Search

Palace boss prompts resurgence of former Arsenal flop

12:27 30 January 2014

Crystal Palace

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

07:30
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Yesterday, 22:30
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (right) could soon be lining up alongside Tottenham's Victor Wanyama (left) after Spurs made a move to sign the 23-year-old today

Mauricio Pochettino admits he would like to sign a pacy attacking midfielder before the end of the transfer window as Tottenham seek to bring Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to White Hart Lane.

Yesterday, 14:02
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits he is frustrated that a host of his players will be departing for international duty again after this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Yesterday, 10:15
Laura Hirai in action for the Great Britain Under-19 team at the ESF Junior Womens European Softball Championship in Barcelona

Like most 16-year-olds, Laura Hirai’s primary concern today (Thursday) is her GCSE results. But four days after the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics, when the baton was passed to Tokyo and a new four-cycle began, the teenager is also dreaming about being involved in the 2020 Games.

Yesterday, 09:40
Wingate & Finchley goalkeeper Shane Gore. Pic: Martin Addison

Filling the well-worn boots of Bobby Smith doesn’t faze Shane Gore – it’s actually a case of déjà vu for Wingate & Finchley’s new No1.

Yesterday, 09:11
Hendon midfielder Sam Murphy

Hendon duo Scott Cousins and Sam Murphy are aiming to guide England to their best ever performance at the European Six-a-side Championships later this week.

Yesterday, 08:00
Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld (left) battles with Crystal Palace's Connor Wickham during Saturday's Premier League clash at White Hart Lane. Pic: PA

Toby Alderweireld says Tottenham’s players are looking forward to testing themselves against some of the best clubs in Europe and playing at Wembley Stadium ahead of today’s (Thursday’s) Champions League draw.

Wed, 14:53
Haringey Borough's Nana Asamoah scored twice in Saturday's FA Cup victory over Barkingside. Pic: Tony Gay

The goals are flying in at Coles Park – and Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou believes the new 3G pitch has played a big part after his side scored seven goals in Saturday’s FA Cup victory, writes Dan Long.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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