Chamakh has something to prove
The end of August finally saw the 2013 summer transfer window close and almost everyone breathed a sigh of relief. After months of negotiations, the Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway could relax somewhat. Having added experience, more ability and youthful promise to his squad, Palace are now in a better position to cope with the demands of a Premier League season.
September 10th, 2013
One of Holloway’s potential master strokes of the window was bringing Marouane Chamakh on a season-long loan from Arsenal. The Moroccan forward signed for the North London side two summers ago but has failed to hold down a first-team place. However, the story is not quite that straightforward as it emerged a few months ago; it turns out during his first year at Arsenal he was being blackmailed, which affected his mental state – which conversely affected his performances.
His start at Arsenal had been superb and in the absence of Robin van Persie he proceeded to score 11 goals in his first 22 appearances. However, the return of van Persie and the off-field situation resulted in loss of playing time and a dip in form. He struggled to improve on the initial promise he showed and began to fall further and further down the pecking order.
After failing to regain his place at the beginning of last season he took the opportunity to join West Ham in January 2013. The experience unfortunately did not work out as Chamakh had initially hoped though, as first team opportunities again became increasingly hard to come by.
When the chance to join Crystal Palace came around this summer the Moroccan forward grabbed it with both hands. Having received offers from several other clubs outside of England he was determined to remain in the Premier League and prove his doubters wrong. The emotional effects of the blackmailing he was subjected to is clearly something he believes had an adverse affect on his career.
There is no doubt that Chamakh should have a huge impact at his new club. He is brilliant in the air and more than adept at linking up play. With the likes of Dwight Gayle and Jason Puncheon (on loan from Southampton) looking to join him in attack, where he can play as the focal point, Palace now possess the pace to hurt their opponents.
It has clearly been a traumatic time for Chamakh since his move to the Premier League but he remains confident in his ability to succeed here. After making several other good additions to the squad, Holloway will feel much happier about the overall state of his team. He needs hungry players who will give their all, and allied with some players performing at their optimum level the season ahead will be fascinating.
Chamakh ticks both of those boxes and will be instrumental in Palace’s success this season. The Moroccan has something to prove and finally has a stage on which to do so.