In football, you often see strong player partnerships form which benefit a team. From Manchester United to Blackburn Rovers, fans will be able to name at least two squad members who play/have played well together, inspiring their team to new heights.
For Chelsea fans in particular, there are two players that complement each other on a regular basis: John Terry and Gary Cahill.
Both being centre backs; they hold very important positions on the pitch. It’s their job to prevent opposing players, especially centre forwards, from scoring. This is done by blocking shots, tackling, contesting headers, marking forwards and intercepting passes; all of which that require a lot of foresight, power and concentration.
Centre backs face a lot of challenges. They have few goal scoring opportunities, but if the opposition gets a goal, they are the first to be blamed. Teams need to make sure they have centre backs that work well with each other, otherwise it can result in conceding goals every game.
For all of these reasons, it’s important to have two players that have a strong sporting relationship and understand one another, and John Terry and Gary Cahill do this spectacularly.
Chelsea will regularly go several matches without conceding a goal, an achievement that few other teams can accomplish. There’s a reason why Chelsea are at the forefront to win the Champions League, and it isn’t only down to their goal scorers.
The main thing most people notice about Terry and Cahill is how comfortable they are with each other. As centre backs, it’s vital they are both positioned in the correct places to stop the oppositions’ advantage. They can’t afford to spend all game planning positions, as the game is moving, they constantly need to be thinking ahead.
John Terry has been Chelsea’s captain for well over 10 years, and it’s his leadership skills that make him stand out from other defenders. What’s surprising is his age, being one of the oldest players yet still deployed on a regular basis. Regardless of this, he hasn’t lost any of the skills that helped him make his name as a Chelsea legend.
One of his best attributes is positional sense; Terry will know where to be in a second of the ball being kicked around. Another major benefit he has has a commanding presence, often leading by example.
That said, a criticism of Terry often mentioned is his lack of pace. Whilst this may be the case, he makes up for this in other areas. No matter what calibre of player he faces, he can read them well and react accordingly. As a defender, Terry is quite ‘built’, giving him a physical advantage. There aren’t many strikers that can claim to have beaten him easily.
Chelsea are a side that are always evolving their style and culture as each season goes by. Regardless of this, he is still one of the most important players the team has.
It took a while for Gary Cahill to feel comfortable at Chelsea, but eventually he came into his own as an impressive footballer. Even when he was at Bolton Wanderers, fans and critics always felt he was meant for another class, regardless of playing in England’s under 20 side.
Cahill stepped up his game at Chelsea, being regarded as one of the standout performers on a regular basis. It’s also a good age to enter the football industry at, as there’s plenty of time to fine tune any issues, and there’s also the potential to take over from Terry when he leaves.
It may be a long time before Cahill starts to prove he’s captain material, although he regularly shows how he’s an important part of the new Chelsea side. He’s incredibly quick off the mark, and is always growing stronger physically. There are very few opportunities he won’t try to take advantage of, something that every footballer should strive to achieve.
As he enters into what are considered the prime years of a footballer’s career, it will be interesting to see how well he performs. However, Cahill sometimes leaves himself exposed, but this is only natural with the level of opposition he faces regularly. When comparing his failings to his successes, it’s easy to see why Mourinho chooses to have him in the first team.
The Other Side Of Football
There’s another side of John Terry’s and Gary Cahill’s relationship that helps them work together so well. You can often see Instagram pictures of the two off the pitch. This shows that they have a genuine friendship, something that probably enhances their performance on the pitch.
Under the management of Mourinho, we can expect this duo to carry on supporting each other and providing Chelsea with positive results. It’s clear to see that everything is going well; you don’t get to this week of the season and have that many points without a stellar team.
If more teams focused on solidifying partnerships and teamwork, then they too could see a positive impact on their side’s performance as a whole. Terry and Cahill should be used as an example. If two players of different ages and experience can work together to perform so well, there’s no reason why others can’t too.
This blog was written by Rachel Jensen on behalf of Campo Retro, a seller of retro football apparel.