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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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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 25 2010

Time: 12:55PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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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
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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
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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)
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25/10/2010 13:50:00

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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.
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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!!!
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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?
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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!
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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.
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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!
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25/10/2010 17:46:00

The going down easily wouldn't be an issue whatsoever if he was English. We all know this, Steven Gerrard, Rooney, Johnson are all masters at this and they never get stick for it. I'm not saying its a media vs Arsenal thing its just the simple fact that Marouane isn't English. I'm sure if Wilshere was doing what Chamakh is doing nobody would bat an eyelid.
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25/10/2010 18:07:00

Nice work digging up those quotes, never read them before. Chamakh is clearly an asset to this team, and you wonder now whether the 8M or so that Boardeaux was asking for would have been worth it. His defensive work really impresses me - he gets back to defend corners, esp when we are ahead. Intelligent footballer.
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25/10/2010 19:36:00

The point is that Chamakh seemed to have made up his mind some time earlier that he wasn't going before his contract ended whatever the agreement between Bordeaux and Arsenal. He joined us when he was ready to and my guess is that was made known to Wenger when he tried to sign him in 2009.
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25/10/2010 19:43:00

eventually,defenders will become wary about tackling him in or around the box...this will lead to hesitation,more time and space to score directly or create chances for others....which is a good thing...or less fouls outside the box, red cards or penaltys when we really need an opening,which could hinder us
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26/10/2010 10:02:00

He is a great asset to the team. His intelligence, positioning, strength, aerial ability, work rate, awareness, his goal threat....have I missed anything? The likes of Samir, Fab and co must love playing behind a striker like him. His first touch and ability to hold up the ball while drawing in defenders creates acres of space for the midfielders to charge into. We have been craving for a player like this. He just does the simple things very good, and that is a nice balance when we have a midfield that can sometimes over elaborate. Who do we drop when RVP and Nick are fit??....this is the type of dilemma I have been waiting for, for such a long time. The bench is looking great! We have a plan B and a plan C now! Players that I have confidence in making a difference when there called upon. As an Arsenal fan I am very excited for the now and the future, with or without Fabregas. We have a strong Young squad. With the Uefa Financial fair play rules coming into the game we have to be the most healthiest club in Europe! You can stick your "5 years without a trophy" up your arse (excuse the pun) I am a supporter that just doesn't look at the silver stability and a legacy and the silver linings will come. Mr Wenger you are a genius
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26/10/2010 20:52:00

If all our team were fit, i think i'd have Chamakh on the bench to start with, as far as our strikers go i think it goes RVP, Chamakh, Bedtner, Vela, though comparing them is quite hard because they're all so different, i think RVP is the most talented (2nd most talented player on the team behind the monster that is Cesc Fabregas) and RVP also seems to have a really winning mentality and is slighty faster at thinking with the ball aswell as a better finisher (this is in no way slagging off our other strikers, RVP is just a very class player)
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27/10/2010 07:11:00

and Haha @ Julie ...i was waiting for someone to mention Chamak's hair. Also notice his giraff-like neck. No wonder he's good at headers.
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27/10/2010 07:13:00


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