Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has described his final season with the club as ‘terrible’ as he prepares to leave on a free transfer.
The former England international has been frozen out by Maurizio Sarri this term, and it now looks like the player’s legendary career at Stamford Bridge won’t get the fitting ending it deserves.
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Cahill joined Chelsea from Bolton in 2012 and became a Champions League winner just a few months later, and he’s gone on to win a number of other major honours.
The 33-year-old captained the Blues to Premier League title glory in 2016/17, and then to an FA Cup final win over Manchester United a year later.
Still, it’s been a difficult season for Cahill this year as he told the Telegraph it’s been ‘terrible’ for him, whilst aiming a dig at Sarri over the way he’s handled the situation, contrasting it to Gareth Southgate and the way he approached leaving him out of his starting XI at last summer’s World Cup.
‘It’s been really terrible for me personally,’ he said.
‘It will just be erased out of my head when I leave Chelsea. My last memory will be last season’s FA Cup final.
‘It’s been very difficult. I have played on a regular basis over the previous six seasons and I’ve won everything with Chelsea, so to be watching from the stands is something I didn’t expect. I know how the whole club works, I’ve got a big relationship with all the players and staff, and yet none of that has been utilised.
‘If you are not playing a player, any player, for two, three, four games, then you don’t have to give a reason for that. But if it gets to eight or nine games, then you have to explain the situation. What’s going on? But the manager hasn’t done that.
‘I see some of the situations with players who won the title with Chelsea, not just myself, and it just hasn’t been right. It makes it very hard for me to have respect for someone who has not respected what some of us have won with the club.
‘I went to the World Cup and didn’t play, but I came back with an even higher opinion of Gareth Southgate. It’s all about how you treat somebody.’