32 Premier League games after joining from Bolton Wanderers for a reported £7m in January 2012, Gary Cahill received his first yellow card at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool Sunday.
The England international has made just one tackle per game on average this season, and has committed a total of just six fouls. Branislav Ivanovic, on the other hand, has made an average of 1.9 tackles per game and has committed a total of 26 fouls this season - 20 more than Cahill. Ivanovic has received five yellow cards in the process.
Cahill’s lack of tackling, especially in-front of the Stamford Bridge crowd, would suggest why it has taken 32 Premier League games, and almost two years, to receive his first yellow. The England defender has also benefited from playing more of a sweeper role, covering for his fellow defenders. Cahill makes on average 5.8 clearances per game and a club high average of 0.8 blocked shots per game.
The Chelsea defender was shown a yellow card for a bad sliding challenge on Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during the second-half, as the Reds were gaining momentum. The Blues, however, managed to hold out for an important three points in a 2-1 victory.
Chelsea’s other English defender, John Terry, also had reason to feel happy, as he continued his run of playing every minute of every Premier League game this season. And Terry had a solid game.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourniho’s told Sky Sports: ‘More important than John Terry’s 600 games is the fact he has played every minute of all our league games this season. Terry is getting these minutes because he is playing fantastically well'.
What did you make of the English defenders’ performances ?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald