It’s fair to say that Marouane Chamakh has impressed during his short time so far at Arsenal. In 14 appearances he has picked up 6 goals and 4 assists. Perhaps more important than this is the fact that Chamakh offers Arsenal the aerial threat that they have often lacked in previous seasons. This is typified no better than his debut performance in the Premier League whereby his mere presence and determination was enough to force a mistake from Pepe Reina in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool. He’s slick, direct and has an eye for goal, which makes him a player that doesn’t really conform to the Arsenal archetype.
It’s a good job that Chamakh has been in such a rich vein of form. Arsenal’s star striker Robin van Persie has been out since August nursing an ankle injury. Nicklas Bendtner, who is developing well, has been out since the World Cup. Now, however, Bendtner has made his return (and scored 2 goals in 3 games) and Robin van Persie has made a return to training.
This should be an exciting time for Arsenal fans who will be hoping that van Persie can finally get an injury-free run in the squad. Despite showing his talent and ability on numerous occasions, van Persie has never been able to hold down a position in the squad thanks to a frustrating penchant for picking up injuries and general bad luck. Who knows what this lad could do if he got 15-20 games under his belt?
It’s likely that Arsène Wenger will adapt his system around Robin van Persie once he’s fit again. This should mean a 4-4-2 which sees van Persie line up with Chamakh at the top with Bendtner on the bench if needed. The prospect of Chamakh and van Persie as a striking duo is an exciting one because they are such different, yet quite likely complimentary players.
Robin van Persie is very much a flair player – technically speaking, he’s one of the best players in the world, he’s tricky, eases past players and can take a wonderful free kick. Chamakh may not have van Persie’s enviable technical ability, but he’s direct and has an eye for goal. The two of them together should be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.
Speaking to Arsenal TV some time ago van Persie had this to say about Chamakh: “He looks good, he looks quite strong in the air, he scores lots of goals with his head and he looks quite confident on the ball.” Despite these nice words, they haven’t yet had a chance to play side-by-side. It may take them a while to develop an understanding but you get the feeling as though Arsenal are onto something good here.
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