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Gary Cahill’s Feel Good Senior Debut Proves Passion Still Exists for England

Cahill Jagielka

It wasn’t the most opportune of debuts as England center back Michael Dawson lay writhing in pain in the 56th minute of England’s eventual 4-0 win over Bulgaria. But when Bolton defender Gary Cahill’s name was called by Fabio Capello to replace the injured Dawson, it was a proud moment for Cahill himself, his family and friends, and especially his Father, who was said to have burst into tears upon his son’s arrival into the match that saw Cahill earn his first international cap.

Cahill’s Dad has followed Gary everywhere throughout his career, even sharing in the horror that Gary experienced last February when a mysterious blood clot in his left arm kept him out of action for a number of months and dashed any chances of the 24 year old representing England at the World Cup.

My dad was crying his eyes out when I went on – he will still be bouncing off the walls at the moment”, Cahill confessed to the media after making his senior debut on Friday. Although an incredible experience for his family and friends, his appearance at the expense of an injured player was bitter-sweet for Cahill.

My arrival wasn’t ideal as when you see a team-mate on the floor looking in pain like Michael did, it took the edge off it a little bit, but I was happy to be playing and extremely proud to represent my country”.

Cahill’s affluence of family support and his pride displayed in donning the England shirt combined with his abilities as a defender optimistically point to a long and productive international career. His passion in finally representing his country will hopefully rub off on a few of the ‘business as usual’ England players who may or may not have lost the true ideal of what it means to play for England. As allegations have recently emerged concerning the late night galavanting of one Wayne Rooney, Cahill’s innocence and feel good story hopefully won’t be over shadowed by the behavior of the aforementioned and the illicit.

I’d like to think of Cahill as a young positive influence in the England camp and the kind of player who brings that much needed sense of optimism with him. Cahill is a player who has had to overcome adversity through injury and playing his club football with the not-so-glamorous Bolton Wanderers football club thus having to work that much harder to be noticed for international duty. Cahill isn’t a flash player or prone to steal the newspaper headlines, but he’s a big, strong defender with quickness who goes about his business in a quiet manner. As so many footballers seem to get caught up in activities not pertaining to the benefit or betterment of their club or country, Cahill’s call up comes as a welcomed distraction from the ridiculous decision making of those who’ve stole headlines in the past year.

As the now sidelined John Terry and Rio Ferdinand continue to look more injury prone, it will be the young Cahill who will be on the minds of England fans as likely understudy to one or the other. Cahill should now get his chance to start with Everton’s Phil Jagielka as central defenders on Tuesday away to Switzerland. Combined with other players deemed ‘fresh blood’ such as Ashley Young, Joe Hart and Adam Johnson, Gary Cahill has helped to breathe new life into the stuttering England squad from a few months ago.

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  1. Lee

    September 6, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Gary Cahill is a class act. A skillful centre-back, one of which will improve his game working under Owen Coyle

  2. The Gaffer

    September 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Nice to read about patriotism among players and their family for the England team. Must be an incredibly proud moment for both father and son.

    The Gaffer

  3. geoff

    September 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Yes, big mistake, Joe Hart did go but wasn’t picked!

  4. geoff

    September 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Don’t bank on Gary being picked by Capello on tuesday. The manager’s decisions have been so eratic in the past few months that he might even recall that nonentity centre half Matthew Upson infront of the Wanderers star. The proviso for that is if Upson can be found. I think he’s still hiding from Kevin Davies!

    The truth is that Cahill and Joe Hart should have gone to the World Cup but Capello was far too cautious and we paid the penalty.


      September 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      Loving your honesty Geoff, and I agree that Cahill should be picked for the squad on a more permanent basis, as he proves day in day out that he has the stamina/will power and love of the game to nuture a new crop of England players. Yes Bolton may not be the glamorous team that everyone aspires to play for, but yet, season in season out they prove to be a dominating force when teams believe them to be a push over. Owen Coyle has made many changes this start of the season, and what will appear to be a much more attacking line up in mind. Cahill can pnly benefit from what has happened and being surrounded by the Bolton team can only enable him to become a formidable key player in the England SENIOR Squad. Good luck to him

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