Sunday morning, Sunday supplement on Sky Sports, a segment on Chelsea that has got everybody talking.
Club captain Gary Cahill has absolutely savaged Manager Maurizio Sarri in an interview with the Telegraph’s Matt Law.
Law, a respected journalist on all things Chelsea, secured the interview as Cahill was announcing he was leaving Stamford Bridge after six wonderful seasons and “one terrible season”.
Cahill’s criticism of Sarri’s man management doesn’t make good reading. For those fans who want Sarri out already, this was just another nail in an already secure coffin.
‘If you are not playing a player, any player, for two, three, four games, then you don’t have to give a reason for that. But if it gets to eight or nine games, then you have to explain the situation. What’s going on? But the manager hasn’t done that,’ Cahill said.
‘It makes it very hard for me to have respect for someone who has not respected what some of us have won with the club.’
This is a stark difference to the situation encountered by John Terry just a couple of seasons ago.
Terry had picked up an injury early on in the season and by the time he was fit again, Chelsea has started to pick up form and went on the winning run which would help them secure the Premier League title.
In an interview then, Terry said he hoped he “wouldn’t play again this season” as it would mean that Chelsea were winning.
However he also praised Antonio Conte for his honesty.
Sarri, has taken advice to work with a small squad in his first season, but has taken that advice literally, freezing out players who he doesn’t think can work in his system.
In our heart of hearts we can be honestly say if you want a ball playing defender then you’re not going to pick Gary Cahill, but he should at least, as captain, be involved in the team.
Then, as we face teams like Burnley, who are physical and play long balls up to the strikers, you perhaps could have utilised him.
Cahill said he will “erase this season from his memory” as will some supporters, but at least Sarri, despite the scathing criticism of him, allowed Stamford Bridge to bid him an emotional farewell.
There’s been lots of reasons to criticise the manager this season, as fans, especially those who pay their money to watch the team, have an entitlement to do so.
This is where Cahill is wrong.
He is the club captain of Chelsea Football Club. The armband should be bigger than his ego.
We’re coming to the crunch part of the season, where before the game against Watford, a top four place was on the line.
Then on Thursday evening, Chelsea have an opportunity to reach another European final.
What we don’t need right now is negative press coming from our own players. Instead of focusing on the game, Sarri will be facing questions about his handling of the dressing room and key players.
Several players have praised Sarri, Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Kepa Arrizabalaga included, but when the club captain comes out with comments like that, questions will undoubtedly be asked.
If it was another player making his claims, perhaps Danny Drinkwater for example, I wouldn’t really have minded.
Sarri has made plenty of mistakes and while he deserves some credit for finishing top four, and potentially reaching two finals.
But when mistakes are made they need to be called out.
As captain though, you need to pick your moments. The club should come first, no matter your personal situation.
Then when the seasons over, you can talk about the situation and how difficult you found it.
Instead what Cahill has done is put himself first. Not concerned with the backlash that will come off the back of his self serving interview.
Inside Stamford Bridge, Cahill received the farewell he deserved. He’s won it all with us and will be remembered fondly and always welcomed back.
And while, if his claims are true, Cahill deserves more respect than what he’s received from Sarri, the club also deserves more respect than an interview from its club captain throwing its manager under the bus.
When you’re wearing this shirt and especially the armband, you forget the name on the back of shirt and focus entirely on the badge on the front.