While I was in England over Christmas, I paid a visit to the BWFC Superstore. I made several purchases, including a Bolton Wanderers calender (a steal at £1.50 or $2.44). So to shake things up a bit I've decided that I'm going to start a Man of the Month feature, which will be a little stats/bio/write-up of my opinion on the player, and perhaps include some highlights of their game. The man will be whoever is on the calendar that month, unless they're uninteresting in which case I'll just choose another player who didn't appear on the calendar. To set things off we have January's Man, Gary Cahill.
Clearly this man is the epitome of suave, he is from South Yorkshire after all. He was born in Sheffield 24 years ago. He played for a Sunday league side, but was signed to the Aston Villa academy at age 15. In 2004 he graduated from the academy and Villa immediately loaned him out to Burnley, he made 27 appearances, scored one goal, and earned several accolades. He returned to Villa in 2005, but only made 28 appearances over 2 years, and was loaned out to Sheffield United (who we will be facing on the 23rd) in 2008. It was there that the fateful moment happened, he was spotted by a Bolton scout.
On January 30, 2008, the penultimate day of the transfer window, he was signed up by Gary Megson, and I think this is Megson's best signing. He was a bargain price at £4.5 mil, and has certainly shown that he is world class (in the context of Bolton players at any rate). This man is a quality defender, great tackler, and has a huge presence in the box. He also is a great organizer of the back four, and I think he has promising credentials for one day taking up captaincy somewhere, if not at Bolton.
He also goes forward well, has good control over the ball and is good in the air. Just look at what a stunner his first goal for Villa was. There are strikers out there (cough...Elmander) who can't hit a ball that well. Now let's not get too lovey-dovey about this, he doesn't do it that often, but my, when he does it's beautiful.
Just this past Wednesday he had a screamer against Arsenal. Mind you he took this off balance and with his weaker foot, and he sends it whistling past Almunia. (30 seconds into the video)
Gary Cahill is a thoroughly solid player, dependable at the back, good going forward, good ball control, and occasional sparks of sheer brilliance. He's probably is the most talented person currently at Bolton, and we'll be lucky to keep him. I think could perform well in an England jersey. This is a man going somewhere, and he probably won't be around Bolton for too much longer.
2004-5: Burnley (loan), 27 appearances, 1 goal
2005-7: Aston Villa, 28 appearances, 1 goal
2007-8: Sheffield United (loan) 16 appearances, 2 goals
2008-present: Bolton Wanderers, 67 appearances, 8 goals
2007: England U20, 4 appearances, 0 goals
2008: England U21, 1 appearance, 0 goals
Player of the Year Winner 2004-5 (Burnley)
Young Player of the Year Winner 2004-5 (Burnley)
Goal of the Season Winner 2005-6 (Aston Villa)
Players' Player of the Year 2008-9 (Bolton Wanderers)