Former Chelsea captain Gary Cahill has opened up about what went wrong with his relationship with former manager Maurizio Sarri.
Despite his critics, Cahill has been a great servant to the club for seven-and-a-half years since joining from Bolton in January 2012.
After John Terry left the club in 2017, Cahill was given the armband and named the team captain. The 34-year-old played a vital role under Antonio Conte where Chelsea won the Premier League title in 2016/17.
However, after Conte left Chelsea and appointed Sarri to take charge, Cahill was soon pushed out of the picture. He made just two Premier League appearances under the former Napoli manager.
Cahill said the 2018 World Cup was a big factor why he lost his spot at Chelsea.
He told the Dail Mail: “We went to the 2018 World Cup, got to the semi-finals, so I missed pre-season, which I think was massive looking back now.
“I was on the back foot. To be brutally honest, halfway through the season, the relationship was gone. I don’t think that was ever going to be recovered.”
Cahill said he tried to keep it professional but being left out by Sarri took a toll on him mentally.
He said: “It’s difficult to have respect for some of the things he did. But I have a lot of respect for the club, and for the players.
“As a big figure then, as captain, to go about things totally the wrong way, which I easily could have done, it’s not the way to do it.
“Was that easy? No. Was that one of the most mentally toughest things to deal with? Especially because it went on for so long? 100%.”
Cahill believes he could have reclaimed his spot if only Sarri gave him five games to prove it on the pitch but he never got the chance.
“The maddest things is when you don’t play for whatever reason – if you’re out of form, or if you had a few bad games and someone is playing better than you – I know in my head that if you give me four or five games in a row, I’ll be back,” Cahill added.
“Give me five games and you won’t get this shirt back. That’s an arrogance you have to have. The problem is he never gave me that.”
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