Gary Cahill may often strike a figure of utter despair on the football pitch when something goes wrong, but if his words are any indication, there's anything but despair going on inside of him. Quite the opposite in fact, though that's probably not surprising given all that he's won with Chelsea Football Club.
"I am my own fiercest critic, I do look at myself of course. I think that's the way you should be and is the way I have improved. That's how I got to where I am today."
"I started out at Aston Villa and went on loan to the Championship a couple of times and now I'm approaching 50 caps for England, as well as playing for Chelsea for over four years, making over 200 appearances there and playing in the Premier League."
"Before I came to Chelsea I was working 10 years or so and I have always looked at myself first. I don't point (the blame) at everybody else. I look at how I can improve."
Having seen some of the online vitriol directed at Cahill, I highly doubt he's his own fiercest critic. But he's the only one he should be listening to at this point, in addition to his head coach of course.
"I don't care what anybody says, I don't listen to anybody. The only people I have to prove myself to is the manager of the football club that I'm playing at and my team-mates that I'm playing with."
"For me, my form up to Swansea (2-2 draw with Chelsea on September 11) was fine. I was playing well, I was happy. But then I made a few big errors and we all know that when you make a few errors in football, basic ones as well, it gets noticed. I'm not stupid.
"But if you make a couple of mistakes in a couple of big games, then all of a sudden the whole season is tarnished like you're having a bit of a nightmare. Yet it's not like you can turn around and say 'he's lost his legs or is being beaten all ends up'."
"I basically made my own mistakes out of nothing, so as ridiculously as bad as they were, they are also easy to correct."
-Gary Cahill; source: BBC 5 Live via Evening Standard
Let's hope that they are indeed easy to correct. We've come to rely on Cahill as a solid if unspectacular center back over these last few years, but if that comfort zone keeps getting shattered by glaring and costly errors, the trust in him will erode beyond the point of saving. Cahill navigated the Hull City match as part of a back three without any major issues, so there's a step in the right direction already.