Chelsea’s Gary Cahill clings to hopes of World Cup trip with England
The former Bolton defender has experienced a mixed campaign.
Gary Cahill has won every major club honour with Chelsea but the defender acknowledges his pedigree is no guarantee of a place in England’s World Cup squad.
The 32-year-old has endured a roller coaster season, which began as captain of club and country.
✔️Uncapped Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Alfie Mawson and Lewis Cook have been called up by Gareth Southgate— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) March 15, 2018
❌ Chris Smalling, Michael Keane and Gary Cahill have been left out of the England squad 🏴
Losing his place for Chelsea proved costly on the international stage and Cahill was dropped for the March friendlies with Holland and Italy.
Once a certainty for a place in England’s starting XI, Cahill is now a doubt to make Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man squad for Russia 2018, which is to be announced on Wednesday.
Some reports have claimed he has missed out, and Cahill was waiting on Tuesday for the verdict from the England boss.
“I couldn’t do anything when I was out of the (Chelsea) team,” Cahill said.
“I’ve just got to perform as best I can, which I’ve tried to do in the last five, six weeks, to put myself back in the frame. If it’s good enough, it’s good enough… if it’s not….
“My CV’s there, it’s just whether they want to use that or go that way or not. That’s not my decision.
“If I’m in, I’ll go and give everything I’ve got. If I’m not in, I’ll go away with my family and reflect and rest.”
Cahill joined Chelsea in January 2012, winning the FA Cup and Champions League in his first six months at Stamford Bridge.
Since then the former Bolton and Aston Villa centre-back has won two Premier League titles and the League Cup, before taking on the captain’s armband when former England skipper John Terry departed the club last summer.
Expectation for England has dwindled since Terry led the team, after premature exits at the Brazil World Cup four years ago and Euro 2016.
But Cahill knows the quality of the squad and that the time will come when England deliver at a major tournament.
“Sooner or later a tournament will be successful. You just want to be a part of that time when it is successful,” he added.
💯 days, 💯 players | @TheGeoffHurst— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) May 14, 2018
The former 🏴 @England forward is the only man to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup Final. Sir Geoff did just that in England’s 1966 triumph over Germany at Wembley. pic.twitter.com/xazcWrOx3h
Cahill insists Southgate’s final decision will not impact on his mindset ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final with Manchester United at Wembley.
“In or out it won’t affect anything,” he added.
Cahill reflected on a “tough” campaign which included the retirement of Ryan Mason. The Hull midfielder fractured his skull in a challenge with Cahill in January 2017.
Devastated to hear today’s news from Ryan. Competing for a corner is something we’ve done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking. Sending all my love to him and his family, and wishing him the best for the future.— Gary Cahill (@GaryJCahill) February 13, 2018
The Blues defender is eager to finish the season on a high.
“I’m so determined this week, honestly,” Cahill said. “It’s been a roller coaster season. I’m still here.”
The challenges include Chelsea finishing fifth in the Premier League to miss out on Champions League qualification. But Cahill would not swap a place in the top four for a trophy.
“If you were in the top four for the last seven, eight years, qualifying for the Champions League and won nothing… I wouldn’t swap that.
“I see it being a disappointing season, of course, but certainly I’d like to finish on a massive high for the fans, for us, as players, and for the club to go into next season.”