Search

Palace boss prompts resurgence of former Arsenal flop

PUBLISHED: 12:27 30 January 2014

Crystal Palace's Marouane Chamakh (right) celebrates his goal against Cardiff with Barry Bannan

Crystal Palace's Marouane Chamakh (right) celebrates his goal against Cardiff with Barry Bannan

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Marouane Chamakh could make his first appearance at the Emirates in nearly a year and a half on Saturday.

The last time he stepped out there was September 26, 2012, a 6-1 Capital One Cup win over Coventry City.

He didn’t score. But then he seldom did for Arsenal.

In fact, he only played the final 18 minutes of that game, coming off the bench to replace Francis Coquelin.

But Chamakh signed off his Arsenal career in the same competition with two goals in a crazy 7-5 win at Reading in the next round. It was a final glimpse of what might have been.

Arsene Wenger, though, had seen enough to know the time was right for a change.

A failed loan spell at West Ham followed, before Crystal Palace took a chance on him.

While Ian Holloway, who took him south of the river last summer, has left since Selhurst Park, under his replacement Tony Pulis – the man who boasted in November that he has never been relegated – Palace are showing signs of recovery. As is Chamakh.

Five wins under the Welshman have propelled the Eagles to the heady heights of 14th place – easily their highest position of the season – following Tuesday’s 1-0 success against Hull City at Selhurst Park.

It makes a mockery of the bookmakers’ view that they remain favourites for relegation.

Pulis kicked off his Palace reign by beating West Ham United 1-0 on December 3.

The scorer that day? Marouane Chamakh.

In fact, Chamakh netted three times in his first three games under Pulis, not to mention another in a 2-0 FA Cup victory at West Bromwich Albion earlier this month.

The goals may have temporarily dried up, but there is a feeling he has finally found his feet – and perhaps his level – in English football.

His hard-working display in a 1-0 win over Stoke City earlier this month, when he was forced to play as an isolated, lone striker, drew plaudits from many. His industry impressed, despite his lack of goals.

Who would have thought that a season or so ago?

Chamakh is slowly reminding us of the quality which produced 56 goals in 162 appearances for Bordeaux.

Veteran striker Kevin Phillips, the man whose Wembley play-off goal against Watford sealed promotion for the Eagles in May, said last week: “Chamakh has got some great qualities and doesn’t half work hard, while he is also settling into the squad.”

And Pulis clearly feels the French-born Morocco international is on an upward curve and can produce his best form in the red and blue of Palace, describing him as “outstanding”.

“He’s a really, really good player,” said the Palace boss. “What we’ve got to do is tie him down and make sure he works within the structure of the team.

“If he does that then he’ll be very important for us because he’s got that little bit of quality that everybody looks for.”

Wenger – and Arsenal – beware.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 09:56

And so we arrive at our last stop of a rather bumpy season, the FA Cup Final. Wembley will once again see the Gunners grace its hallowed turf, but this time with a weight of questions hanging over just about everybody and everything at the club.

Yesterday, 08:33

Our Friday Fanzone Q&A returns ahead of the FA Cup Final. This week we have huge old school fan and loyal Gooner ‘Geoff Arsenal’. Read on for his views...

Yesterday, 07:38

On Monday it dawned on me it was the FA Cup Final this Saturday. As a long-standing Arsenal season ticket holder who will be at Wembley I started to get excited about the game after a long season, and was already reliving the high and lows of every final in the competition that I’ve been to.

Thu, 17:30

Hosts to be led by three-man team on pitch this summer

Thu, 14:39

Read former Gunners legend Manu Petit’s view on all things Arsenal and the FA Cup Final as he talks to online betting, poker and casino site bwin...

Thu, 13:00

A look at how Mauricio Pochettino’s team ended their Premier League campaign and which winger they should target this summer

Thu, 12:15

Spurs man in 25-man squad to face Scotland and France next month

PROMOTED CONTENT

Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now