Yossi Benayoun determined to impress during Chelsea pre-season after returning from Arsenal loan


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The Independent Football

Now that he is back at Chelsea for pre-season, Yossi Benayoun is determined to impress manager Roberto Di Matteo and prove his worth to the squad after being loaned out to Arsenal last season.

Benayoun missed a tumultuous season at Stamford Bridge that saw the departure of boss Andre Villas-Boas as Chelsea’s season seemed to be crumbling around them before Christmas. But Di Matteo then took charge and led his side to glory in the FA Cup and Champions League.

In contrast, Benayoun featured in yet another trophy-less season at the Emirates.

Although the Israel captain says that he enjoyed his time playing under Arsene Wenger, scoring six goals in 25 appearances, he is now focused on establishing himself in a Chelsea side that is looking to push forward from last season’s cup triumphs.

"Now I am back at Chelsea for pre-season, the hard part of football, and I'm trying to do my best in front of Robbie, so we will just have to see what happens in the future," Benayoun told the club's official website.

"A lot has happened since I was last here. Unfortunately it didn't work out with Andre Villas-Boas, results weren't good enough but Robbie took the team, and we won the FA Cup and Champions League. I kept in touch and it was just great to see the club winning these trophies.

"I was at home for the Champions League Final, as the next day I was joining up with the national team. It was amazing to watch and enjoy. When you thought Bayern would win it, suddenly Didier Drogba was there like always to score an important goal and of course I was so happy for the club, the players and the owner. Hopefully this season the club will win a few trophies again."

When asked about last season the 32-year-old said: "First of all the most important thing was that I enjoyed my time with Arsenal, and football-wise, I can separate the season into two parts.

"When you play more you enjoy it more and in the last few months of the season I played more and in important games, and I scored a few important goals so I finished on a high, and we had a strong finish. It was a good feeling, I was happy at the end of my time there, and the fans were very supportive of me.

"The club was happy to finish third. At the beginning of the season people were saying Arsenal would never be in the top four because we were 16th, 17th in the table, but there was a lot of quality in the team and we had a very good run. We did it in the end and it was important to finish above Spurs, because we all saw what happened after with the Champions League!"