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Scapegoat Gary Cahill showing his importance to Chelsea

Sunday 19th March 2017
Once again the big old fashioned centre-half has stepped up to the mark at Chelsea and continues to prove his doubters wrong. For years now Cahill has been criticised for not being good enough, poor positioning and silly errors.

But for that exact same time he has always come out stronger and more recently he has become an automatic starter for Antonio Conte's league-leading Chelsea side, a side that he is also the captain for and will lift silverware for at the end of this season no doubt.

So why has he always been the scapegoat? Well, as mentioned above, Cahill has been criticised by supporters and many 'top' pundits due to mainly his positioning and lack of overall quality. This is because of his style, he is an old fashioned style defender, which means he will usually prefer to do the basics, which of course is not fashionable for the modern day defender, they want ball players.

So Cahill has struggled to learn that side of the game and for most parts of his career, whilst trying to improve this its caused him to make mistakes on the ball and lose it in dangerous areas whilst trying to pass out, or lose concentration and make judgemental errors especially positioning.

But since Conte arrived at Chelsea, Cahill has performed the best he ever has done in that left hand role of the three at the back. He's adapted his own game in order to become excellent in that role, he's learnt the discipline and positioning side of it perfectly and now towers a hugely important figure in that Chelsea side.
Proving once again his football resemblance to John Terry, Cahill popped up in the 87th minute to bag a hugely important victory for his side away at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon and quite possibly scoring one of his most important goals for the club; a real title winning goal. The type of thing we had grown used to seeing Terry and another old guard Branislav Ivanovic doing year after year for the Blues. And with both the latter disappearing from the side, Cahill is really stepping up as the captain, the leader and the true club man that he is.

It still has me in disbelief that his ability gets questioned, his statistics and performances now speak for themselves and he no longer has anything to prove in my opinion. He is highly likely to captain his country later this month in a friendly versus Germany and he is also likely to lift the Premier League title with Chelsea later this year.

A man with well over 300 Premier League appearances, 153 of which with Chelsea and a further 52 England Senior caps to his name, at only 31-years of age, this is an impressive career and nobody can argue that.

He is one of the first players on any team sheet he is in the squad for and with no signs of slowing up, the man is actually peaking in his career under Conte and seems to only be getting better by the game. Although he'll never be that kind of ball playing defender the new age fans adores, I only adore his ball winning skills, his desire, his tackling ability, the way he throws his body on the line to make a block and the ability he has to come up with such an important goal. I personally feel he is one of the best at what he does.

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips
Football Writer for the last 7 years, specialising in the English Premier League and covering a wide range of topics.

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