Thursday 24 May 2018

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill not giving up on World Cup place

Cahill was left out of the Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.

Gary Cahill
Gary Cahill

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer

Gary Cahill has declared “everything is a possibility” in his bid for World Cup selection after winning back his starting berth at Chelsea.

The Blues defender helped steer Antonio Conte’s men to the FA Cup final with Sunday’s 2-0 win over Southampton, then set his sights on making Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Southgate omitted Cahill from England’s ranks for the recent friendlies against Holland and Italy, leaving the 32-year-old sweating on regaining his place for this summer’s tournament in Russia.

ipanews_1cb96ba7-f0ae-42c6-85bb-bebcbc25919c_embedded236130053
Chelsea v Southampton – Emirates FA Cup – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium

But after returning to top form with Chelsea, Cahill now feels ready to prove his point at the business end of the domestic campaign.

“Everything is a possibility when you’re playing, hence why I’m happy to be back out there,” said Cahill.

“Let’s see what happens at the end of the season. We’re in the (FA Cup) final now, the World Cup is coming. Let’s wait and see.”

Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata hit the net as Chelsea cruised past Saints and into the FA Cup final, where they will meet Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Cahill believes he has nothing to prove to anyone and feels he is returning to peak condition.

“I’ve always said the same thing. Whenever I’ve been out of the team, you don’t just disappear, you don’t just turn into a bad player overnight,” said Cahill.

“Form, if you ride it out, you come back to the level you should be at. I thought I played well (against Southampton), I thought I did well against Burnley, and you can do as much running as you want but to get match fit, match sharp, you need to be out there.

“I realise that is the situation with everybody. I realise the manager has decisions to make. I realise maybe I’m not getting any younger.

“I’m fit, I’m ready to go. I don’t feel like, in a weird way, that I need to prove anything. I’ve done it before, time and time again.

“I’m just happy to be out there and enjoying it. More than trying to prove anything, just being out there and enjoying doing one of the best jobs in the world, which is playing football.

“If I’m happy with the way I’m playing that is good enough for me because I know I am at the right level where I should be. I’m my own worst critic when I’m playing and I’m happy I had a solid game.”

France striker Giroud will face former Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez in this year’s cup final, when last season the duo helped the Gunners see off Chelsea 2-1 to lift the trophy.

Neither Giroud nor Sanchez has yet tasted FA Cup defeat at Wembley, with the France hitman well aware something has to give on May 19.

“He has been unbeaten as well,” said Giroud of Sanchez.

“He signed in 2014. I will be happy to see him. We are going to put the FA Cup to one side and focus on the championship right now. But it’s always special to play with old players, especially when we had good memories.”

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport