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Chamakh's a difference

Chamakh's a difference

It was as far back as June 2008 when Chamakh was linked seriously with Arsenal but already then he had set his sights on staying in France until his contract expired in 2010.

"I will reach the end of my contract in 2010. I haven't met any officials yet. I am open to Bordeaux or anything else," he told L'Equipe magazine at the time. "In principle, I will not leave for another French club. My objective if I have to leave Les Girondins is to go abroad, preferably to England. Let's wait for the end of the current season to see if we will play in the Champions League and if the coach (Laurent Blanc) will stay. A London club is always exciting. I really like Arsenal,"

With the departure of Adebayor in summer 2009 there were concerted efforts to bring him to the club last year but for whatever reason that proved impossible and he was signed on a free this summer. With the injury problems affecting our strikers so badly last season it was a shame we had to wait but he has proved his worth already this season.

In 13 games he has scored 6 times and in the process has set a champion`s league record of scoring in 6 consecutive games, three times for Bordeaux and in his first three CL games for Arsenal. The more controversial aspect of his time in the PL so far has been the number of penalties he has won. Not so much whether there was contact or not because I`ve yet to see one where he has gone down without definite contact being made but more in the manner in which he falls. Wenger said in a matchday program that it was something he had asked Chamakh about.

"I have spoken with Marouane about the way he appears to fall," Le Boss said "He said to me that people have told him that since he started playing the game, and he never does it on purpose, it is just the way he falls when he gets fouled. He says if he was to do it another way he would get injured. He said it [Scott Dann`s tackle in the B`ham game] was a foul, and also against Chelsea he was fouled by Ramires - 100 per cent."

There are bound to be those scornful of the idea that falling safely is the best option to minimise injury when brought down but there is logic there for those open to it. To my mind though it misses the fact that it`s Chamakh`s awareness and movement that induces what are quite often desperate last ditch tackles that don`t stand a great deal of chance of getting the ball anyway. He is as adept at finding space in the box as almost anyone we`ve had. Coupled with a great work rate and willingness to work for the team he is proving to be quite a find.

By all accounts he is quite a bright fellow too with an active interest in history and politics. "You shouldn't think that all footballers just play football and then their PlayStation" he told reporters recently. Having chosen to play for his parent`s native Morocco instead of opting for the more lucrative option of France he doesn`t seem to be as motivated purely by money as some clearly are either.

With Bendtner now back from injury and van Persie likely to be available sometime next month Marouane has been able to stake a claim for a starting spot more positively than might have been expected for a forward so new to the PL and hopefully has given us a different striker problem to the one we had last season.

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Date:Monday October 25 2010
Time: 12:55PM

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Whether or not he 'dives' is so far irrelevant, cos every penalty that has been given to him has been legitimate. I feel he exagarates the contact, but countless players do this, it does however look funnier and draws more criticism when a big player does it (see Drogba) and it's more noticable in his case cos it has so far occurred so regularly.
Ozi Gooner
25/10/2010 13:06:00
I have no problem with the way he goes down unless, of course, he hasn’t been touched. But every decision has been correct so far and it seems common practice all over the world to “help” the referee with their decision. Barcelona have got this down to a tee, not just with penalty decisions, but all over the pitch. It’s very much a part of the game until FIFA choose to do something to stop it.
Sir Henry
25/10/2010 13:46:00
And Johnson (when at Palace) did it eveyr other week and was praised by commentators for his "quick thinking" and "fleet footedness" (whatever). Chamakh hasn't dived once but is already getting a reputation. Nothing to do with his passport eh? When you consider the dives we have seen from Wayne "Mr Potato head" Rooney and Steven "MBE, OBE MOTM" Gerard will we ever recieve the same coverage as Englands two Knights of the Relam to be. (god help us)
25/10/2010 13:50:00
25/10/2010 14:11:00
I like 'im. It's a skill that, you know, drawing defenders in for fouls in or on the edge of the box. Great addition to our Arsenal- needs a new hairdo mind- but Chamakh is good for us this season.
25/10/2010 14:13:00
The lad has been a revelation since joining this season. However, having wathced him several times in the CL with Bordeaux last season I knew he could and would score, plus he had a tremendous work rate. It's uncanny that he has been involved in so many important decisions for us this season but as we suspect that is probably down to good positioning and awaeness. Apart from his goal scoring prowess, his willingness to work hard up front both offensively and defensively has been a welcome breath of fresh air when compared to Adebayor. His aerial ability is well respected and his ability to hold up play, maintain possession and allow us to continue moving forward has been a tonic for our possession based game. His range of passing can and will get better but more than anything else he has allowed us to contend without either RVP or B52-something we were a LONG way off doing last season. With the return of the aforementioned duo we will truly have a diverse, talented and deadly strikeforce. Oh and before I forget (and please let this be so), he doesn't seem injury prone!!!
25/10/2010 14:29:00
He's also got a tremendous first touch. Thankfully, Clattenburg was strong enough to make that decision because with all the media talking about his diving (following Birmingham in particular last week), he may not have given it. How on earth are we going to accomodate both RvP and Chamakh though without changing the formation?
25/10/2010 14:45:00
Frankly, we can't, GV, Wenger said, whilst either can play on a flank, we can only fit them both in effectively in a 4-4-2. Maybe it's not such a bad thing, though. For all his undoubted brilliance, van Persie doesn't merit a start with Chamakh in this sort of form. Besides, it may be best for all parties if we slowly ease RvP in with a series of substitute appearances (like we're doing with Walcott and Bendtner at the moment). You can call it bad luck or weak muscles or whatever but we're as much to blame for his injuries by relying too heavily on him and throwing him instantly into high-pressure games. I can say with delight, because of Chamakh, there is no desperate need for that this season, and when RvP returns to full fitness and top form, we can address this 'issue' at the time. But to be honest, I'd bet my Arsenal shirt we will never have all three strikers fit at the same time, so there's no real issue here!
25/10/2010 14:53:00
i can see both walcott and bendtner starting at newcastle, giving Chamakh a well deserved rest. He started all but two games this year - in all competitions (!!) - and even then he came on as a substitute playing 1 hour at blackburn and just a shade under 1 hour at WHL. I would say he's yet another astute wenger purchase... except wenger got him for free.
25/10/2010 15:23:00
Chamakh has been a very good addition to our squad and on current form, will keep out Bendtner; RvP is a different matter, though. I agree with Super_Gooner, above, that we must ease him (RvP) into games or start him in less tasking fixtures, including CL games that are done and dusted. Very good piece of business, too, to see that we got him free!
25/10/2010 17:46:00
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