Friday 20 September 2019

John Giles: Robbie Savage should do some basic research before he opens his mouth

John Giles

IT would be a sad day indeed if Irish football ever felt it had anything to learn from Robbie Savage.

I’ve always wondered how he managed to become a pundit because I find it very hard to take anything he says seriously.

His job is to offer football analysis but he would be wise to speak about matters he understands when he opens his mouth and at the very least, do some basic research.

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s disappointment at the Aviva, he offered his views on Ireland’s World Cup troubles after defeat by Serbia and focused specifically on Wes Hoolahan’s usefulness.

Clearly, Savage has not been watching Ireland much in the last few years if he doesn’t understand the value Hoolahan brings to this Ireland team when he plays.

Savage argues that Seamus Coleman is the only player who would make it into the Wales set-up at the moment and that the gap between the two teams is illustrated by the fact that Ireland have Hoolahan and Wales have Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ben Woodburn.

Age is irrelevant, impact is everything and if Savage even skimmed through the story of Ireland under Martin O’Neill, he would see that the manager doesn’t trust Hoolahan and unfortunately, chooses not to rely on the player who has been the most influential during his time as manager.

Savage should also know that Hoolahan is the best we have and that comparisons with other teams mean nothing until they actually play each other.

As of this moment, our form line between the two teams was set in March with a 0-0 draw in the Aviva.

Ireland were poor in that game, Wales were worse and just to fill Savage in with some important details, Hoolahan didn’t play and Bale hardly got a kick of the ball.

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