Gary Cahill has been named new club captain by Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. His appointment comes despite the England international intimating that he may require a move away from Stamford Bridge, in order to secure regular first-team football.
The 32-year-old central defender was a substitute in his sides 4-0 drubbing of Burnley last Sunday; however, he did play the full game in the 3-2 League Cup win over Derby County on Wednesday evening. But if this were to be used as a contrast of where he stands for the games of more substance, it has not hindered how he is thought of at the club.
Sarri initially held his nerve when it came to making a snap decision to name a club captain when he replaced Antonio Conte during the summer. Not rushing his decision has paid dividends, keeping players on their toes and illustrating to his squad that he is willing to play the long game when it comes to making important decisions.
Sarri has spoken about how he has spoken with not just his coaching staff but among the players too, about whom they felt would be the right fit for the job. The fact that Sarri is willing to hold counsel with players on such matters, limits any disconnect that could have the potential to fester.
By being open, and more importantly, open to the influence and opinions of his players, makes way for an open, transparent relationship with his players, and a building of trust.
That trust and connect with the players can only reap positive rewards.
Beyond this maturity shown in his managerial style, Sarri has shown that he has the insight to realise that the appointment of a club captain does not mean the player must be a regular starter. Cahill is well liked and a central figure at the club, whose appointment makes for a consistency in atmosphere that didn’t need an overhaul.
That Sarri had the intelligence to realise that, is testament to his capacity to understand, and equally important, his openness to be led, as well as lead.