By Alex Stevens
Rio Ferdinand has described John Terry as “petty” for using a press conference to express his anger at pundit Robbie Savage.
The former Manchester United defender says he used to confront his critics in person when he played amid concerns it would backfire if he went public with his frustrations.
By contrast, Terry said in midweek he welcomed criticism from “the very best” but had no interest in the view of the likes of Savage, who the Chelsea skipper said had “played at a really bad level”.
Asked about the conduct of his former international colleague, Ferdinand told BT Sport that he understood where Terry was coming from.
“I’ve been where John is now, where people are starting to doubt you a little bit and that your powers are not as strong as they were,” explained Ferdinand.
“You do have to start looking inside. My reaction was to try and win games and trophies to stop people talking like that. I’ve done it in my last year at Manchester United, I wasn’t able to do it at QPR.
“Coming out and talking would put me on the back foot a little bit. I thought it would look petty for me to come out and pick people out.
“I used to think, ‘as long as I can win a trophy and play well for a consistent amount of time I can shut people up’. Sometimes there were reporters who spoke about me and I would go and nail them personally.
“I’d go and see them in the mixed zone and say, ‘listen I don’t mind you writing about me but don’t make it personal’. That’s the line within the sand. If you make it personal, I’m well within my rights to go up to you and dig you out.”
Terry namechecked former England colleagues Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville as people worth listening to but was less enamoured with criticism from but Savage.
“I’ve come under criticism individually from certain players, individuals I’ve looked up to and played alongside,” Terry said on Tuesday.
“I’ll take that on the chin 100 per cent from the likes of Rio, Carra and Neville, we’re talking about the very best I’ve come across in the game.
“I’ll sit there, listen, take it all in and try to improve. I don’t take that in a negative way.
“When certain other people speak, maybe not, maybe I don’t listen or take it on the chin from players who haven’t had a career or have played at a really bad level and then come for me after what I’ve achieved in my career, Robbie Savage being one.
“He’s done it a couple of times. I’ll take it all day long from the very best but other people, nah.”