Gary Cahill looking to erase 'Wembley nightmare'


Gary Cahill is desperate to banish the memories of his Wembley nightmare with Bolton by helping Chelsea beat Tottenham to reach the FA Cup final on Sunday.

Last season Cahill was part of a Bolton team that headed to Wembley looking to reach their first FA Cup final in 53 years.

The centre-back's dreams were torn to shreds within half an hour, though, as Stoke put three early goals past the Trotters on their way to a 5-0 hammering.

Cahill had an off day himself that afternoon, with his weak header allowing Robert Huth to score Stoke's second, and his failed interception enabling Kenwyne Jones to slot home and effectively kill off the tie after 30 minutes.

Cahill admits the humiliating defeat still hurts, but he hopes to wipe the slate clean in this weekend's semi-final with his new team.

"That game is not a fond memory, it's something that hurt at the time and still hurts me now," the Chelsea defender told FA TV.

"But now I have a chance to put that right on Sunday.

"I have no idea why that result happened.

"People said: 'Did you freeze?' No, we didn't.

"Everything seemed to be going really well for us as a team in the league, and it was as if everyone had a bad day all at once.

"It was just a freak result. It was a freak game."

After an uncertain start under Andre Villas-Boas - he had to wait three weeks after joining the club before making his debut - Cahill has performed well recently competing with David Luiz for a place alongside John Terry at the back.

The England centre-back, 26, found the step up a challenge at first, but is now revelling in the knowledge he is part of a club that is challenging for honours, both domestically and in Europe.

After facing Spurs on Sunday, Chelsea have the monumental task of trying to overcome Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final clash three days later at Stamford Bridge.

"It is a defining moment in the season," Cahill said.

"The lads are confident but obviously we realise how big the games on Sunday and Wednesday are.

"When you sign for a big club you are aware that they will challenge for trophies year in, year out and this year they are challenging for trophies again so being a part of a team that wins a trophy would be fantastic.

"It would be amazing for me to win my first trophy but there are hurdles before you can even think of that and we have a massive one on Sunday."

With one win in their last eight Barclays Premier League games, Tottenham travel to Wembley in their worst form of the season, but Cahill thinks the north London outfit will provide a stern test.

"They are a hard team to beat," Cahill said. "Harry Redknapp is a fantastic manager and he has turned them into a real force this season so it will be a tough game.

"They have a lot of players that can hurt you, like Gareth Bale.

"The wingers are always fast and their midfielders are superb as well so they have a lot of players who can hurt you on the break."

Despite the warning about Spurs' talents, Cahill admits Chelsea have their tails up after a mini-revival under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, and is delighted with the impact the Italian has made at the club since his appointment in March.

"I think the lads have taken to him," Cahill said.

"He is a calming person but he puts points across and he says what he feels.

"He has been in and around the set up at Chelsea for a while now so he knows how everything works.

"The lads sort of knew how he worked before. He is a good guy and a good manager so it is going really well."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power