Sport-locker.net interview with Robbie Savage

Robbie is photographed with local residents Kemoy Walker (21) and Kyle Motley (21) in Moss Side as part of ‘Transform your Patch’. To vote for Robbie and 5-a-side football pitches to win an additional £100,000 prize fund visit http://www.transformpatch.com before 14th September 2012.

Tell us a bit about the ‘Transform Your Patch’ project and how you got involved?

It started for me when I took my son back to where I used to play football as a kid. What I found was shocking. It was completely wrecked with no fencing and glass everywhere.

So for me it’s about transforming facilities for children so that they have areas to play and be active. I was down at one of these areas in Moss Side and the regeneration will benefit the whole community.

It’s not about changing the world but doing a little bit here and there to make a difference and it is amazing just what a little bit can do.

As an ex professional footballer it’s easy to remain in a bubble and not see what some of the less wealthier areas and the people that live there go through.

With some new tarmac, a bit of fencing and a safer environment can help to bring communities together. And it’s not just about football and kids. In Moss Side they host exercise classes for women which is great. It’s not about producing the next Premier League footballer or world superstar but keeping everybody fit.

Here at Sport-Locker.net we live for football boots so tell us about the boots you used to wear as a player.

Football boots are very important and the most important thing for me was to find a comfortable pair. Towards the end of my career I loved my adidas adiPUREs.

Before that I wore Puma and when I came through at Crewe I was wearing Vandanel.

Can you remember your first pair of football boots?

Yes, I wore what my parents could afford at the time, which were a pair of Panthers I think they were called. They were shocking. My parents couldn’t afford to buy me a pair of adidas so I had those.

The first proper pair of boots I had were Patrick.

What do you make of the modern football boot market and some of the colours and designs we see in the Premier League?

Back when I played everyone wore black boots but now a pair of black boots looks odd. Years ago you had to be a special player to earn the right to wear a pair of white boots now anybody wears anything.

As a trainee player at Manchester United whose boots were you forced to scrub?

I used to clean Sparky’s (Mark Hughes) boots which was great. He was my idol so it was an honour. But it wasn’t just cleaning boots. We had to clear up after training and clean the showers and if the work wasn’t done we didn’t go home.

This is definitely something that should be brought back into the game because young players these days are mollycoddled too much.

At Manchester United we all did it. David Beckham, Nicky Butt and the rest and if it was good enough for United’s greatest generation it’s good enough for players these days too.

Who or what has caught your eye this Premier League season?

I have been shocked by the number of goalkeeping errors. It’s like some of them are chucking it in!

One thing that hasn’t shocked me is the poor start made by Aston Villa. I got pelters for predicting they would get relegated but it is looking like I might be right at the moment.

Of course it is early days and Paul Lambert is a good manager so could turn it around but at the moment they have a lot of young players in the side who might have been promoted a little too early.

Which players have impressed you most this season?

In terms of individual performances I have been really impressed with Shinji Kagawa, Santi Cazorla and Eden Hazard.

The best player for me is Fernando Torres. He is looking very sharp and brimming with confidence which wasn’t the case last season.

With the transfer window on the brink of slamming shut what players would you like to see introduced to the Premier League?

I watched Athletico Madrid on TV and I thought Falcao was fantastic so I would love to see him as well as Hulk who I think would adapt very well to our game.

I think Manchester City need to invest if they are to defend their crown so I expect to see someone like De Rossi arrive.

Robbie Savage has teamed up with Pepsi Max’s ‘Transform you Patch’ campaign. To vote for Robbie and 5-a-side football pitches to win an additional £100,000 prize fund visit www.transformpatch.com before 14th September 2012.

‘Transform Your Patch’ is running for nine months (February to October 2012) and the aim of the campaign is to
regenerate around 165 outdoor spaces across the UK. To contribute is simple – all people have to do is buy any Pepsi Max soft drink with the ‘Transform Your Patch’ logo and they’ll be helping to transform 5-a-side football pitches across the UK.

Each pack sold represents an actual 1cm² patch that will be regenerated to improve outdoor spaces for local communities.

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