FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012: Interview with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill
champions Chelsea cruised to a 3-1 victory over CF Monterrey in Yokohama on
Thursday evening to seal a place in the FIFA Club World Cup final against
Corinthians this Sunday. I spoke to centre-back Gary Cahill for his thoughts after
Was it as easy as it looked?
Without being disrespectful, I think it was comfortable in the end for us. They made it difficult at times but I thought we did the job well tonight and scored the goals to put the game to bed. So thankfully we got the right result.
Monterrey couldn’t live with you in the end – it was like a practice match.
We didn’t know much about them before the game, but from watching the video I think they like to play at a slow tempo, and obviously as you know the Premier League is really fast. So it was stressed to us to keep the same tempo as in the Premier League and I think that’s probably what caught them by surprise early on.
Things seemed to slow down towards the end of the first half, but then you came out flying in the second. Was that the focus during the interval?
Yeah, that was the thing – that was the instruction basically. I certainly felt that we started the game really quickly, but in the second half of the first we got sucked into slowing our tempo down which is never really good for us. So it was important to start back again like we had started the first half.
Was the quiet atmosphere a factor? Had you ever experienced anything like that before?
It was strange. I’d not really, if I’m honest. But it was down to us to motivate ourselves and to go out and start quickly. We knew that we needed a second goal, and the timing of it – coming so quickly – was obviously great for us. It made us be able to see the game out.
Is this tournament of particular value to you?
For sure. I don’t think you get many opportunities, if ever again, to play in this tournament. To travel all this way and have all this preparation in the middle of our season, but then to go home empty-handed would not be a great feeling. So we want to go and do the job now for sure, and we’ll all be ready for the game on Sunday.
In the UK, the Club World Cup is usually talked about in terms of the impact it will have on the rest of your season.
I don’t think we look that far ahead. Obviously we’ve got a massive game now on Sunday to win a trophy, and like I said before you don’t get many opportunities to do it. So we want to make the most of it. And in the Premier League, who knows? Having nine games in December is not ideal by any stretch, but there’s nothing you can do about it so you may as well get on with it. Like I said, we’re fully focused on Sunday and we’ll deal with everything else after that.
Is it good just to get away for a while?
Maybe. We’ll obviously have a full week bonding together and spending a lot of time with each other. Like you say it’s a little distraction away from the Premier League, and maybe that will be healthy. Time will tell when we get back, but we’ve definitely had a few good days’ training now, a good result tonight, and hopefully if we finish the job on Sunday – that’s the plan, obviously.
You’ve had a tough few months back home – is it a relief to leave that behind?
I don’t think it’s a relief. It’s just maybe a bit of a distraction from the Premier League, but we got a great result before we left so that was positive coming into this tournament. If can we bring the trophy back, again that would be positive for us and our confidence for going forward for the second half of the season.
How much do you know about Corinthians?
Again, we watched the game yesterday, so we’ve seen them play then, and no doubt over the next three days we’ll be seeing the previous clips and games to get to know how they play. But obviously they’ve got some talented players so it’ll be a tough game.
They’ve been watching you and focusing on this for six months!
I’ve seen how huge it is for them – the send-off they got from the airport and everything else was amazing, so it’s obviously massive, absolutely massive for them. They’ll be hungrier than ever, but like I say we haven’t travelled all this way to go home empty-handed so we’re fully focused ready for Sunday now.
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