England Vice-captain and future Chelsea leader Gary Cahill was one of the chief culprits of Chelsea's latest implosion, the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City. Alongside Branislav Ivanović, the Chelsea center back partnership parted like the Red Sea, allowing Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Agüero, and friends the freedom of multiple 1-v-1s against goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
"It is unbelievably disappointing. I thought we got what we deserved. At times in that game we were rubbish and lacked the desire to get a result and they [Man City] had it and they punished us for it."
"We seemed to have a few corners for us and the next minute they were down our end having a dangerous attack at goal. Maybe it was a lack of concentration from us. We started the game okay, we had a few chances and put a bit of pressure on and got some corners but overall, we can play a hell of a lot better than that."
It probably helped that City seemed to have a clear plan while Chelsea, especially after the first 20 or so minutes, couldn't seem to be bothered much at all. Cahill did produce a couple of his famous last-ditch tackles, but his own performance was one that lacked the desire and concentration to keep City at bay. Without clear direction and apparently without much professional pride, Chelsea crumbled and only a few great saves from Courtois kept the scoreline from becoming even more embarrassing.
"We are not used to it and sometimes that produces performances like that, but we should have more pride in ourselves to go out and give a performance and at least run around and try to get close to people."
"We need to maybe speak next week as a group because we have some great players and some good lads. We have nothing to play for but I don't care how you play, you run around and if you make mistakes you make mistakes and you go again. I thought we lacked that in this game."
-Gary Cahill; source: Chelsea FC
It's a bit late for a players-only meeting, that magical, mythical solution to a squad's struggles — the season's been over for many weeks — but I guess it's the thought that counts. Might as well start setting the tone for next season.