The Defensive Rock Of Chelsea – Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill is the 29-year-old English defender who currently plays for Premier League giants Chelsea.
Although he needs no introduction to Chelsea fans the world over, but let’s just say, he hasn’t been like famous as a certain Captain, Leader and Legend. Cahill has been a very important player for the blues ever since he joined the club and has played more than 120 games in Chelsea colors.
Before joining Chelsea, he had quite good spells at mid-table sides like Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League. His major development as a top class footballer happened with Chelsea in his mid twenties.
Not much was expected form Cahill when he came to Stamford Bridge in the January of 2012. A cheap buy according to Chelsea standards, Cahill was from a team that was battling it’s way through the relegation zone. He was under the radar of Chelsea’s bitter rivals Arsenal and Liverpool yet decided to join Chelsea.
Unlike the other Chelsea defensive signings like David Luiz who was purchased 12 months prior to Cahill for £24 million Gary proved to be a bargain at £7 million and proved to be a more fruitful signing than anyone had ever expected. There you have it, the perfect recipe for a player who shall always be underrated, out of the spot-light, until he makes a studs-up challenge and still finishes the game without a red card. His reputation does precede Gary Cahill.
In the past few years, especially under the guidance of Mourinho, Gary Cahill has become a regular starter for the blues and is on the verge of gaining a legendary status at the club and with England as well, as he was recently named as the vice-captain of England and is among the top most contenders to become Chelsea’s next captain after John Terry’s retirement that should be due in a couple of seasons.
Along with Terry, after Ricardo Carvalho’s departure no defender at Stamford Bridge has been as reputed for consistency as Gary Cahill. Cahill has a brilliant partnership with his partner Terry. Unlike other modern defenders, he never fails to fulfill the expectations of his manager and does exactly what he is told to, which is clearly reflected by his defensive and disciplinary record.
Gary ended 2013-2014 season with only 2 yellows and 0 red cards. Cahill has made only 4 defensive errors in last 46 Premier League games and his average defensive contributions per game are 9, which is more than Vincent Kompany’s total of 7 and Medhi Benatia’s 4.
Many are under the impression that it is John Terry who makes Cahill look like a world class defender but that most certainly is not the case. This is proved when one watches him play for England. Despite the absence of his familiar partner John Terry in the middle of the defense, Cahill never fails to deliver a top notch performance and barely puts a foot wrong. As a matter of fact, he compensates the sloppiness created by other quality, English defenders. This was clearly demonstrated in England’s latest fixture versus Scotland. In that game what Cahill did for Smalling is what apparently Terry does for him.
Cahill’s story is a classic case of against all odds. He was an Aston Villa youth academy prodigy but was not a first choice for Martin O’Neill. He spent 4 years at Villa Park but made only 28 appearances for the senior team and was loaned to Burnley and Sheffield United in between those years. After spending some frustrating years with Aston Villa he moved to Bolton where he made more than 100 appearances. During his time there, he showed some spark for becoming a world class defender and attracted Chelsea.
At Chelsea he has become stronger and stronger by the day, he is becoming a player on whom his team-mates, staff and fans can rely on. Now that he is a routine starter for both Chelsea and England; there is nothing to stop him as he is on the way towards the Hall Of Fame. He has all the qualities to become a legendary footballer provided he maintains this beautiful run. There is certainly every indication that he will.
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Edited By: Ojas Tripathi