Frustrated Savage unable to make first Champions League point
Robbie Savage endured a frustrating 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge as he was unable to make his first point in this year’s Champions League.
Savage had been widely tipped to reach the latter stages this season, but looked off the pace as Chelsea eased past Maccabi Tel Aviv and rarely threatened to create anything but the most rudimentary of thoughts.
The demands of Europe’s premier club competition seemed beyond the ex-midfielder, who was forced to fall back on Route One tactics, making basic yet emphatic statements about Chelsea’s opponents based on knowledge gleaned from a cursory scan of a page of producer-written notes while on the way to the game.
Feeling the game slipping away from him, an increasingly desperate Savage lunged in with a clumsy attempt to pronounce Cesar Azpilicueta’s name, making very little contact with any of the required letters, and repeated more than 50 times in a row that Cesc Fabregas should move further upfield. His lamentation became so frequent that BT Sport was forced to display a caption apologising for the sound quality.
“At half-time Robbie looked like he needed to come off,” a source at BT Sport told FFT. “We were concerned that if he butchered Eden Hazard’s relatively simple name one more time we’d have to step in.
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“But we didn’t have anyone on the bench. We considered replacing him with a member of the general public or a vacuum cleaner, but we decided to see if he could get a foothold on the game.”
However, it soon became apparent that Savage had burned out when he spent the first 15 minutes of the second half naming Chelsea players and simply stating whether he likes them or not.
By the 80th minute, a clearly strained Savage resorted to attempting to run down the clock with a lengthy anecdote about his time on Strictly Come Dancing, which petered out when he was unable to remember the names of any of the dancers involved.
A pointless evening for Savage leaves serious concerns about his Champions League campaign, but he will still feel he can get the better of Martin Keown who laboured to defeat in Zagreb.