Chelsea defender Gary Cahill believes that the Three Lions can play mean…
Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill claims England have gone from softies to hard nuts, and become one of the meanest teams in the world as they surge towards Euro 2016 qualification.
Reports in the Daily Star explain that Roy Hodgson’s men were slammed for their dreadful defending at the World Cup in the summer. The Three Lions failed to win a game as they crashed out in the group stage and returned home in shame.
Cahill was part of the back four that were accused of being naive after a half-fit Luis Suarez scored twice against them in Sao Paulo to end their World Cup dream.
But the Three Lions have bounced back to put the nightmare behind them and make a perfect start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign – with the Chelsea man contributing towards three successive clean sheets.
The Group E leaders take on Slovenia this weekend, and Cahill is convinced the team have mastered the dark arts of defending. The Blues star said: “We’ve been too nice, but that comes with experience.
“We’ve got a very young team, but that’s a big part of the game to know when to slow things down. To know not to always play from the back. Everybody has this philosophy of playing from the back from the keeper, but there are times to think ‘Hold on, let’s not play from the back this time, let’s kick up the front for five or 10 minutes’.
“It’s just managing the game really, which maybe we are doing a lot better. It’s something that has been addressed. It’s about just being aggressive in the game and getting tight to player. More physically than verbally.
“I don’t think the verbals help much, but certainly physically. When players are trying to hold the ball up and you’re behind them and they are thinking ‘What is this guy doing’.
“That’s probably when they know they are in a game, rather than letting them turn and things like that. “If you see us now, we are definitely a lot harder team to play against.
“That is about being physical and wanting to win the ball back and being physical. They are the basics of defending and at the minute we are doing that really well.”
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