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Is Cahill the Problem? (Pt. II)

Is Cahill the Problem? (Pt. II)

For a second match in a row Gary Cahill did not play and for a second time Chelsea were able to keep a clean sheet.

This brings Chelsea's record to an a 75% clean sheet ratio in League games when Cahill does not play. There were a lot of questions on the last article that I wished to address in regards to this theory.

JackSufre said, 'No, he is not playing as lone centre back is he? Is he the class of great defender? The answer is not yet. Yes the stats shows he is the problem but if you look at every goals we conceded, is it his fault? This is where stats don`t paint the whole story.'

Now of course not every goal conceded was his fault and he doesn't play as a loan centre back. Naturally the stats don't paint the whole story but they are also a great starting point for seeing Chelsea's defensive success with different centre backs on the pitch.

SameX said, 'Humza has said it all. He is a good defender but he makes mistakes due to his poor positioning but recovers quickly and cleans it up. Terry is not getting any younger, Cahill is still learning, Luiz is a joker and Iva is getting worse and worse. Why not bring back Omerou?'

I think Cahill is a fine defender but I think he either hasn't developed great chemistry yet or isn't the ideal fit into our defensive blue-print. He was brought in for AVB's high-line rather than RDM or Rafa's more defensive tactics.

As for Omerou, I loved him well before the AFCON, but I think he needs more physical strength before he's ready.

colourtheisblue said, 'What a worthless article! If you are going to start by using Middlesboro to support your argument why not talk up how much better the defence appears to be by the introduction of Ferriera. Very simply, we played Boro when their confidence and goal-scoring is at low ebb. Bit of a difference to Man City wouldn't you say?"

I respect the opinion and of course Middlesbrough is different from City but Chelsea also did keep a clean sheet earlier this season against City when Cahill didn't play. Cahill played incredibly for 62 minutes and stood there as Yaya scored. He didn't exactly look great against a lower league Brentford team that isn't much better (if they are any bit better) than Middlesbrough.

Desmondadonis said, 'There is no need to say the article is stupid, he asked if Cahill is the reason we are conceding goals like a sieve at times, and backed it up with available stats, which I am sure he didn't invent, all we can do is agree or disagree, to call someone's work stupid will only discourage that person from writing another time, sorry if it irks u, just my 2 cents'

I appreciate the comment and nothing will really discourage me from writing about Chelsea. I've been watching the team for almost 20 years now and I know that criticizing an English player never goes over well no matter how much data you have to back it up.

@Mq said, 'Food for thought, who would the author prefer at CB between Terry and Cahill?'

My first choice would always be Terry given how dramatically different we looked in the Liverpool game the moment he went down. I think that was where we saw the difference between having Cahill and Terry on the pitch.

I would like to thank everyone for their comments, both positive and negative. We're all here supporting the same team and naturally we all have different opinions on what's best for them. I think what was missed in my last article was my praise of the things he had done well, something that was overshadowed by the statistical analysis of the team's success when he is on the pitch.

I'm extremely happy that Chelsea were able to keep two clean sheets in a row no matter which players were playing in the back. I hope that trend continues and Cahill is able to raise that clean sheet percentage a little. I think he's a very solid player and I hope that he can show that the stats don't paint the full picture.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday March 3 2013
Time: 1:22PM


I don't see why some of us think he's not as good. Would you rather play Iva? Not me. Luiz looks to me like more of a midfielder than a centre back and an ideal partner to Terry is Cahill according to me. He was easily our man of the match against City. Statistics? I am against them this time.
03/03/2013 13:35:00
I don't buy it. All of our defenders have leaked goals this season. Terry, luiz, iva cahill... all of them have made glaring mistakes at one point or another which have cost us goals. The toure goal is a bad example as cahill was drawn deep by a city attacker before he ever had a chance to approach yaya, before he beat 2 other chelsea players first. Think about this. If teams from around the world had to pick a chelsea defender to have for free who would it be? I believe the majority would chose cahill for his overall attributes at this point. Age, speed, defensive ability, shot blocking, attacking prowess. ... heart. he also doesn't seem to foul too much and doesn't give away penalties. (I'm not looking at any stats just my impressions from watchint games.)
03/03/2013 14:21:00
I had also wondered why bolton were concedin goals endlessly despite havin such a great talent at the heart of their defence
03/03/2013 14:36:00
i've been a bit suspicious of cahill for some time and these points would seem to back that up. btw it's rafa who is the first to try luiz in midfield. AVB and RDM didn't have the balls to try it. so a little bit of credit to the waiter there.
03/03/2013 15:19:00
Another worthless article, this is the least we want right now.
03/03/2013 18:15:00
I commend the author for taking the time to make a contribution to VC but i disagree with the observation. The situation with Cahill is another example of how statistics can be skewed to show whatever you want and i am very very experienced in the art of information manipulation using stats. For me there is no doubt who our weak link is among our CBs and it is Ivanovic. Let us not forget for all the good Iva has done for us in seasons past his form this season whether at RB or CB has been rather poor and he is single handledly responsible for handing Swansea the Carling cup at our expense. Against City as a quick example Cahill was easily our best player on the pitch and but for him the 2-0 margin we suffered should have been significantly greater, Despite his hercularean effort though by this authors stats he will get dinged for playing in a match we lost. Interestingly enough i actually think Cahill's plight as far as stats is exactly because he is probably our best CB he gets played against our toughest oppostiion and since the team is in bad shape overall when we lose or underperform in such games, the poor chap gets blamed again. On the other hand for much lower level opposition the managers tend to feel safer playing the less solid CBs and just because of the quality of opposition the result end up being better sustaining the narrative that Cahill is the problem. As far as i am concerned i would rate our CBs as follows from best to worst; Cahill, JT, Luiz and Iva.
03/03/2013 20:09:00
Personally i think that cahill is only good when he plays alongside terry. probably because terry tells him where to go. when hes with iva or luiz he seems to be all over the place. Although good point @GabeU. but you really think iva is that bad? up until november he was our most consistent defender for 2 years. i would rate it iva,terry,cahill,luiz
03/03/2013 20:42:00
luiz should stick to cdm. we should bring back one of our loanees to cover him maybe kalas/bruma/omeruo. having terry/iva/cahill and one of them as back is suitable. plus luiz can always be put back in case of an injury crisis
03/03/2013 20:47:00
I'll like to correct this ideology that defending and conceding goals is basically the fault of CB's alone. Defending is a team effort,everyone works in accord to keep a clean sheet,you can defend from the front with high pressing,or track back to increase the no's in defence with wingers covering for full backs. Ill employ anyone who hasn't watched Bayern Munich play this season to watch them closely and what defending as a team really means. Cahill is a great defender and puts in a top shift whenever he is called upon. He has been our best performing CB based on individual performance. So the fact that we are conceding goals is not just down to Cahill its the whole team.
03/03/2013 20:56:00
I'll like to correct this ideology that defending and conceding goals is basically the fault of CB's alone. Defending is a team effort,everyone works in accord to keep a clean sheet,you can defend from the front with high pressing,or track back to increase the no's in defence with wingers covering for full backs. Ill employ anyone who hasn't watched Bayern Munich play this season to watch them closely and what defending as a team really means. Cahill is a great defender and puts in a top shift whenever he is called upon. He has been our best performing CB based on individual performance. So the fact that we are conceding goals is not just down to Cahill its the whole team.
03/03/2013 20:57:00
Bruma wants to stay @Hamburg & they want to keep him. Kalas has excelled @RB and it seems he likes the position than CB. I liked him as a CB tbh, now he has to battle it out with Todd Kane & Wallace for who to back up Azpi @RB next season as Paulo may move on to Coaching. Ake was originally a CB, now he is being played in CDM & has done well. We are left with Omerou, I think we should bring him back and give him enough game time next season. He has a bright future.
04/03/2013 03:01:00
I'm reluctant to co-sign your Terry backing because, from what I've seen, Terry's becoming lesser of the player he was, instead he seems to be better at being vocal about player contracts (Lamps) and disagreeing with the Manager. Yes, stats don't lie however stats tell half the story. as NELY said, goal-conceding isn't the CB's sole fault but rather a team fault (the build up starts in the middle, where the mid's play) so perhaps its unfair to create an impression he be the only 1 @ fault. In addition, I've seen matches where Cahill performs WAY BETTER than his respective "partner" and when we concede, it's normally because Cahill's been dragged out of position due to poor marking (not on his part but his "partners" part) and that's told me how effective he'd be with a better partner.
04/03/2013 07:38:00
Cahill has more pace than Terry (now) he's more agile than Terry (Terry's allergic to flexibility) and and while Terry's physically stronger, Cahill is more suited for a "modern" team where the defensive line is higher and the defenders are involved in the ball-playing. Terry is your orthodox CB, with good qualities, but I can name you countless young players that have run rings around Terry but have failed to do the same to Cahill (Walcott for instance)...that's just me :)
04/03/2013 07:39:00
Are there any top quality CBs out there? Verane stands out. Thiago Silva as well.
04/03/2013 13:04:00
There are plenty of good cbs. Its finding ones that are young but not too inexperienced for example hummels hes got experience and hes only 24 (i think). as samex pointed out our young cbs have all changed position.
04/03/2013 13:52:00
Hummels leaves Dortmund and they are immediately weakened. Would Klopp allow that?
04/03/2013 14:16:00
Forget about Verane, Madrid won't sell him
04/03/2013 14:52:00
werent there 2 or 3 guys from the french league we were interested in? cant remember names although one of them played for montpellier. PLUS Okore. the CB from FC Norsjaelland. hes a chelsea fan and is only like 4m.
04/03/2013 16:02:00
M'biwa plays for Newcastle now. As for Verane, it is obvious that he will never leave Madrid.
04/03/2013 18:19:00
Is Kallas anywhere close to Verane? How about Omeru? The CB position has to be sorted out for next season.
04/03/2013 18:22:00
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