Gary Cahill, fresh from committing himself to the club until 2019, speaks to the official Chelsea website about his continuing ambition and determination not to rest on his laurels…
The fact Gary Cahill has won every major club trophy available to him since joining the club from Bolton a little under four years ago, with two of those honours - the FA Cup and the Champions League - coming mere months into his Blues career, is one of the most well-known and spine-tingling stories of our recent history.
On a personal level it could almost be described as a football fairy tale except that by arriving on the Stamford Bridge scene during this decade, the opportunity to win lots of silverware always had a touch of reality rather than fantasy about it.
By signing the new four-year contract which was announced this week, Cahill maintains his valid chance of winning those trophies more than once in his career and by the summer of 2019, he will have been a Chelsea player for seven-and-a-half years. With that in mind and with a huge amount crammed into his football life since January 2012, the big central defender reflected with the official Chelsea website this week.
‘It will be a long time to be at a club, and it is fantastic for me. I am proud and proud for my family,’ Cahill began.
‘You never know in football. I learnt that as I’ve gone along in my career. You sign a four-year contract but at no stage do you put your feet up and rest, you are always working hard and you have always got competition and I look forward to that. Since I signed for this football club it has been an incredible success story for me and I want to keep going in that vein, and ultimately try to win things, which is the expectations level we have at Chelsea.’
I knew for my development it would be good to train with and learn from the players who were here.
Expectation at the highest level is a subject he will return to in part two of the interview tomorrow, but first Cahill, having already pointed out that football is full of uncertainties, talks about whether it was always a wish to find the right club and settle down there for a long career.
‘It is very rare that you see players like, for example John Terry or Ryan Giggs, who will stay at a top club so long,’ he says.
‘It is a fantastic achievement and we go back over the years at Chelsea and there have been the likes of Petr Cech, Frank Lampard and Didier Didier, and to be at such a big club for that long is credit to them.
‘It is difficult to do that. You have competition from everywhere. Even from when I signed the squad has changed dramatically and it does that consistently over the years. Ultimately yes, it would be nice to come to a big club and stay there for a very long time. If that is the case for me here it would be fantastic.
‘The club offer you a contract because they want you to stay at the football club but you have to deliver,’ he adds.
‘I am delighted I have signed and committed my future here but for me the hard work continues, and even starts to become more work in order to keep delivering. These guys I have mentioned have stayed at this football club for a long time because they have delivered, no other reason, so ambition-wise, it is for me to keep working hard at my game, for me to keep improving and for me to keep delivering.’
In the first interview Cahill gave to chelseafc.com the day after becoming a Blue in January 2012, he said:
‘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.’
He clearly had in his mind back then what life may be like once he took that huge stride upwards in his career, but how accurate did that prove to be? Have there been any big surprises? He ponders his answer for a few moments.
‘It was as I imagined I think.
‘I thought it would be good. I knew for my development it would be good to train with and learn from the players who were here.
‘I knew that in certain games with the ability we have here I would find the games easier, but on the flip side of that, everything would be analysed a lot more intensely and ultimately you would be under a lot more pressure because you are playing in bigger games.
‘That was what I thought before coming here and that is how it has been since. So I have learnt to adapt to that and now I feel I am accepted here. Again it is just a case of keep working hard, keep going and at no stage will I feel I can rest on my laurels.’
- In part two of the interview tomorrow, Gary Cahill contrasts some of the biggest games he has played in and talks about expectation, using his experience and the current campaign.
In an interview in Chelsea magazine which is out later this month, he looks ahead, including to the busy festive period.