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15th Aug 2016

BT Sport viewers are convinced Robbie Savage and John Hartson genuinely hate each other


Nooruddean Choudry

“Hang on, hang on – I’M TALKING.”

They’re both passionate Welshmen who aren’t backward in coming forward with their opinions, now that they’ve hung up their boots and entered the world of football punditry. But are Robbie Savage and John Hartson too similar? And more to the point, do they positively detest each other?

That seemed to be the consensus for viewers of BT Sport’s answer to Sky’s Soccer Saturday, as the channel launched their new BT Sport Score show over the weekend. There was plenty said about the coverage in general – including the biggest studio in the world – but Hartson and Savage stole the show.

The pair clashed on a number of occasions, alongside their fellow pundits, including Harry’s Redknapp and Kewell, and a lot of it could be put down to down to lively debate and colourful b*nt*r. But many felt there was actual animosity between the two – evidenced by one tiff in particular.

Discussing Everton’s early goal against Spurs, which saw a Ross Barkley freekick drift straight into the net past a throng of players, Hartson was quick to blame an unsighted Hugo Lloris, whilst Savage passionately argued in defence of the French goalkeeper, who he felt was largely blameless.

Both interrupted each other continually, whilst exchanging forthright “I’m talking!” chastisements to the other. There was awkward laughter as the pair disagreed to disagree in the strongest terms possible. Again, it all looked like it was good-natured, but not everyone agreed.

Many felt it was evidence of bad blood between the Welsh wonders, and they even suggested that the pair would very much like to get stuck into each other physically. Hartson’s famous training ground ‘clash’ with Eyal Berkovic was referenced on more than one occasion…

Somehow we doubt either Hartson, Savage or BT Sport will mind the speculative chatter one bit – it won’t do the notoriety of the fledgling show any harm at all.

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