Gary Cahill is more than happy with Jose Mourinho’s tough approach at Chelsea, despite the distress it has caused David Luiz and Juan Mata.
The Portuguese coach returned to Stamford Bridge during the summer, in the hope of recreating the success of his first spell. Two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups were added to the honours list between 2004 and 2007, and the vast majority of supporters are expecting a similar return this time around.
However, the former Real Madrid boss has caused controversy in the early weeks of his tenure by dropping fan favourites Luiz and, in particular, Mata. The Spaniard has been excellent since his arrival from Valencia in 2011, not least last season when he was a regular scorer and creator of goals as Rafael Benitez’s side won the UEFA Europa League.
Mourinho, who left both players out of the matchday squad against Fulham on Saturday, explained that the midfielder must learn to adapt his game if he wants to earn a place in the starting line-up. Whilst this has caused surprise amongst many fans and pundits alike, defender Cahill has no complaints over such a hard-line stance.
“He expects certain things from players,” said the defender. “That is the way he manages, I think it is great and I’m sure it will rub off on the other lads. I’ve really enjoyed it. Obviously there is a style that he wants to play, that he demands from certain players in certain positions. Also with the manager, if you slip up, you will be out of the side. It is as simple as that. He has his own reasons for things and there is great competition.”
Having started four of the five Premier League matches thus far and the opening UEFA Champions League match, Cahill has little reason to complain. As for Mata, he will given a chance to show he can adapt to Mourinho’s methods on Tuesday night, when the Londoners travel to Swindon Town for a third round League Cup tie.