Why Gary Cahill has to be a regular starter for Crystal Palace this season
Crystal Palace were one of the slow movers in the summer transfer window. Signing players weren’t easy for them and it was only during the last week of the transfer window Roy Hodgson managed to add some players.
One of them was Gary Cahill, snapped on a free transfer after his release from Chelsea.
Former England international, Gary Cahill, 33, made just eight appearances under Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea last season. The central defender’s leadership skills, winning mentality and experience means the Eagles have bagged a massive coup by bringing him to Selhurst Park. However, he is yet to play for his new club in the Premier League thus far.
The 33-year-old played 90 minutes for the Palace Under-23s last week in order to attain match fitness. And given he did well and completed the whole game for the young Eagles, it was baffling to see Roy Hodgson name him on the bench against Sheffield United at the weekend.
Palace had defensive problems throughout the 2018/19 campaign, conceding 53 goals.
The defenders looked indecisive on the ball and made schoolboy errors at the back, with none of Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann, James Tomkins and Martin Kelly consistently showing solidity. Thus, signing a new central defender was of paramount importance for the Eagles to shore up their backline.
A seasoned campaigner in the Premier League for a number of years now, Cahill could be the right man for Palace, who lost to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane at the weekend.
The centre-back pairing of Dann and Kelly struggled to cope with the hosts’ forwards throughout the game, with Palace eventually losing 1-0.
It was shocking to see Hodgson name Cahill on the bench and not start in such an important game. Had the former England international started in central defence, the Eagles might have not lost the game or at least managed a point at United, who knows?
What’s gone will not come back now and it’s crucial Hodgson brings in Cahill in the starting XI next time around.
With games against Manchester United and Aston Villa coming up, with the Carabao Cup round two clash with Colchester sandwiched between them before the first international break, it is important for Palace to regroup and bounce back.
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And a presence like Cahill in defence would give Hodgson’s side a better chance of getting a positive result from the upcoming league fixtures.