Silly Savage insult is typical of Terry

Weird Wide World of Sport

Dave Devereux

Published 10/11/2015 | 00:00

John Terry's claim that Robbie Savage didn't have the right to criticise him was an insult to all football fans
John Terry's claim that Robbie Savage didn't have the right to criticise him was an insult to all football fans

I've never been a fan of the distasteful gift that keeps on giving, John Terry, but you can't question his ability to come up with the goods for tabloid hacks and his latest faux pas of criticising Robbie Savage was not only wrong but plain stupid.

In case you've been living on another planet, which Terry himself seems to inhabit, the Chelsea centre-half questioned Savage's right to express opinions on football after playing at 'a really bad level' during his career.

Robbie Savage may possess a more than questionable taste in fashion but has played the game at a decent enough level to have his views respected, and the way he hit back at Terry's childish rant in a well-thought out, calm and intelligent manner in his newspaper column has to be applauded.

His punditry may sometimes fall into the British default setting, spouting things like the boys need to put themselves about and get stuck in and the like, but his opinion is as valid as the next man, and pundits, similar to his distinctive styling, are often just a matter of taste. It's not as if plying your trade in England's top flight and being capped for your country 39 times is something to be sneezed at either, it's a career most of us could only dream of.

Elitism is an ugly trait in any walk of life but coming from a divisive character like Terry it's even more difficult to stomach.

If I heard my young lads bragging 'I'm better than you' in the playground I'd give them a telling off for it, so coming from a fully grown adult it's obviously multitudes worse and reeks of the desperation of a player who is clearly struggling for form trying to deflect attention from a defence more leaky than a bruised and battered watering can.

Terry claimed he would willingly take flak from winners like Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand or Jamie Carragher but not from the lowly Robbie Savage.

What a load of ridiculous, poorly thought-out horse shite - wouldn't we all love to pick and choose who we deem worthy enough to dish out criticism in our direction?

If Terry is to be believed, most people involved in the game don't have the right to voice an opinion. If you need to possess a barrel-load of shiny medals to have earned the right to critique, pretty much every journalist and all but the small minority of elite players involved in the game are doomed to stony silence.

Robbie Savage will readily admit that he's far from the best player to ever put on a pair of boots, but he was a decent professional who captained four clubs in the top flight, and was a damned sight closer to Terry's highfalutin standard than me, you or 99.9 per cent of schoolboys that dream of carving out a career in the beautiful game.

I wouldn't always agree with Savage's views but Terry questioning his right to analyse is an insult to every player below the very highest level, every manager, and coach, and most importantly of all, every fan.

Without supporters there would be no football and when they're forking out their hard-earned cash after spending the week in an office, factory or building site, they have every right to call the players to task, within reason of course.

One of the biggest ironies, as Savage pointed out, is that Terry's own manager at Chelsea, the much-heralded Jose Mourinho, never played the game at a high level and current England manager Roy Hodgson didn't play league football after being released by Crystal Palace as an 18-year-old.

The top flight in England and leagues worldwide have always been, and will always be, full of managers that haven't won anything at a mediocre level as players, never mind the biggest prizes in the game - but according to the Chelsea defender their opinions aren't worth hearing.

Someone like Terry, whose star seems to be fading fast, should remember where they came from and who put them there in the first place, rather than having an unwarranted pop at Savage and in turn biting the hand that feeds him.

Terry was unquestionably one of the finest defenders at his peak, but as a person he could never come close to attaining those lofty heights; Savage, despite never reaching the very top of the game, is head and shoulders above him in this regard.

Wexford People

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