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Rams skipper Savage causing a stir on Twitter


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SKIPPER Robbie Savage's ever-present record in league matches for Derby County this season came to an end last weekend when he was rested for the goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

The 35-year-old midfielder came off the bench for the final 10 minutes or so to add his experience as Wednesday turned the screw in a bid to find a late winner.

His cameo role helped the Rams collect another valuable point in their bid to steer clear of the bottom three and I expected the conversation to centre around that as I walked into the Derby Telegraph office on Monday morning.

But all the conversation centred around Savage.

Had I missed something in Saturday's game? He was a substitute, wasn't he?

All soon became clear.

Savage has branched out to Twitter.

Now, Facebook and Twitter remain a mystery in my world and so forgive me if some of the terminology is wrong.

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers, who are known as followers.

Impressed? Sounds like I actually know what I am talking about, doesn't it? But I confess, I copied the description off the internet.

Anyway, Savage is on Twitter and his tweets are proving a massive hit with his followers.

He started with only 10 followers a week ago and within days he was being followed by more than 1,000.

People are calling it the best tweet on Twitter.

As well as a key player for the Rams – and that very much comes first for him – he also has a burgeoning media career. He sees that as his future after he hangs up his boots.

He can be seen on TV, heard on the radio and read in a weekly column in a national newspaper.

Savage is a regular pundit on the Football League Show, Late Kick-off and Match of the Day 2.

He is also set to go to the World Cup finals this summer as a Radio 5 Live analyst and his autobiography is due out this year.

So why Twitter as well?

"I want to give the fans a different insight into life as a professional footballer," he said.

He did that on Tuesday.

Derby earned another crucial point in a 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers and Savage returned to the side to play a significant role in man-marking Rangers' dangerman, Adel Taarabt.

Savage tweeted: "Great point tonight. I'll let Taarabt out of my pocket later!

"Big game Saturday now (Leicester City at home), come on you Rams."

The Rams travelled to the match by train to avoid a long coach journey and overnight stay.

Savage posted a picture from the train and one from his hotel room on the afternoon before the game.

He rooms with Stephen Bywater, and Savage explained to his followers on Twitter the room rules when it comes to the television.

"My roomie (Bywater) is angry because I have the remote control.

"First one in the room gets the remote all afternoon and can decide what's on TV," he informed his followers.

After a quick nap, he posted: "Now it's down for a pre-match meal. Important to eat three hours before kick off."

Savage now has almost 3,000 followers on Twitter.

His standing on Twitter has rocketed like his blossoming media career.

But don't be fooled by his smiles and jokes, by his appearances on TV and radio, he still takes his football very, very seriously. He has done throughout his long career.

"Robbie Savage is the overall package. I like doing the TV, doing the radio, being in the headlines," he said.

"But it doesn't affect my football. I wouldn't let it."

The club has no problem with Savage being on Twitter.

"Robbie is doing nothing that contravenes club rules. We cannot tell him not to do what millions of others around the country are doing," said a club spokesman.

"Robbie is responsible enough to use Twitter correctly and, typically, he is using it to have a bit of fun."

Social networking, which is what Twitter is as well as Facebook, is included in the players' rule book and it is permitted but there are guidelines for what they can and cannot say in relation to their job.


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