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Premier League: A touching farewell letter to Gary Cahill from a Chelsea fan

  • A tribute to Chelsea's departing captain, Gary Cahill. #PremierLeague
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:56 IST

Gary Cahill lifted up by his teammates during Chelsea
Gary Cahill lifted up by his teammates during Chelsea's last home game of the 2018-19 season

Dear Gary,

If there was anyone who came close to John Terry in terms of discipline, leadership and being a brick wall at Chelsea Football Club, it was you. It is so true that there can be no John Terry again, but as you leave Stamford Bridge at the end of this season, I am proud to say that there won't be another Gary Cahill again too.

To be really honest with you, when you joined back in 2012 from Bolton, I was sceptical about the move. Not because I doubted your abilities, but because when other clubs in Europe were developing their young centre-backs from their own youth academies, we had signed you at an age of 26. Now, after 7 years, I wonder how better would it be if you would also be a Blue through and through from your younger days.

You made your debut for Chelsea against a club which was at its prime with Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm. Though it was not the best days for the defender of any team with the scoreline reading 3-3, you showed glimpses of what you will offer.

I remember it didn't take you long, and you scored your first goal in the Chelsea shirt against Leicester in the FA Cup quarterfinal, just a month after your debut. A perfect Juan Mata cross from the left corner and you pounced on the ball to smash a header in.

'Pray for Muamba' was the message in your celebration that evening for your ex-teammate Fabrice Muamba, who was in critical condition after suffering a heart attack on the pitch.

Though the 2011-12 season was our one of the worst when it comes to league action, you were part of the squad which made history that night in Munich.

European Champions. We faced a tough challenge even before the final against Bayern, when we faced the mighty Barcelona in the semi-final. Your resilient efforts to keep the scoreline 1-0 at Stamford Bridge would go down as one of the biggest memories in the history of the club.

Before I talk about your contribution to our defence all these years, there is this unique thing which I recall about you in your first early years at the club.

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Out of all the 25 goals you have scored for Chelsea, whenever you couldn't win a header in an attacking corner or a set-piece, most of your goals have come from the ball falling at your feet in the box, and you scoring on the rebound. With Drogba, Hazard and Costa in our squad, we never expected a centre-back to smash the ball into the net from that distance.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been quoted saying, "Attack wins you matches, defense wins you titles." Definitely, your illustrious career at Chelsea, with almost all possible trophies in your personal cabinet, proves this statement right.

When you took over as captain from John Terry, we did initially face problems because Terry was not just a Chelsea player; he was the reason why the opposition almost took it granted that it's difficult to score against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. You emulated Terry well in his role, but maybe we lacked a player emulating Gary Cahill partnering you in Terry's role.

I know the past one year has been tough for you. Going from Antonio Conte's captain to Maurizio Sarri's reserve team player, it was something we fans have also found disrespectful to some extent, but as club fans, we have to move on.

Yesterday evening, when you wore that Chelsea shirt at Stamford Bridge for the last time most probably in the Premier League, it broke my heart to see a manager doing you a favour and giving you some time on the pitch. You deserve a lot better than that. As a decorated title winner at Chelsea, you probably deserve everything.

Hopefully, we will see you again at the Bridge as a potential opposition, but before those 90 minutes and after those 90 minutes, you will always be one of us Blues.

"Gary, Gary Cahill! He's the greatest player in the league! from the, team of Bolton,he'll be going down in history!"

Thank you for the memories, and all the best for your future. Someday, expecting you and John to be made the Chelsea defence coaches, so that you could create more Gary Cahills in this blue part of London.

Sincerely,

A Chelsea fan

Published 06 May 2019, 18:14 IST
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