Gary Cahill has one particular unfulfilled ambition when it comes to his trophy-laden time with Chelsea. For although the defender has collected every major domestic honour while at the Blues, including the FA Cup in 2012, he still has a small adjustment he’d like to make to his catalogue of success.
And that is actually playing in a final in which Chelsea are victorious. Yes, he agrees that he contributed to the success at Wembley in five years ago following his move from Bolton Wanderers. But he missed out on the action in the 2-1 win over Liverpool due to being sidelined through injury. Thankfully, he regained his fitness in time to make his comeback in the memorable Champions League Final in Munich later that month.
The Stamford Bridge star will bid to repel the advances of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Oil when Chelsea take on Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday as Antonio Conte’s side try to celerbate a league and cup double, having clinched the Premier League trophy last week.
And if Cahill can help orchestrate a triumph over Arsene Wenger’s men he will no doubt cast his mind back to when he was but a youngster kicking a ball around at home dreaming of lifting the famous old trophy.
He said: “There was a big field over the back of where we lived. We’d play football at school, come back to my house, go out to the field out the back and that was it until it went dark, we just used to play and have fun.
“Even at that age, everyone is aware of the FA Cup and everyone wants to play, or dreams of playing, in an FA Cup Final. It’s not just something that people hope to do, they see it as a dream because a lot of people can’t make it to a final like that. The history of the competition is huge when you’re growing up.”
Cahill isn’t one of those modern-day footballers who disregard the FA Cup as a trophy that has lost its lustre. He added: “I have been fortunate enough to have all the trophies in England but it is the one I have wanted to do again for the obvious reason I would have loved to have played in the final.
“I don’t know why people talk about the FA Cup as if the shine has gone off it. For me it is the big cup competition in England and it always has been since I have been a kid, the one that everyone wants to get to and everyone wants to win, the one everyone watches as a kid so there is no shine off it for me. It is still huge.”