The Great Pundit War: Is John Terry Right to Criticise Robbie Savage?


You have to admire the BBC. While Sky Sports waste their time hiring insightful Champions League winners such as Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher to lead their punditry teams, our favourite terrestrial television channel employ just about anyone who has ever kicked a ball. While this equal opportunities approach to hiring pundits may please some (chiefly Danny Mills, Jermaine Jenas and Robbie Savage), it has certainly irked the beleaguered Chelsea skipper John Terry.

Is Terry in the Right?

While Terry should have other things on his mind given Chelsea’s woeful form this season, last week he launched a scathing attack on supposedly average pundits (namely Savage) who had never achieved anything as players. So while Terry is apparently happy to take criticism from ‘winners’ such as Neville, Carragher and Rio Ferdinand, he draws the line at those with sharp tongues and decidedly sparse trophy cabinets.

While many may have agreed with Terry’s outburst, this had much to do with his decision to pinpoint the pundit that everyone loves to hate (Robbie Savage). Otherwise his attack seems a little unfair, as pundits are required to share insight on issues at both the top and bottom end of the table, and while former professionals like Neville may know a thing or two about winning titles he cannot touch Savage when it comes to analysing a relegation battle.

Before we sell our souls and side with Terry, we should also consider that players like Savage played nearly 400 EPL games, captained their country and picked up occasional silverware along the way. It therefore seems harsh to marginalise less successful pundits such as Savage, Jenas and Danny Mills (or anyone who works for the BBC, in fact) simply because they were less successful from some of their colleagues.

Success is relative, and Terry should know this. It is also fleeting, although the former England man will probably learn a little more about that in the next six months or so.