Tag Archives: didier

Jose Mourinho and Fatih Terim hug at Galatasaray game – VIDEO

Jose finds his Special One: Affectionate Real Madrid boss greets his Galatasaray rival… and he even brought him flowers!

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

16:30 GMT, 17 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 18 March 2013

Jose Mourinho's reinvention as the nicest guy in football continued in Turkey at the weekend as he checked out Real Madrid's Champions League opponents Galatasaray.

Mourinho, who was gushing in his praise of Manchester United after knocking them out of the tournament in the last round, went head to head with Gala coach Fatih Terim.

But it was all lover-dovey as the pair shared several hugs and pats on the back at Kayserispor's Kadir Has Stadium, where Terim's side won 3-1.

Scroll down for video

Head to head: Jose Mourinho (right) and Fatih Terim seemed pleased to see each other

Head to head: Jose Mourinho (right) and Fatih Terim seemed pleased to see each other

Head to head: Jose Mourinho (right) and Fatih Terim seemed pleased to see each other

VIDEO: Fatih Terim and Jose Mourinho

Wesley Sneijder was on the scoresheet for the Turkish table-toppers and he gave Mourinho a smile and a wave.

The Dutchman won the Champions League with Inter Milan under Mourinho three years ago and he said: 'It's great to see him again. The last time I saw him was in the final when we played in 2010, the final against Bayern Munich.

Look what I can do: Dutchman Wesley Sneijder reminded Mourinho what he's capable of

Look what I can do: Dutchman Wesley Sneijder reminded Mourinho what he's capable of

I don't usually do this: Didier Drogba missed a sitter for Galatasaray

I don't usually do this: Didier Drogba missed a sitter for Galatasaray

'That was the last time I saw him, so it was a very nice moment when he came to visit us and I am happy to see him again because we had a great time together.

'But I just send him a message that he should be careful because if he is around, I always score.'

Less impressive was another Mourinho old boy as former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba missed a sitter for Galatasaray.

VIDEO: Watch Didier Drogba's howler

Terim watched Real thump Mallorca 5-2 on Saturday so would have been relieved to see his side put on a show in front of Mourinho, who was at the match with his son.

Burak Yilmaz scored Gala's other two goals and they will travel to the Spanish capital for the first leg on Wednesday, April 3 with the return set for the following Tuesday.

Take note: Mourinho watched Galatasaray beat Kayserispor 3-1

Take note: Mourinho watched Galatasaray beat Kayserispor 3-1

Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho holds a bunch of flowers

Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho holds a bunch of flowers

Flower powert: Jose Mourinho was given a welcome gift as he arrived in Turkey to watch Galatasaray

Didier Drogba arrives in Turkey with Galatasaray

Drogba arrives in Turkey to party atmosphere as ex-Chelsea hitman begins latest chapter with Galatasaray

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 8 February 2013

Didier Drogba received a warm welcome as he arrived in Istanbul having agreed to join Turkish club Galatasaray in the January transfer window.

Former Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder received a similarly rapturous welcome when he arrived in the Turkey last month, and Drogba expressed his delight at joining the Dutchman having left Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua.

The Ivory Coast captain's arrival was delayed by his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.

New chapter: Didier Drogba held up a Galatasaray flag after arriving in Istanbul this afternoon

New chapter: Didier Drogba held up a Galatasaray flag after arriving in Istanbul this afternoon

But the former Chelsea striker's hopes of winning the tournament for the first time were scuppered when Nigeria put the Ivorians out.

Drogba stepped off the plane this afternoon and held up a flag with the club colours and crest printed on it before meeting up with head coach Fatih Terim.

When the 34-year-old arrived at Galatasaray's training base, he told Galatasaray TV: 'I've met with the coach, but it’s not the first time we’ve met. He just remembered me from when Cote d’Ivoire national team played against Turkey.

Warm welcome: Drogba received a similar reception to Wesley Sneijder after he arrived in Turkey last month

Warm welcome: Drogba received a similar reception to Wesley Sneijder after he arrived in Turkey last month

'I’m really happy to be here for me as it’s a new challenge, a new part of my life. I will do my best to be successful for the club.'

Drogba will link up with compatriot Emmanuel Eboue, who joined the Turkish champions from Arsenal in the summer of 2011.

Another former Chelsea striker who took the same path from Stamford Bridge to China has also returned to Europe.

Nicolas Anelka joined Shenhua in January last year, but decided to transfer to Italian giants Juventus, making his move to the Serie A champions last month.

In the mix: Wesley Sneijder has already made the switch from Inter Milan to Galatasaray

In the mix: Wesley Sneijder has already made the switch from Inter Milan to Galatasaray

Didier Drogba set to sign for Galatasaray on 18 month contract

Turkish delight for Drogba with former Chelsea striker set to sign for Galatasaray

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:44 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:31 GMT, 27 January 2013

Didier Drogba has signed an 18-month contract at Galatasaray, according to reports in Turkey.

The former Chelsea striker is currently on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast but Eurosport and official Turkish League broadcaster LigTV are reporting that Drogba has found the time to agree a move to Turkey from Shanghai Shenhua.

He is expected to complete a 5million move to the Turkish side and will receive a signing on bonus of 3m.

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Turkish delight: Didier Drogba is set to join Galatasaray on an 18-month contract

Drogba will also reportedly receive a bonus of 21,000 for each game he plays, up to a maximum of 425,000 a year, meaning he could earn 9.6m over the 18 months.

Eurosport Turkey reports that the 'agreement is not official yet but sources say it will be done in the next week.'

A spokesperson for the Sports PR Company said: 'They have made a formal bid for him.'

The 34-year-old has found it hard to
settle in China and with Shenhua's financial problems worsening they
have already offloaded Drogba's former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka
to Juventus this week.

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Struggles: Drogba failed to settle in China with Shanghai Shenhua

Didier Drogba sits on the pitch with the trophy

AC Milan had been linked with a move
for Drogba but it appears he will be heading to Galatasaray to join
their recent 8.6million signing Wesley Sneijder.

Last month Drogba returned to train with his old club during the Chinese off-season in preparation for the African Nations Cup, in which he is currently competing in South Africa.

FIFA rejected a special request from the striker for him to join a club on loan outside the transfer window, amid speculation linking him with Juventus, AC Milan and Liverpool, among others.

Manchester United stars wear Bugs Bunny pyjamas

What's up, doc United stars wear Bugs Bunny pjs on team-building flight to Qatar

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

23:14 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 20 January 2013

Manchester United stars prepared for their long-haul flight to Qatar by wearing matching pairs of Bugs Bunny pyjamas.

Sportsmail is, so far, unable to verify the reasons behind the decision, but with five members of the United team wearing the uniform, we can only speculate there has been a radical breakthrough in Manchester United's sports science department.

United are in Qatar for warm weather training, much-needed after their 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane was played out in the driving snow.

Chilling with Bugs: Robin Van Persie (left) and Alexander Buttner (right) lounge in their Bugs Bunny pjs on the flight to Qatar

Chilling with Bugs: Robin Van Persie (left) and Alexander Buttner (right) lounge in their Bugs Bunny pjs en route for a team-building trip in Qatar

When in Doha, the team are planning to focus on team-building exercises at the $1.3billion Aspire Academy.

They hope the trip will also aid recovery for the likes of Ashley Young and Jonny Evans, who are suffering from injuries.

United went in front with Robin Van Persie grabbing his 18th Premier League goal of the season, but were pegged back by a Clint Dempsey goal in the 92nd minute.

Ferguson was disappointed that Chris Foy did not award his team a penalty.

'It was a clear penalty,' he said. 'It was definitely a penalty. He has put his leg right in there.

'The linesman is facing it, I thought he had a very poor game, the linesman. I thought he was disappointing.

Breakthrough Andreson (left), Patrice Evra (right) and Nick Powell (behind) were also wearing the night wear

Breakthrough Andreson (left), Patrice Evra (right) and Nick Powell (behind) were also wearing the night wear

'We have got that history with him. He never gave offside with (Chelsea striker Didier) Drogba at Old Trafford when he was three yards offside.

'Everyone remembers that, I certainly do.' The Drogba incident came in a 2-1 win for Chelsea at Old Trafford in April 2010.

Ferguson felt his side had been let down again, with Rooney seemingly fouled only moments after replacing Shinji Kagawa.

'For me it was a poor performance from him, why he never gave a penalty I don't know,' Ferguson added. 'I think he had a shocking game today, he's had a bad game and we never got anything from that side of the pitch.'

Overall, though, he is happy with the way his team is performing so far this season.

'We have been to all the top teams' grounds so far,' he said. 'We just have Arsenal left and we think we can be pleased with the outcome of them all.

Sub-zero: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed his side were not awarded a penalty

Sub-zero: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed his side were not awarded a penalty

'We have got a healthy points total from them and it's another game out of the road.

'I wanted the game to go ahead today because we don't want a backlog and as it was, it proved I was right.'

United next play on January 26th in the FA Cup Fourth Round tie at home to Fulham.

Juan Mata is like return of Gianfranco Zola to Chelsea

Mata isn't Juan of a kind… Chelsea star is closest to second coming of King Zola

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UPDATED:

11:27 GMT, 29 December 2012

Chelsea are not a team many people wish well, bar their own supporters. The club's players are even less popular.

John Terry and Ashley Cole regularly come in for dogs' abuse from the terraces, and the likes of Didier Drogba and Dennis Wise also drew ire with ease from opposition fans.

So when people found a diamond in what was widely perceived to be the rough, it was a shock. But lo and behold, Gianfranco Zola arrived from Parma in 1996 and delighted fans of all clubs week in, week out.

Mata of fact: The Spaniard has been in scintillating form this season

Mata of fact: The Spaniard has been in scintillating form this season

When he left SW6 in 2003 at the same time Roman Abramovich arrived, football fans in England were sad. Zola's expression on the pitch, his joy and skill and smile all drew much admiration, with little venom in response.

If a football player becomes extremely popular there is often a backlash from people who become fed up of hearing about them. See Jimmy Bullard and Mario Balotelli for details. Even Premier League legends like Ryan Giggs and Thierry Henry have their detractors.

Zola didn't, and seemed like he was one of a kind. But then in the summer of 2011, while Chelsea was under the stewardship of Andre Villas-Boas, a young man by the name of Juan Mata arrived.

Much of the talk around Stamford Bridge was concerned with how, where and if Mata would fit in. If he would be strong enough or quick enough for English football. If this 23-and-a-half-year-old was worth the same number in millions of pounds which Chelsea paid for him.

Were the goals he scored for Valencia all he offered Videos on the internet suggested he had an eye for a pass and could whip a ball in. But then if you flicked through the right collection of YouTube clips you could wind up convinced that Jesper Gronkjaer was one of the finest crossers of the ball the top flight has ever seen.

Return of the King Zola spent seven years at Stamford Bridge

Return of the King Zola spent seven years at Stamford Bridge

Return of the King Zola spent seven years at Stamford Bridge

However, Mata made an instant impact
at the Bridge by scoring in his first match after coming on as a
substitute and his career has taken an upward trajectory ever since.

He soon became the key – and often
even the only – creative outlet to Villas-Boas' side. Mata forged
chance after chance for Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres, while colleagues Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou floundered.

Mata consistently took the plaudits even as the team lost momentum and form, leading to Villas-Boas’ dismissal. Roberto Di Matteo took the reins but the Spaniard did not bat an eyelid, continuing as impressively as before.

He helped Chelsea earn the FA Cup and Champions League trophies in a successful albeit unorthodox year at the club. Across the board he was picking up nods and mentions, and, like Zola before him, rarely attracted a mean-spirited comment.

Five for free on Mata

1. It's not just on the pitch he's smart. Mata is studying for two degrees, one in marketing and one in sports science.

2. He is a home town hero. In Oviedo, Spain, they have opened 'Juan Mata Park' and his youth team decided to rename their stadium after him.

3. Mata runs his own social media accounts, including his Twitter feed, his Instagram account and his blog.

4. He rose to the fore at Valencia after current Manchester City star David Silva left.

5. Real Madrid allowed Mata to leave on a free transfer at the age of 19.

And the comparisons to Zola started
to gather pace. Even visually Mata, at 5ft 7, is only one inch taller
than the Italian and both players had heads which appear fractionally
too big for their diminutive frames.

Mata also plays with a smile – and
some of the artistry he is responsible for could only have been conjured
by someone with a deep love for the game.

As well as enjoying taking to the field, Mata watches a lot of football at home too – especially La Liga. He writes about it on his blog, ‘One Hour Behind’ – in Spanish and then again in near perfect English.

And if you read the comment section below each entry, you will discover the blog is a rare section of the internet which has avoided the usual mudslinging. It is hard to imagine another footballer who would receive such solely positive feedback.

But then Mata does little to enrage opponents or fans. Unlike many players of a creative disposition and slight build, he does not dive and often attempts to stay on his feet despite being pulled back.

During the year-and-a-half which has passed since Mata signed for Chelsea, he has virtually been playing non-stop, so there’s been plenty of opportunity to expose him as ‘one of those diving foreign types’.

But between August 2011, via the Champions League run, Euro 2012, the Olympics and the new Premier League season, until today, Mata has only brought delight to football fans.

From the preciseness of his passing, to its scope and incisiveness, to some of the strikes he has to his name, here is a rare thing. A footballer as superb as he is likeable.

And this season he can lay claim to being the finest in the top flight. When he returned from the Olympics he was visibly tired and was sent on a two week break. After he returned, he has been unstoppable.

All action: Mata followed Champions League glory with victory at the Euros

All action: Mata followed Champions League glory with victory at the Euros

All action: Mata followed Champions League glory with victory at the Euros

'It was just common sense to give him
a break and the way he’s performing suggests it was very welcome by his
body and his mind,’ said Di Matteo.

'Juan Mata is a very intelligent man and I talked to him about this idea; he bought into it and saw the benefits of it.'

His poise and balance are as good as they have always been, but what has really improved is his eye for goal (see below to find out why).

Mata already has 13 goals and 14 assists this term in 28 games, compared to 12 and 20 in 54 respectively last year, in all competitions for Chelsea. Essentially that means he has made a key contribution to a goal in every single one of his matches this season, bar one.

Mata stats… 2011-12

Games played: 54

Minutes played: 4075

Goals: 12

Minutes per goal: 339.6

Total shots: 82

Shots on target: 44

Shot conversion: 15%

Assists: 20

Yellow cards: 3

Red cards : 0

Mata stats 2012-13

Games played: 28

Minutes played: 2201

Goals: 13

Minutes per goal: 169.3

Total shots: 43

Shots on target: 24

Shot conversion: 30%

Assists: 14

Yellow cards: 1

Red cards:0

And he has adapted seamlessly to life under Rafael Benitez. His superb goal against Norwich on Boxing Day was yet another flash of magic which won Chelsea a match.

He has even praised Chelsea's interim coach without drawing fire from sceptical Blues fans who remain at loggerheads with the club over his appointment.

Ask fans at Carrow Road who the best player on the pitch was at the weekend, and they will tell you the answer was Juan Mata. Visit any of the stadiums Chelsea have played at this season, ask the same question, and you're likely to receive the same response.

Chelsea were blessed with one outstanding – and widely appreciated – talent in Zola. Mata is well on his way to emulating the little magician. Quite a few Chelsea fans will tell you he’s done it already.

How has Mata's productivity increased so significantly this year

Mata described Drogba’s departure from Chelsea as an electric shock and said the club have had to work hard to adapt to life without the talismanic striker. Mata’s game has certainly adapted.

In 2011-12 he was often deployed in attacking position on the left, to supply the ball aerially for the Ivorian. This meant Mata was not always in a useful position to add to his own goal tally. But when Di Matteo took over from Villas-Boas he began to play Mata more centrally, where he improved.

At the start of this season Mata was picked by Di Matteo on the right, with Oscar in the middle and Eden Hazard on the left. This gave him the chance to cut inside and shoot from a central position with his favoured left-foot, as well as supplying through-balls to Fernando Torres.

Man of the moment: Mata scored a stunner in the victory over Norwich

Man of the moment: Mata scored a stunner in the victory over Norwich

Since Benitez has arrived he has selected Victor Moses on the right wing and pushed Mata into the middle again, where he is arguably at his most effective and creative. His goals against West Ham and Norwich came as Mata sprang from this area of the pitch.

Frank Lampard’s incredible goal-hauls for the Blues have often led people to believe his eventual departure will be a massive blow for Chelsea. While he will be missed, Mata’s contribution will ensure it is only for sentimental reasons.

Mario Balotelli latest: AC Milan ready to sell Robinho and Pato to fund Manchester City striker bid

Milan ready to pack Pato and Robinho back to Brazil in bid to sign Balotelli

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 28 December 2012

AC Milan are preparing a bid for Mario Balotelli, confident they will be able to offload both Pato and Robinho to Brazil.

Manchester City have hung a 20million price tag on their striker, who has been linked with a move home to Italy on numerous occasions, but the San Siro club are close to securing him.

Balotelli is desperate to flee Manchester and sources close to the striker told Goal.com: ‘The situation has reached a point where both player and club simply want his time at City to end as soon as possible.

Italian job: AC Milan are reportedly ready to step up their interest in Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

Italian job: AC Milan are reportedly ready to step up their interest in Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

‘Mario has told his representatives that he is ready to leave Manchester. He is just waiting for the call from Italy.’

The deal hinges on Milan agreeing transfers of their own and the club is currently in advanced negotiations with Corinthians over the sale of Pato, who is likely to join the Club World Cup winners for around €15m (12.3m) within days.

Milan have also received a number of offers for Robinho, although vice-president Adriano Galliani has said Santos are leading the race, after talks with Flamengo fell apart earlier this month.

Boys from Brazil: Milan may cash in on Robinho and Pato to fund a bid for Balotelli

On the move: Milan could sell Pato

Boys from Brazil: Milan may cash in on former Man City striker Robinho (L) and Pato to fund a bid for Balotelli

Just last week, president Silvio Berlusconi rubbished talk of Balotelli joining Milan, insisting neither the Italian nor Didier Drogba were transfer targets.

He confirmed Drogba was the player ‘only Russian and Chinese clubs can afford’ while Balotelli’s wayward behaviour turned the politician and media tycoon off him.

But after warnings from City boss Roberto Mancini, Balotelli is thought to be cleaning up his act and is prepared to take a pay cut from his 110,000 weekly wage to become a Rossoneri player.

Didier Drogba hosts Champions League party for Chelsea players but Fernando Torres does not show

Drogba hosts party for Chelsea players to celebrate last season's Champions League triumph… but Torres is a no show

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 7 December 2012

Chelsea's hero Didier Drogba hosted a dinner tonight in honour of the Champions League title victory he secured with is former team-mates in May – although Fernando Torres was conspicuous by his absence.

Drogba organised the reunion at the Wyndham Hotel in Chelsea Harbour in recognition of last May’s amazing achievements, when they defeated Bayern Munich in their own stadium to lift the trophy.

Thanks Didier: Chelsea players show off their rings, (left-right) Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz

Thanks Didier: Chelsea players show off their rings, (left-right) Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball on the front and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball on the front and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Incredible: Great care and attention went into crafting the personalised rings which featured the players' faces, names and shirt numbers. This is Ashley Cole's

Incredible: Great care and attention went into crafting the personalised rings which featured the players' faces, names and shirt numbers. This is Ashley Cole's

He presented his old colleagues and
backroom staff with special commemorative rings to mark their
achievement – early reports suggest their total cost is around 800,000.

The Ivorian set up the special dinner to raise
spirits after they became the first Champions League winners to be
knocked out in the group stages the following season.

Spanish striker Torres, who is attempting to fill Drogba's boots at the club, was not in attendance.

However his son Leo turned two today and so he may have had an excuse for not showing up. Juan Mata and Petr Cech were also unable to make it to the event.

Drogba quit Chelsea at the end of last season to sign for Shanghai Shenhua but is back in London to train at Cobham before the African Cup of Nations early next year.

The Blues legend struck
the decisive penalty against Munich in the Allianz Arena in May – the kick his last in a Chelsea shirt – to send the fans into raptures and delight owner Roman Abramovich.

Earlier in the game he had hauled Chelsea level with a powerful header, just before the end, to send the match into extra time.

His fine performances helped them progress through the competition, and Drogba had a huge impact in particular during the home games against Valencia, Napoli and Barcelona.

This time around there was nobody who could drag the Blues out of the mire – they were eliminated on Tuesday night despite thumping Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1.

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Drogba with JT

Laughing matter

Inseparable: Drogba and Chelsea 'captain, leader, legend' Terry were close during their time at the club and they had a good laugh on Thursday night

Torres has been inconsistent at best in a Chelsea shirt and the club need to add a striker to their books in January.

They
had hoped to secure a deal for Drogba on a short-term loan, but FIFA
blocked the move as it was outside the transfer window.

Drogba and Luiz

A few words from Terry

Joking around: Drogba with David Luiz, while (right) Terry say a few words

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea v Manchester City: Chris Foy will referee

Referee Foy set to take charge of first Chelsea game since Terry racially abused Ferdinand

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UPDATED:

12:43 GMT, 22 November 2012

Chris Foy will this wekend take charge of a Chelsea match for the first time since he officiated their visit to Loftus Road when John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand

The 49-year-old has not refereed the Blues for more than a year after he sent off two of their players during the infamous Barclays Premier League fixture on October 23, 2011.

Foy awarded QPR the match-winning penalty in the 10th minute, then dismissed Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba as Chelsea lost 1-0.

Report: Foy (right) told police he did not hear anything from Terry or Ferdinand

Report: Foy (right) told police he did not hear anything from Terry or Ferdinand

Andre Villas-Boas slammed Foy at full-time, saying: 'I'm very disappointed with Chris's performance. With nine players we kept our emotions very well.

'Chris and his team managed to play an emotional game and they conceded to the crowd and committed tremendous mistakes.'

Foy then told police investigating Terry he did not hear anything from Ferdinand or the England captain.

Terry told the court at his criminal trial that Foy had heard Ferdinand's insults.

That is the background with which Foy will approach this weekend's standout game as league-leaders Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge.

Sunday's 4pm kick-off will be Rafa Benitez's first match in charge and it has the potential to be a tricky encounter to handle.

Rafa Benitez not man for the job! Chelsea supporter answers key questions facing club

Mad as ever … the view from a Chelsea season ticket holder on the chaos at the Bridge

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 21 November 2012

Jon Dolan has been a Chelsea supporter all his life and a season-ticket holder since the early 1980s. So he is well placed to have an opinion on Roman Abramovich and the latest managerial merry-go-round at Stamford Bridge.

What’s gone wrong

It was always going to end like this, but it has come quicker than anyone expected. Roman Abramovich is obsessed with Pep Guardiola and the football he created at Barcelona (who we beat in the European Cup semi-final last season). Roberto Di Matteo won the European Cup by accident, with a touch of ‘the Avrams’.

Scroll down for video

Rafa for the bridge Former Liverpool and Inter Milan coach Benitez could take over in the short term

Rafa for the bridge Former Liverpool and Inter Milan coach Benitez could take over in the short term

The dressing room, with JT, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech won the trophy, not the manager. He has tried to change the way of playing; a powerful team has been replaced by skilful little blokes and, as a result, there has been some sparkling football, but we’ve also been overpowered – by Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Manchester United in the league.

There is work to do for the new manager.

Who should be the manager

Anyone but Rafa Benitez! I absolutely do not want him… it began with a spat involving Jose Mourinho, who is still worshipped where I sit. He made bad signings at Liverpool, fluked a European Cup and I do not want him at Chelsea. He’s not the right man for us.

How the mighty have fallen: Di Matteo celebrates with the team after the FA Cup final

How the mighty have fallen: Di Matteo celebrates with the team after the FA Cup final

Describe Chelsea in three words

Mad as ever.

What do you think of Roman

I think the world of him. We have had ten years of extraordinary achievements. People of my generation have reference points: mine was trailing 3-0 at half time to Swindon in the Full Members Cup in 1988. We all wanted to leave to go to the pub, but the police wouldn’t let us!

It was a Chelsea team with Steve Clarke, Colin Pates and Kerry Dixon. Chris Kamara was in the Swindon team. John Hollins was the manager, but was sacked soon after – some things don’t change. What has changed, under Roman, is trophies. And lots of them. We’ve gone from turmoil and dross, to turmoil and trophies.

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Hugo Lloris seeks talks with Andre Villas-Boas

Bet you wish you had signed for Arsenal! Lloris wants talks with AVB but could have joined Gunners in summer

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 14 November 2012

Tottenham misfit Hugo Lloris will seek showdown talks with Andre Villas-Boas when he arrives back from international duty, as it emerged he could have become an Arsenal player in the summer.

The France international is growing increasingly frustrated at his lack of first-team football since his summer arrival from Lyon.

And Lloris wants clarification on his White Hart Lane future from Villas-Boas when he holds face-to-face discussions with the Portuguese manager.

Unhappy: Hugo Lloris (left) is not content on the Tottenham bench

Unhappy: Hugo Lloris (left) is not content on the Tottenham bench

Villas-Boas does not want to lose Lloris, who has been earmarked as the club’s future No 1, but knows he has a job on his hands to keep the goalkeeper happy given his limited chances.

The shot-stopper is likely to be on the bench for Saturday’s north London derby.

And Lloris could easily have been lining up against Spurs at the Emirates this weekend.

Sportsmail has learned that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger was a serious contender to sign the 25-year-old during the summer.

Could have been a Gunner: Lloris was also wanted by Arsenal this summer

Could have been a Gunner: Lloris was also wanted by Arsenal this summer

Arsenal – who will attempt to sign a new keeper in January – had Lloris watched extensively by scouts last season as it became clear he would be available.

The Gunners were even readying an official approach but eventually decided his 16million asking price was too much while there were also lingering doubts over how he would cope with the physicality of English football.

Lloris – who is understood to have been briefed about Arsenal’s interest – knows he has to start playing more regularly before his international place comes under threat after Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps complained about the lack of first-team football his No. 1 has been playing.