Fate of Chamakh
By Zefa Haroon
Moroccan striker, Marouane Chamakh signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2010 on a free transfer from Bordeaux. He had an impressive start for the Gunners scoring 17 times in his first 22 matches but his goal scoring output since then, has been awful.
Lack of first team action and an inability to convert on many opportunities led to him receiving plenty of criticism from fans and media alike. However if one looks closely, he isn’t the only one to be blamed.
The early half of the 2010/11 season looked positive for him and although there were times when more was expected, the overall impression was positive. His future looked promising at the Emirates until that was, the return of Robin Van Persie from injury.
The Dutch forward returned for Gunners in full form and Chamakh was slowly forced to the bench. The remainder of the season saw Marouane earn limited starts and more appearances as a substitute. In a total of 44 appearances, entered the gme as a substitute in 17 games, playing generally for the last quarter of the match.
So why did Chamakh lose his charm? That cannot be clearly defined, but several factors built up to it.
The return of Van Persie not only disrupted his regular spot in the starting line-up but created high expectations that may have led to him trying too hard to impress. As a substitute he was under high pressure to score because most of his chances came when Arsenal was struggling. Matters became worse when he failed to convert several golden chances into goals.
His manager Arsene Wenger kept fthe faith though and still tried to accommodate him in the first-team but with Van Persie scoring freely, there was little need for him in the season that followed. The return of the Dutch striker to form had a detremential effect on Marouane’s career.
During the 2011/12 season Chamakh played in a total of 18 games in all competition, of which he started in only six. He scored just one goal during the entire campaign. Wenger did give him the ocassional chancesto play but lack of match sharpness had rusted his skills. His failure to perform saw a further decrease in the minutes he played. With the manager depending solely on a lone striker formation for the entire season, he played little or no part in the club’s campaign.
When speculation of Van Persie’s departure started in this year’s summer, Chamakh had an opportunity aiming to return to full confidence and first team action. But with signings of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud as the new front-men, the future of Maroune is again in the dark.
This current season he hasn’t started or been used as a substitute in a single game fand he was also hit by a virus.
Wenger has been praised in the past for nurturing and bringing out the best in his players, Chamakh is not one of them. For his own good, it is better, if the striker seeks the exit door in the January transfer window and finds a club where hopefully he’ll regain his form and a return to the good old days.