The ex-footballer-turned-pundit has responded to the Chelsea captain ignoring his criticism, saying that the modern game needs the opinions of fans and pundits to survive
Robbie Savage believes Jose Mourinho’s success as a manager proves that John Terrywas wrong to reject the pundit’s criticism, saying football is “doomed” if the Chelseacaptain only accepts the opinions of top-class ex-professionals.
The Chelsea skipper has been criticised for his performances this season, with television pundit Savage tweeting “it could be the beginning of the end for Terry” following his half-time substitution in the defeat to Manchester City earlier this season.
The 34-year-old hit back on November 3 by saying that while he was happy to be questioned by the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, he would not take criticism from people who “played at a really bad level in their career… Robbie Savage being one.”
But former Wales international Savage has responded to Terry’s evaluation of his career by suggesting that Mourinho’s managerial success – despite having never been a top professional – proves the Stamford Bridge captain is wrong.
“Terry will always be a legend at Chelsea, even if he struggles to command unanimous adulation beyond Stamford Bridge,” Savage wrote in his Mirror column.
“But I was surprised, on the eve of a must-not-lose Champions League tie, with his manager under intense pressure and Chelsea miles off the pace in the title race, that the captain took a little pot-shot in a press conference at a TV pundit who had only said what most of the country was thinking.
“Apparently I am not entitled to venture opinions about Terry because I have not won major trophies like fellow pundits Ferdinand, Carragher or Neville.
“This is not about me – this is about Terry’s remark that he will only accept criticism from ex-players who won trophies and medals with big clubs, like Rio, Carragher and Neville.
“John is entitled to his opinion. It’s just a shame he thinks 99 per cent of the football industry – those of us who have not won the title or Champions League medals – is unqualified to express theirs.
“If criticism is only valid when it comes from old team-mates who played at the very highest level, the game is doomed.
“Terry’s own manager Jose Mourinho never played the game at a high standard. When Mourinho expresses an opinion, the whole world listens.”
Savage – who started his career as a youth player at Manchester United before playing for Leicester, Birmingham and Derby among others – says that journalists and pundits are entitled to an opinion on top-class players, otherwise it could alienate fans from the game.
“Terry has distanced him from the vast majority of people involved in football because he was effectively saying their opinions don’t matter,” he added.
“That includes supporters who ring to complain about a refereeing decision or demand a manager’s sacking, and players like Jamie Vardy who climb the pyramid from non-League to England caps.
“I’m just like John Terry. We are both so lucky to have played football for a living. Each and every one of us is entitled to an opinion, whether the Chelsea captain agrees with us or not.
“If you dismiss 99 percent of the opinions which circulate in football, all that’s left will be a computer game and a console. But it’s not a crime to play football ‘at a really bad level,’ nor to express honest, balanced opinions about the game.”
Savage joked that he may have another career path lined up, adding: “Perhaps when I am finished as a media pundit, John will give me a job polishing all those trophies and medals he’s won!”