The former Manchester United man was a vital part of the Toffees' 1-1 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday, keeping danger man Gareth Bale relatively quiet, and his showing was not lost on teammate Cahill.
"It's no coincidence that when Phil Neville is out we seem to struggle quite a lot," Cahill told the club's official website.
"He is someone that everyone turns to for guidance and leadership. He's been there and done it and he's won a lot of medals."
Cahill said Everton's plan to try and topple Spurs was slightly different to usual and it paid immediate dividends when Leighton Baines scored a 17th minute free-kick but unfortunately for the Merseysiders, Rafael van der Vaart hit back three minutes later.
"We wanted to start the game with a high tempo and put them under pressure," Cahill added.
"In the first half we played really well and were lucky enough to get the goal and were unlucky not to get more.
"In the end they held out really well, they have such a big squad that they can change it however they want."