Saturday, 19 November 2011

Cahill is Fab for England says Coyle

Bolton manager Owen Coyle reckons his star defender Gary Cahill is beating Rio ­Ferdinand in the race to partner John Terry in England's back four at Euro 2012.

Manchester United centre-half Ferdinand may have been dropped by Three Lions boss Fabio Capello recently, but is still in the Italian’s plans.

And while Everton stopper Phil Jagielka must have helped his case with an impressive display against Spain seven days ago, Cahill was just as composed when asked to line-up alongside skipper Terry in the 1-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday.

That was the fourth time in five games this season that the pair have been selected at the heart of the England defence.

Coyle concedes he may well have finally sold Cahill to a top club by the time the tournament comes around in June, with the defender’s contract up in the summer and plenty of takers on the horizon.

The Scot views Cahill as a perfect fit for Capello’s new system, which demands defenders who can play football as well as stop strikers.

“I think Gary and John Terry look very comfortable together and it looks as though there is a very good understanding," said Coyle.

"That doesn’t surprise me. When you look at the make-up of the two of them, the qualities they have, I think it does make a very good pairing.

“Gary certainly showed he can live at that level against Sweden. He was terrific. I thought he was outstanding in the game.

“As we know, he’s a great passer and when they play that way he is certainly one who can pass the ball from the back, through the middle, to the strikers. He’s got a terrific range of passing.

“And when he’s tested defensively he’s loaded with pace, he’s got great timing in the air and I thought he looked a seasoned performer the other night. That augurs well for him.’’

Even though Cahill is obviously impressing Capello, he is aware there is plenty of work to do on his game.

And Coyle reckons his star’s desire to work on any weaknesses is one of the keys to his success.

He added: “Gary knows there are things he can get better at and if he didn’t I’d be very surprised because he strives to get better, he’s so conscientious and he wants to get better.’’

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