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Gary Cahill Gets Reward for Fine Form With England Call

He’s long been on Fabio Capello’s radar, but with Rio Ferdinand’s injury the Bolton defender has finally been brought onto the international stage, and into the national spotlight…

Cahill: Wasn't impressed with his hairdresser's efforts...

Cahill: Wasn't impressed with his hairdresser's efforts...

Gary Megson might not be the most popular Premiership manager, but it is difficult to criticise the job he has done at Bolton Wanderers.

Following in the footsteps of Sam Allardyce—no easy task, considering the results “Big Sam” engineered for the Trotters—the former West Brom and Nottingham Forest manager has carefully steered the squad to two safe mid-table Premiership finishes.

This season the club finished 13th, an improvement on last season’s 16th place effort. Considering the meagre budget Megson has had to work with, that is no mean feat.

While he might not have had much to spend, when he has he has invariably spent it wisely.

The £5m spent on Gary Cahill is a case in point.

The 23-year-old central defender has been arguably Bolton’s best performer this season, if not ever since arriving from Aston Villa in January 2008.

Finding opportunities frustratingly limited behind Martin Laursen and Curtis Davies, both Cahill and Villa manager Martin O’Neill were open to Gary Megson’s offer to take the former Burnley and Sheffield loanee to the Reebok Stadium.

In the reminder of the 2007-08 season, he slotted into the team admirably. After a great season for Bolton this term—his first full campaign with the club—the 6’2” defender has seen his efforts rewarded not only with the club’s player’s player of the year trophy, but also with a call-up to the full England squad, after Rio Ferdinand was forced to withdraw through injury.

“It’s come so quickly that I haven’t had time to take it all in,” Cahill told Bolton’s official website this week. “I’m just looking forward to going down there and doing my very best. I’m thankful that I have got the chance and I’m determined to take it with both hands.”

With West Ham’s Matthew Upson likely to fill Ferdinand’s starting role, the 23-year-old will probably have to be content with a place among the substitutes. However, with both Kazakhstan and Andorra expected to pose little threat to an England side in good form, Cahill might well get the opportunity to win his first cap at some point in either game.

The former U21 international, who has been in Fabio Capello’s provisional squads twice before but never made the final cut, believes international recognition would be the icing on a great season for him.

“I’ve had a good season and I’ve worked really hard,” he said. “It has just capped off a great year and to have the chance to play for your country is any footballer’s dream.”

An England cap would only add to an already impressive resume. Imposing in the air, comfortable on the floor and, most impressively, almost immune to lapses in concentration, Arsene Wenger has been rumoured to have made enquiries about bringing the defender to the Emirates Stadium.

Megson, while worried, is unsurprised that his young charge is garnering such attention.

“I think he’s the best young centre-half in the country by an absolute street and I’ve been delighted with him again this year,” the Bolton manager said last week.

“I want to build the team around him for the next few seasons. I can understand why the big clubs are interested in him but it’s going to take an offer over and above what we received for Nicolas Anelka from Chelsea.”

Bolton received around £15m for the Frenchman back in 2008 (part of which was spent on acquiring Cahill). In reality, however, a fee of around £12m is likely to prove very difficult for the club to resist.

With finances limited, Megson might begrudgingly accept that such a fee for one player would give him the scope to improve the team in a number of ways ahead of the new campaign.

An England cap might just justify a little inflation of Cahill’s asking price. But conversely, such international recognition might also convince the money-men behind interested parties that he really is the genuine article.

He might not make a move this summer, just as he might not win his first cap, but it looks certain that the young Englishman is destined for bigger and better things — internationally, and domestically.


June 3, 2009 - Posted by | Sport, World Football | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Gary Cahill Gets Reward for Fine Form With England Call « Catch … […]

    Pingback by » Weekend Premier League team news sales and marketing | June 10, 2009 | Reply

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