A legend in his own right.
As the released players lists began to came out one name stood out for Chelsea among the rest, that name was Gary Cahill. Cahill endured a tough season as he saw little game time in Sarri’s new system as Sarri felt that Cahill did not have the attributes to play his football. Unlike Fabregas though Cahill chose to stay during the winter even though Sarri and the club made it clear that he could leave and seek regular playing time. This season might have been a blur for Cahill but it is what came before that shows that he bled blue for 8 seasons.
Cahill joined Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers for about 11.5 million pounds during the winter transfer window in the 11/12 season. Chelsea were struggling after they had sacked Andre Villas Boas but had started to gain some form under caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea and Cahill would finish 6th that season but would win something great at the end as a Terry injury saw Cahill play a vital role in the Champions League final win in Munich. For that game alone Cahill is a legend along with the rest of the players who were on the pitch.
The 12/13 season was another turbulent one as far as managers are concerned as Di Matteo was appointed given the role only to be sacked mid way and replaced by Benitez. Benitez was not a popular appointment especially after his history with Liverpool against Chelsea but Benitez got Chelsea to finish 3rd and Cahill won another trophy, the Europa League in which Chelsea beat Benfica. Cahill made 45 appearances in all competitions and scored 6 goals while assisting 2.
The 13/14 season saw the second coming of Mourinho as the self proclaimed happy one as Cahill made 47 appearances with 2 goals and 2 assists. A mainstay in the team Cahill and Chelsea saw themselves finish 3rd in the table 4 points behind champions Man City. It was a trophy less season as Chelsea were eliminated in the semis of the Champions League and reached the 5th round and quarters of the FA Cup, and League Cup respectively.
The 14/15 season brought silverware to Chelsea as Mourinho got going and Chelsea won the Premier League and the League Cup. Cahill made 48 appearances scoring 3 and assisting 2, as he and Terry made a solid partnership at the back. Chelsea only lost 3 games that season as the defence was a key component of the team.
15/16 was a stark contrast to the previous season as Mourinho and club seemed to implode as a whole which saw Mourinho get sacked and replaced by Hiddink for the remainder of the season. Chelsea finished 10th in the table with 12 defeats as Cahill made 37 appearances while managing to score 4 goals. It was the season that the club had to move on from quickly.
16/17 saw Antonio Conte come to Chelsea as he brought his 3-4-3 system to the club. Chelsea began the season with inconsistent results but took off after a defeat against Arsenal and won the league with a then record of 30 wins. Cahill made 43 appearances in the season and scored 8 goals as he was also given the captain’s armband with Terry largely out injured or on the bench. Cahill, Azpi, and a returning David Luiz formed a solid trio at the back. It was the perfect antidote to the previous season but Chelsea failed to learn from history.
17/18 saw Chelsea and Conte finish 5th after a shaky transfer window and a frustrating season for both the manager and the players. Chelsea started the season brilliantly after a loss during opening day but a poor winter saw the team fall. Cahill managed 43 appearances and Chelsea did beat Mourinho’s United in the FA Cup final for what was a bittersweet moment for Conte and co.
That brings us to the 18/19 season Sarri came in after Conte was let go and another change in the system and philosophy meant that Cahill only managed 8 appearances. Chelsea would finish 3rd and win the Europa League but Cahill played no major part in any of the results.
8 trophies in 7 and a half seasons with the club. 290 appearances for Chelsea with 25 goals and 7 assists. Cahill learned under Terry and it showed as he threw himself in front of shots and showed leadership in tough situations. A respected figure at the club and a hero of that night in Munich, Cahill leaves Chelsea Football Club a legend and we should probably see him next season in the Premier League playing for another club. Good Luck.