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It sounds comical in theory: Cahill, the Socceroos’ greatest ever goal scorer, coming off the bench in Australia’s premier domestic competition.
It isn’t because Cahill lacks talent. There is a reason he has had a long and successful career across Europe, America and Asia, and in international competitions.
Instead, Cahill coming off the bench would be a by-product of City’s embarrassment of attacking riches, as there isn’t a place for the 36-year-old in John van’t Schip’s starting line-up.
In games Cahill has started this season, he has been playing in the number 10 role. Traditionally, this position is reserved for central attacking playmakers, a role where only the very best can maximise their skills.
Cahill doesn’t fit in this role. It isn’t because he is a bad player, but it’s because his skills aren’t best suited to an attacking playmakers position.
Instead, Cahill does his best work as a striker upfront, the focal point for a teams’ goal scoring opportunities. With Bruno Fornaroli, the A-League’s goals record holder, looking even better this season, there is no room for Cahill to share the striker spoils with.
Additionally, it isn’t like City lacks attacking options. The likes of Luke Brattan, Neil Kilkenny and Nicolas Colazo have all been brilliant, with Fernando Brandan and Bruce Kamau causing havoc on the wings.
This leaves no spot for Cahill in the starting line-up. Plus, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing if Cahill comes off the bench. He’ll give City a legitimate goal scoring option off the bench and a spark plug that no other team can match.
Cahill has praised the quality of the A-League, so he should understand the reasoning behind the decision to move him to the bench.
After all, it will be a win-win for all parties involved and another step towards City’s goal of winning silverware, of any kind, this season.