It’s one of the great long-lasting jokes in English football – everyone hates, Robbie Savage. Whether it’s a personal vendetta or you just like to follow the crowd, it’s become pretty clear that the bloke is one of the most despised sporting figures in the nation. However, his antics aren’t as silly or ridiculous as you may have been led to believe.
Everyone carves a legacy for themselves in this game. Whether it’s being a truly phenomenal player off the pitch or a great tactician off it, the legends of football tend to have a fairly illustrious story.
Unfortunately not everyone can possess that oh so prestigious title, and a lot of figures tend to turn to controversy in order to make a name for themselves. Nobody is saying what the right or wrong way to go about your business is, but let’s face it, the people who fall into this category tend to be a tad prickish.
But maybe, just maybe, it’s all an act. Robbie Savage has been labelled by many as one of the dirtiest players in the history of the Premier League based on the sheer volume of yellow cards he has received. That in itself sticks out as a warning sign.
Was Savage reckless? Yes. Did he have an agenda and a growing reputation to protect? It appears so. The midfielder, who once played alongside legends in the Manchester United youth team – not that he fails to mention that – quickly became one of the most notorious figures in English football upon signing for Leicester City back in 1997.
It wasn’t his skill or his talent that grabbed the headlines, people just found the guy annoying. Savage is the ultimate villain because he knows how to play people. In the League Cup final against Tottenham he made a poor challenge on Justin Edinburgh, who retaliated by swinging out at Savage.
He barely bloody touched him but of course, Robbie being Robbie, the showman went down like a sack of potatoes. Acts like these persisted throughout the now-42-year-old’s entire career and whilst he never excelled at the highest level, crowds and pundits were always talking about him.
That’s the key. Robbie knew how to get himself into the media and worked that angle to a tee, recognising from an early stage that a playing career wouldn’t last forever. The bloke played for seven clubs over the course of 18 years and the reason he was able to do that is because of how he utilised his strengths.
Yes, it’s considered wrong or un-professional to behave in the manner Savage did at times, but look at where the guy is now. Having finally trimmed that god awful boyband haircut (you can bet he kept it on purpose), Savage is now a regular pundit for the likes of the BBC where his views and opinions are often talked about in great detail throughout social media.
About 10-20% of all footballers go on to have a meaningful or successful career path post-playing, and it needs to be said – Robbie Savage is one of them. So the next time you throw your remote, wife or table at the TV screen, just remember that the former Birmingham man knows exactly what he’s doing.
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