Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NOW WE HAVE Staying POWER; Gary Cahill Is on His Fourth Manager at Chelsea but, with Jose Mourinho Seemingly on Safer Groundthan Predecessors, the Defender Is Confident of a Title Push

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

NOW WE HAVE Staying POWER; Gary Cahill Is on His Fourth Manager at Chelsea but, with Jose Mourinho Seemingly on Safer Groundthan Predecessors, the Defender Is Confident of a Title Push

Article excerpt

Byline: EXCLUSIVE Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

GARY CAHILL is still a month away from his two-year anniversary as a Chelsea player but is already in the mood to celebrate. Life has certainly not been dull for the England international since his [pounds sterling]7million switch from Bolton to Stamford Bridge in January 2012.

Few could have experienced as many extreme highs and lows at a new club in such a short period.

While Cahill has collected three winners' medals, in the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League, there has also been the sizeable distraction of seeing as many managers leave in that time.

Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo were both sacked within 10 months of his arrival and even interim coach Rafael Benitez, who was brought in to oversee the remainder of last season, was the source of much speculation when results went awry.

The lack of stability in the dug-out did not prevent Chelsea from collecting major honours but it did have a detrimental effect on their ability to compete for the Premier League.

However, Cahill is feeling more optimistic than ever about the club's chances of finishing top this season because Jose Mourinho agreed a fouryear contract when he returned as manager in the summer and all the uncertainty is a thing of the past.

Cahill told Standard Sport: "It's good to know that, for the first time in a season since I've been here, there won't be speculation about whether the manager is going and which one is coming in, that it is just all about the football.

"I was looking forward to that when Jose took the job because you knew a manager of his calibre was not coming for just a couple of months and going off. He's here for a good while. That position is solid and settled now.

"Although we always try and concentrate on our job no matter what, it's great to know he's going to be the manager for the next few years.

"It's providing a more relaxed environment but it's not just about that. When a new manager comes in, it can bring a positive reaction, everyone is on a level playing field but everything changes. They bring in their own coaches, ideas etc and then when another one comes in it all changes again.

"It is a distraction for every player in a certain way because you never know what the opinion of the manager is going to be. Will he like you or not? How does he like to play? There are loads of things that can be affected. Now this manager has come in and everyone knows he will be here for a number of years so everyone is just focused on impressing him, trying to get in the team and playing well.

"We know what's expected from this manager, how he wants things to work. Everything is in place and we can just concentrate on doing those things."

That's not to say Mourinho has been able to prevent Chelsea from suffering setbacks this term. …

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