’s been a good year for me at international level so I’m delighted the fans have picked me.”
Parker won each of his first three caps playing for three different clubs – Charlton, Chelsea and Newcastle – and his fourth cap came against Denmark last year, when the 31-year-old was performing heroics in West Ham’s midfield.
“I don’t think I ever lost hope that I could make it at international level,” he reflected. “I probably crammed in a lot in one year, because it’s only been this year that I have got in the side and probably established myself in the squad. I never lost hope, I realised time was ticking and I’m pleased the year’s gone the way it has.
“The Denmark game was pivotal for me,” he continued. “I came on for 45 minutes and then I got a start[ing place] against Wales in a big game [and that] was massive for me. I played in [midfield] with Jack [Wilshere] and Frank [Lampard] and we got a great result. It ended up being a great game [for me].”
As Parker alluded to above, 2011 was the year he cemented his place in the England squad and he has become one of his country’s key men. He has brought his impressive club form into the international arena, helping England qualify for Euro 2012 and he has earned a host of plaudits in the process.
Arguably, Parker’s best England performance of 2011 came against Spain at Wembley, a game which he cites as one of his own personal highlights of the last 12 months.
“It was a great experience,” said Parker. “It was a very tough game which we all knew it would be. They are a very, very good team who put us under a lot of pressure, but ultimately we got a goal and we got the win.
“It was very pleasing, and for me personally; I played quite well and it was quite humbling to leave Wembley to a standing ovation. That was a bit surreal.
“That was probably one of the stand out [games of 2011] and the Wales game [as well]. It was my first start in the qualifying campaign, it was a massive game for me personally and a big game as a team and we got a great result.
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