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And Now We Know Why Gary Cahill Was On The Bench

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05:  Gary Cahill of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Gary Cahill of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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One of the more interesting elements of the fallout from Chelsea's hammering at Goodison Park was the flack that Andre Villas-Boas got for fielding a centre back pairing of David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic rather than the David Luiz and Gary Cahill partnership that looked impressive against Manchester United (despite shipping three goals). Mostly, this was a protest against Jose Bosingwa starting at right back, which is fair enough considering how awful he was against Everton.

The media* decided to tap into the welspring of hatred and create a fun story of it. Cahill was said to be stunned by his treatment since his arrival at Chelsea. He had been unfairly exiled to the bench despite the absence of John Terry. Andre Villas-Boas was favouring Portuguese players because he's an evil foreigner, and we all know they're not to be trusted, ever. Cahill was not said to be ill.

*I'm finding myself increasingly referring to the football media as though they're one single horrible entity, like the Empire or the Nazis. This is probably unfair. I don't really care.

Except, apparently, Gary Cahill was sick. He was sick all week, in fact:

He was ill - Gary was ill all of last week. That's why we didn't decide to put him onto Everton. He only trained once: that's why he didn't have that continuity that he expected for the game against Everton. Nothing else, because his performance was excellent against United.

-Source: Sky Sports.

There's no reason to think that Andre Villas-Boas is lying here - if he was that would stir up some serious problems, because Cahill could pretty easily pour the remnants of the manager's credibility down the drain. So, assuming he's being truthful, why the hell were we getting rumours about how unhappy Cahill was at being left on the bench?

Slamming Villas-Boas is the flavour of the week, and whether you think he deserves the bulk of the criticism he's getting or not you must bear in mind that the media will be pushing this story on us very hard. If they have to bend the truth to do that... well, that's modern journalism for you.