Gary Cahill may not get to wear the armband for England these days — that distinction belongs to Harry Kane for whatever reason — but the Chelsea captain doesn’t need the urging of decorum to step up and say what needs to be said, to lead in his often cliched, but nonetheless truthful and earnest manner.
“If you look at the last time we won anything for England it was a long, long time ago. So naturally they (the fans) don’t expect. But I’d like to think everyone is positive and behind us.
“Sooner or later England are going to win a competition, whether it’s now or in 10 or 25 years. But it’s going to happen and when it does I’m sure it will be absolutely huge. I think positivity is the way.
“Sometimes as players we come off the back of games which are not always great, but it’s almost like everyone is waiting with the negativity.”
Sounds a bit like the Chelsea experience, eh, Gazza?
Certainly, England’s performance against Slovenia was “not great”, and that’s possibly a generous assessment, though the Three Lions did get the win and in the generally disorganized and disjointed landscape of international football, that’s about the best you can hope for. Rare is the team like Conte’s Italy or Low’s Germany or even VDB’s Spain that plays to a specific team ideal or strategy. With players coming together from various teams, it’s often best to keep things as simple as the common denominator allows — which for England tends to produce exactly the sorts of performances we’ve gotten used to over the past many years.
But that doesn’t mean England are without hope. In a knockout tournament anything can happen. And Cahill’s hoping to be there when that something does happen. This may be his final chance at it, after all, at 31 going on 32.
“I’m positive when I go out on the pitch. It’s a short career and I look to enjoy it. To qualify for the tournament is something we should be proud of - but I agree that we need to produce a better tournament.
“Ideally we’d like to score many goals and play amazing football every time we take the field, but it’s not always like that. That’s a pressure that’s on us. For us to do that it’s great if everyone is behind the team and the country, so we can go and try to do our very best.”
“We have our own targets and we speak about things in-house. I know that sounds like a boring answer, but it’s true. What do you think would be good? I think to go into the latter stages would be looked on as a success, if I’m being honest.
“I’m not saying ‘let’s go out in the latter stages and then it’s been great’. I’m saying if that was to happen it would be looked on as, well, we’ve seen when England reached the semis in 1996 when Gareth was there, I remember that as a boy and that felt massive. And yet we didn’t win. It shows the latter stages would be important, but very hard (to achieve).”
-Gary Cahill; source: Star
Since joining Chelsea in January of 2012, Cahill has done little else beyond playing tons of games and winning lots of trophies, including just about every single thing available to him at club level, including the Champions League and the Premier League. A trophy at the international level would be the icing on that cake.