CAHILL: THE FIRST INTERVIEW
Having signed for Chelsea on Monday, today was the first at Cobham for Gary Cahill.
Fresh from the training pitch, the 6ft 3½in central defender sat down with the official Chelsea website to discuss his new challenge…
You have now trained with the squad for the first time. How was it?
It is a lovely place to train first of all. The facilities are really something special so it was exciting coming down here this morning. I was a bit nervous, waiting to see what is what and meet all the lads and the staff, and it has been a bit of a whirlwind but I am really enjoying it. I have walked down the wrong way two or three times and people have said wait, where are you going, so I had to be pointed in the right direction but I am sure this week I will get used to it.
You have been linked in the media with a move to Chelsea for a while. Has it been an ambition for some time?
You are linked with clubs but until they show interest by putting a bid in, or getting that bid accepted, it is just a hope to play at a top club. Until that is in stone it is only just a rumour. But as I said yesterday, you can't turn opportunities like this down.
Ever since I went to Bolton I was always hoping to do well, to try to take a forward step in my career and this is a massive step for me. It has always been a dream to play at the highest level and signing for Chelsea now, it gives me the opportunity to do that.
Do you have anything to say about some of the newspaper reports leading up to you signing for Chelsea?
It was a little bit disappointing when everything is out in the press and the stories that I read, I didn't read one that was true. Most people will tell you it is hard when you stand on the outside and you have things written about you that aren't very nice, but you have to bite your lip because you want to say no, this is the situation, this is what is happening. The comfort I had was that my friends and family knew the situation and what was going on and the club knew the situation and what was going on and that was enough for me.
A lot of it was rumours and it was unfortunate that things were in the press, especially things that weren't true. I pride myself on just playing football and not coming out and saying much and talking too much, so that was a little bit disappointing but that is football, it comes with the job and you just get on with it. Hopefully I can work hard now for Chelsea and put in some good performances.
In his column of the official Chelsea website, our former player Pat Nevin ran polls asking the fans who they would like to sign both this January and the January before. There were many, many replies and on both occasions you came top of the voting. So you arrive at Chelsea as a player wanted by the supporters.
That is pleasing and it was nice when I sat in the stands watching the game on Saturday and the fans saw me and chanted my name. It is fantastic when you are wanted at a club first and foremost by the manager and the fans, and it is time for me to try to repay that with working hard and putting in performances that will help Chelsea. It is an exciting time in my career and I would just like to get on with it now and focus on doing my best.
What was it like when Andre Villas-Boas spoke to you?
He has been fantastic. When I did speak to the manager, the impression he had on me was massive. Like I said, it is always nice to be wanted by the manager, it gives you confidence when you are coming to a new club and I look forward to working under him, that is for sure.
Your former manager Owen Coyle has spoken highly of you this week and predicted you will do well at Chelsea.
A lot of times nowadays people leave clubs on bad notes but for me, I think it was clear it is a career move. I have got nothing but thanks for Bolton, they gave me the platform and the manager there has been fantastic for me. I played for England off the back of playing for Bolton so I would like to thank the fans there for making me feel at home for the four years that I played there. So it was nice to leave on good terms and the last game I played for them we won and I scored so it was a fantastic end to my career there.
It could be said that one benefit of you joining Chelsea is you won't have to play against us now, as our record against Bolton in recent seasons was good.
I never, never enjoyed playing against Chelsea for Bolton because we always came out on the losing side. The game is coming up in February when we play Bolton so that will be a strange feeling if selected. It is never nice to play Chelsea but now it will be weird for me because I am on the other side and the expectation level has been turned on its head because you are expected to go out and win every game that you play. That is something I will need to get used to.
You arrive at Chelsea knowing players here from the England team.
We only meet up every now and then with England but it was nice that there are faces here that I know and have spoken to before. I knew Daniel [Sturridge] a little bit before he came to Bolton so when he came there I got to know him a lot more and I am good friends with him now. It does make it easier settling in when you know a couple of players.
Tell us a bit more about Daniel Sturridge at Bolton.
He was a revelation for the club. Everyone knew about the raw talent he had before he came to the club and he really progressed into a top, top performer there and as you can see, we missed his goals. He scored some fantastic goals and he was a threat so with what I saw of him at Bolton, I knew that he was going to make a breakthrough at Chelsea and it is no surprise to me how well he is doing at this football club. He will be a fantastic player for Chelsea and for England.
What was it like playing alongside John Terry for the first time?
It was fantastic to make my first appearance for England playing alongside someone as experienced as John Terry is and as good as John Terry is. It made my job a lot easier and I have played a few times with him now and it has been fantastic.
Obviously there is competition for places in the England central defence but if you do play games with Terry at Chelsea, and Ashley Cole as well, that can only be good for England's chances.
I am sure that the England manager is happy that there is a possibility we could be playing together but you have to be respectful of the fact that I have to earn my position in this team by working hard in training. Coming to a club like Chelsea, there are top-class, international players all the way through the squad so there is going to be strong competition and it is not going to be easy. I just hope when I get my chance I take it. But obviously playing with the English boys here will help our understanding. But I am taking nothing for granted. I am coming here to work hard and try to get in the team first of all.
Finally, do you have a message for the Chelsea supporters?
I appreciate and thank them for wanting me to come in the first place and I just hope that they take to me well. I will work as hard as possible every time I get the jersey and hopefully it will be a good and long career I have here.
You can hear more from the England international tonight in Blues News on Chelsea TV at 6.30pm and watch the full 15 minute interview exclusively online.