Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Villa - Cahill Has The Attributes

Villa - Cahill Has The Attributes

Its been more than 24 hours since I left Villa Park with the broadest smile Trinty Road has ever seen. I drove home for 6 hours and sat in desperate traffic on the M1 for more than an hour, and still nothing could shift the grin off my face. Still now, I am beaming from ear to ear and every time I watch the replays of the goals, I break out into a girlish giggle that I am not in the slightest bit ashamed of.

There is very little that I can say that hasn’t already been said. Following the previous week’s display against West Brom, it would seem that everyone expected the worst. The poor attendance, poor atmosphere and poor performance from the boys in Claret and Blue led most Villa fans I spoke to pre-match to predict a loss.

What transpired will remain in my memory for as long as I live, and I mean that sincerely. The atmosphere inside and outside Villa Park was the best I have ever experienced. There seemed to be a grim determination amongst the Villa faithful that if we were doomed to defeat and an anxious end to the season, they would not be accused of shirking their responsibility when the crunch came. For so long this season, there has been a dark cloud hovering over Villa Park. Yesterday, the sun came out, and the familiar optimism that comes with the first barbeque of the season could be felt in the Holte End.

The result is all that counts for me. Recently, Aston Villa have been terrible to watch. The football has been below poor, the effort and commitment from the players has been questionable, and the club as a whole has been glancing anxiously over it’s shoulder towards the relegation zone below us. To expect a team in that kind of rut to come out and play like Brazil is unrealistic. They didn’t play like Brazil, but they dug in, they were resolute, they rode their luck when they needed to, and they took their chances when they came. With the nerves that would be guaranteed on an occasion like this, it’s unfair to ask for any more. The players and management produced what was needed and 3 points were secured. Job done. What’s next?

What I really want to talk about is Gary Cahill. A young lad who yesterday made his 2nd Premiership start for Aston Villa. Cahill has been something of a cult figure since he made a huge impact while on loan at Burnley and, following the intensification of Villa’s central defensive injury crisis, has suddenly taken on the responsibility of plugging the leaks in Villa’s back line.

I’ve heard all the reports about Cahill’s abilities, I’ve seen him play a few times for Burnley in a league which, most football fans would agree, is a far cry from the cut and thrust of the Premiership. I’ve seen him for Villa’s reserves and I saw him last week for the first team against the Baggies. Through all this I’ve been very reluctant to compliment the lad too much; I hate setting up young players too high only for them not to consistently meet the expectations we have for them, and all too quickly their chances are written off.

Yesterday we saw all the good things about Gary Cahill’s game. He can read the game very well, and has the physical and mental strength not to be overawed or bullied away from doing his job. He won’t match Baros, Moore or Agbonlahor for awesome pace, but over 5 yards there will be few people who can beat him. In the goalmouth scrambles that happened in front of Tommy’s goal yesterday, he was able to beat a few players to the ball and clean up quite efficiently when needed. He is more than willing to put his body on the line. I lost count of the amount of times yesterday when Gary Cahill flung himself blindly in front of shots and took the big hits when he needed to. Yes, that’s the job of every central defender, but Cahill did it yesterday without question. His willingness to put his body on the line is something that has been lacking for us this season

He also seemed to possess one of the most important qualities for any young defender. He was lucky. At times when the shots and crosses were raining in, and he made himself big, he blocked shots, and he made big tackles. He was never adjudged to fouled and conceded a penalty or a dangerous free kick to punish us. That luck will hopefully continue for him, because it’s vital.

And then there’s the luck which presented him with a ball, 5 feet in the air, 8 yards from goal. To be in that situation definitely needs luck. Then there’s the short burst of pace which ensured he got to that ball in time. In time for him to leap into the air and execute a magnificent scissors kick and score a goal that he, and most Villa fans, will never forget.

In the hour that had preceded that goal, I had forgotten that Gary Cahill was 20 years old and only starting his 2nd Premiership game. He looked like part of the furniture. He fit. He and Ridgewell showed that they had played regularly together, they had a good understanding of each other’s movements. In short, Cahill looked like he had been playing in the Premiership for many years.

Sitting in the Trinity Road stand, I could see the sun reflect off Gary Cahill’s smile for 15 minutes after his goal. That smile, and the adrenaline that flowed through him following his goal, reminded me that this kid is just that; a kid. A kid who had just scored a vital goal in front of a packed Holte End. And when I saw Liam Ridgewell try to bring him back down to earth, I realised that I was becoming guilty of what I had sworn not to do. I was building Gary Cahill up too soon.

Cahill seems to possess all the attributes necessary to become an excellent player. His argument in favour of a bigger contract will have been dealt no damage by his display yesterday. However, if Olof Mellberg is fit for the match at Wigan, I would suggest that Gary Cahill sit on the bench and be allowed to come back down to earth; not with a bang, but softly enough to realise that not every game will result in him scoring Pele-esque goals and being adored by 37,000 Villa fans.

Gary Cahill is a talent that needs to be nurtured. Up to now, David O’Leary has been very skilful in his protection of the young players. Under his guidance, Luke Moore, Steven Davis, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Craig Gardener and now Gary Cahill have all come into the first team and made positive impressions. Part of that guidance has been knowing that young players need to be excluded at times. Replacing Liam Ridgewell with Gary Cahill at Wigan would, in my opinion, put too much pressure on Cahill too soon. I want Gary Cahill to be a very good player who is remembered for his years of committed and accomplished service in the Villa defence, not as the kid who scored that great goal but was crushed under the weight of expectation.

By Gary Gleeson


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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday April 18 2006
Time: 9:51AM

Comments

0
Outstanding article, only part I'd quibble about is the dropping him to the bench, I'd love to see him play alongside Olof and see Ridgewell given a rest!
The Fear
18/04/2006 09:53:00
0
Outstanding article, only part I'd quibble about is the dropping him to the bench, I'd love to see him play alongside Olof and see Ridgewell given a rest!
The Fear
18/04/2006 09:53:00
0
Yeah lets not forget Ridge is a youngster too and has played 30+ games this year, he deserves a rest and let Cahill ride the wave for a few games. I'm also trying to not get carried away but the guys stature reminds me so much of John Terry I cant but keep making the comparision.
Aronno7
18/04/2006 10:21:00
0
Yeah lets not forget Ridge is a youngster too and has played 30+ games this year, he deserves a rest and let Cahill ride the wave for a few games. I'm also trying to not get carried away but the guys stature reminds me so much of John Terry I cant but keep making the comparision.
Aronno7
18/04/2006 10:21:00
0
I agree with you Fear, I'd like to see him given the as much premiership experince as possible now when we have nothing to play for so that he is ready and used to it all by next season. Personally I'd stick Mellberg on the bench if fit as Ridge and Cahill have done nothing wrong as a partnership for 180 minutes of intense football.
DeanoVilla
18/04/2006 10:25:00
0
I agree with you Fear, I'd like to see him given the as much premiership experince as possible now when we have nothing to play for so that he is ready and used to it all by next season. Personally I'd stick Mellberg on the bench if fit as Ridge and Cahill have done nothing wrong as a partnership for 180 minutes of intense football.
DeanoVilla
18/04/2006 10:25:00
0
i agree with deanovilla...why change a winning formula....age has nothing to do with it.if your good enough, your old enough.also lets not forget the likes of milner, davies , and co...they are still in there early days plying there trade with a big club in the most demanding league in the world.
JASON
18/04/2006 11:31:00
0
i agree with deanovilla...why change a winning formula....age has nothing to do with it.if your good enough, your old enough.also lets not forget the likes of milner, davies , and co...they are still in there early days plying there trade with a big club in the most demanding league in the world.
JASON
18/04/2006 11:31:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Nuneaton Return For Petrov?

It's being reported that Stiliyan Petrov could be set for a role and a return to the game with Nuneaton Town.

Tshibola's Villa Confidence

Newcastle point saver Aaron Tshibola has said he believes that with growing confidence, Villa will be a 'real force' this season once we find some real consistency...

Di Matteo Reflects On Newcastle

Roberto Di Matteo has reflected on the draw against Newcastle at the weekend, and he's hoping how we ended that game is now how we start playing from the beginning.

Stan Collymore, Annoying Or What!

2big4seatswannastand on Collymore giving Jack (or anyone) advice..

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Newcastle MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Gollini14%
Chester1%
Elphick1%
Baker1%
Adomah0%
Westwood2%
Jedinak1%
Amavi1%
Bacuna0%
Kodjia35%
Ayew29%
Sub - Tshibola12%
Sub - Gestede0%
Sub - Hepburn-Murphy3%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Norwich 9 6 2 1 20 6
2 Huddersfield 9 6 1 2 19 4
3 Brighton 9 5 2 2 17 6
4 Reading 9 5 2 2 17 0
5 Newcastle 9 5 1 3 16 10
6 Birmingham 9 4 4 1 16 4
7 Barnsley 9 5 0 4 15 6
8 Wolves 9 4 3 2 15 3
9 Brentford 9 4 2 3 14 6
10 Bristol City 9 4 2 3 14 5
11 Sheff Wed 9 4 2 3 14 -1
12 Leeds Utd 9 4 1 4 13 -1
13 Fulham 9 3 4 2 13 -2
14 Ipswich 9 3 3 3 12 0
15 Forest 9 3 2 4 11 -2
16 Q.P.R. 9 3 2 4 11 -4
17 Aston Villa 9 1 6 2 9 0
18 Burton 9 2 3 4 9 -2
19 Preston 9 3 0 6 9 -4
20 Blackburn 9 2 2 5 8 -6
21 Cardiff 9 2 2 5 8 -7
22 Derby County 9 1 3 5 6 -6
23 Rotherham 9 1 3 5 6 -12
24 Wigan 9 1 2 6 5 -3
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Drivers make tyre selections for Malaysia
Latest Vital Boxing News
Joshua v Klitschko?
Vital Football Comment

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Sep 27 2016 7:45PM : Barnsley (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Oct 1 2016 3:00PM : Preston North End (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Oct 15 2016 5:30PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Oct 18 2016 8:00PM : Reading (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Oct 22 2016 3:00PM : Fulham (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Oct 30 2016 12:00PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear575
2.glensider339
3.sirdennis318
4.Fulford269
5.Silhillvilla218
6.Melon Donkey200
7.kefkat167
8.JuanPabloAngel136
9.villasince67135
10.DeanoVilla126
Write for Vital Football