John Terry vs Robbie Savage: The day Chelsea legend destroyed pundit

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John Terry is unquestionably one of the greatest defenders of the Premier League era.

In the opinion of many fans, the Chelsea legend is *the* best of the bunch, ahead of the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Tony Adams and Vincent Kompany.

An extraordinary leader who inspired those around him, Terry won five Premier League titles during his illustrious career. He also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2004-05.

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Terry spent an incredible 19 seasons with Chelsea before ending his career in 2018 following a year with Aston Villa.

However, the former centre-back struggled slightly towards the end of his playing days. He was never the fastest of defenders, but the pace he once possessed had deserted him during his final years as a professional.

One of Terry’s lowest moments was being substituted by Jose Mourinho at half-time during a Premier League clash between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in August 2015.

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City won the match 3-0 and Mourinho confirmed his decision to withdraw Terry was purely tactical.

What did Robbie Savage say about John Terry?

“I’m convinced it sent a different signal – the beginning of the end for Terry as the indispensable rock at the heart of defence,” pundit Robbie Savage wrote in a column for The Mirror after that match.

“Terry will be 35 in December, and age is finally catching up with him. There is no shame in that.

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“I believe it was a simple message to Terry that his time is nearly up, in the same way another Blues legend, Frank Lampard, was politely shown the door 15 months ago.”

Savage added: “Terry has been a fantastic servant to Chelsea and is a winner.

“But when do you admit that, as a player, you can no longer do what you used to do?”

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What did John Terry say about Robbie Savage?

These damning words stuck with Terry, who roasted Savage in a press conference a few months later.

“I’ve come under criticism, individually, from certain players and individuals, players I’ve looked up to and played alongside,” Terry said.

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“I’ve taken that on the chin: Rio, Carra, Neville, the very best I’ve come up against in the game. I take that on the chin. When others speak, maybe I don’t take it on the chin.

“When players have not had a career, played at a really bad level in their career … Robbie Savage being one. He’s dug me out a couple of times.

“You take it as a footballer, as an individual. I’ll take it from the Rios, Carraghers and Neville. All day long. From others? Nah.”

Wow. An absolutely scathing response.

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How did Robbie Savage respond to John Terry?

Savage defended his right to express an opinion about Terry, adding that he “only said what most of the country was thinking”.

"John's entitled to his opinion,” the former Wales international said in a column for The Mirror.

"It's a shame he thinks 99% of the industry - those of us who have not won the title or Champions League titles - is unqualified to express theirs."

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He added: "Apparently I am not entitled to venture opinions about Terry... because I have not won major trophies like fellow pundits Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher or Gary Neville.

"I only played 346 games in the Premier League, captained four clubs in the top flight and won 39 international caps. So much for playing at a really bad level."

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