A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Rafa Benitez has taken his first training session and given his first press conference at his Chelsea today. The new manager said he is hungrier than ever to win trophies, even if he is only around at the club until the end of the season:
“In seven months you can win some trophies and I'm sure at the end everyone will be delighted. I analyzed the squad. Can they win trophies? Yes. How many trophies can they win? We have five opportunities. I have more desire, more hunger to win trophies than before.”
Earlier in the day Benitez appointed Boudewijn Zenden as his number two at the club, and played down an incident where a fan held up a “Rafa out” placard at Chelsea’s training ground saying:
“The fans all want the same thing as the manager," he said, "and that's to win games."
There has been plenty of speculation that Benitez has been brought in as the man to get the best out of Fernando Torres, with the striker incredibly prolific under Benitez at Liverpool. There have also been rumours that Di Matteo’s decision to drop Torres for the match in Turin on Tuesday was a contributory factor in his dismissal.
Mark Clattenburg has been cleared by the FA with regards to the charges of “inappropiate language” made against him by Chelsea. The referee said it was “truly frightening” to have his career on the line. Clattenburg misses his fourth round of league matches this weekend. Chelsea have accepted the decision.
The FA have also charged John Obi Mikel over the events that followed the loss to Manchester United. Mikel is accused of acting inappropriately in or around the match officials dressing room after the match.
In transfer news, Didier Drogba has been denied the chance to make an immediate loan move to Chelsea by FIFA. Drogba had hoped he may be allowed to move outside the transfer window, but will now have to wait until the New Year to make any move, before heading off to the African Cup of Nations halfway through January,
One man who might be available in January is Leandro Damiao, who has spoken of his desire to link up with former team mate Oscar. Damiao’s club Internacional failed to qualify for next season’s Copa Libertadores, which may make the striker more open to a move to Europe.