Davies: I loved playing against Terry, not Vidic

Kevin Davies has told FourFourTwo how he loved taking on John Terry in a physical duel, but laments the game going “a bit soft.”

The former Bolton Wanderers targetman, who made more than 400 appearances for the Trotters, started out as a pacy forward with Chesterfield and Southampton before evolving into more of a battering ram under Sam Allardyce.

And despite Davies sitting fourth on the all-time list for yellow cards collected in the Premier League, the 38-year-old insists none of his bookings were off the ball and that any damage done to an opponent was always unintentional.

“I always tried to play the game within the laws - I would never intentionally hurt somebody,” he says in the December 2015 issue of FourFourTwo, out now.

“I have caught people with my elbows, but I never had any intent. At Bolton the ball was coming to me in the air, and maybe I’m backing in or the defender is pushing into me, so there are always going to be fouls either way.”

The one I always loved playing against was John Terry - I caught him, he caught me. He was stretchered off once, but there were no grudges and we’d swap shirts

Chelsea skipper Terry was one such recipient, stretchered off after clashing with the striker - and his own goalkeeper Petr Cech - in May 2008. The Blues' stalwart is hailed by Davies as one of his favourite opponents for embracing the physical side of the game, unlike former Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic...

“You know in the first challenge or two if you have the beating of [an opponent] in the air,” says Davies. “The one I always loved playing against was John Terry.

"I caught him, he caught me. He was stretchered off once, but there were no grudges and we’d swap shirts. Someone like Nemanja Vidic, you’d tackle them and they wouldn’t shake your hand because they thought it was a personal insult. But it’s a physical game. Nowadays it’s going a bit soft.”

Read the full One-on-One interview with Kevin Davies in the December 2015 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, available in print, on iPad and iPhone now, which features an exclusive interview with Robert Lewandowski and delves into the stories behind other iconic No.9s in football history, from Dixie Dean and Alfredo Di Stefano to Gabriel Batistuta and Ronaldo. We also chat to Watford strike pair Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo about their peculiar paths to the Premier League, pay tribute to the weird and wonderful world of programmes, find out why RB Leipzig are the ‘world’s most hated club’ and hear from overseas journalists on what it's like to cover English football focusing only on one player. Subscribe now!