United boss hails Carrick

Fergie feels the 27-year-old should warrant more praise for his sensational form of late.

“People have their favourites when you are supporting a club like United,” Ferguson said.

“There are players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, it is easy to declare your allegiance to the ones who are in the limelight all the time.

“It has happened to quite a few in my time, especially the quieter ones.

“Denis Irwin gave me eight, nine out of ten every week but he never had the celebrity status of people like David Beckham or Eric Cantona.

“Michael Carrick may come into that category because football clubs are all the same.”

He continued: “Michael was already good enough for me to sign him because what he always had, from his young days at West Ham, was vision and a good range of passing that could open up defences.

“Since coming to United he has developed physically and improved tremendously in defensive terms.

“He fills positions really well and nips off threats going towards the back four.

“That is an area that maybe people don’t recognise because they just expect him to be playing football and making passes.

“But overall he is an excellent player.”