A week or so ago, Chelsea's corner of the internet was abuzz with what I'm going to dramatically describe as Gary Cahill Hate, because I am being extremely uncreative today. The centre back had been looking wobbly for some time, and Raheem Sterling's goal at Anfield, which came after Cahill virtually backed off into his own goal, raised the grumpiness into a fever pitch.
Cahill was duly replaced by Kurt Zouma for the second leg of the League Cup semifinal. How did he feel about that?
I don't need to tell you how disappointed I was I wasn't playing. But the bigger picture is the team and getting to the final. It was a fantastic result. It was the morning of the game we found out. It is not about me, it is about the final, the team.
Every game is different in his (Mourinho's) mind. We find out (the team) sometimes a couple days before, sometimes on the day. As professional players you deal with it, his door is always open. I don't think he feels the need to explain every single decision but he is approachable in that way, his door is open.
Which is, I guess, exactly what you're supposed to say, which makes it weird that the headline that this story was attached to -- Gary Cahill 'disappointed' to be dropped by Jose Mourinho for Chelsea's Capital One Cup semi-final win over Liverpool -- was relatively negative. For a certain definition of weird.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that the centre back switch worked. Zouma was deployed so that someone in the back line could deal with Sterling's speed, and while Liverpool didn't score that was more down to Thibaut Courtois in goal than his defenders. In the second half we looked a lot more sturdy, which probably had something to do with the defence being dropped into a deeper block and Cesc Fabregas vacating the midfield for Ramires.
But anyway. At least Cahill isn't sulking. Not that anyone was expecting him to.