Arsene Wenger is rightly regarded as being a bit of a genius when it comes to the transfer market. However, as any Arsenal fan will tell you, he doesn’t always get it right. For every Laurent Koscielny, there’s a Pascal Cygan. For every Santi Cazorla, there’s a Jose Antonio Reyes. And yes, for every Thierry Henry, although there’s only one Thierry Henry, there’s a Marouane Chamakh, although, there’s only one Marouane Chamakh – one too many.
Signed on a free transfer from Bordeaux a year after being the top scorer in Ligue 1, it’s fair to say that Chamakh wasn’t all that bad when he first broke into the team. Strong and quick-footed, he got off the mark for us pretty quickly and went on a decent run. He worked hard, harried defenders and all signs pointed to him being a tidy acquisition. Hell, he still holds the record for Arsenal’s fastest ever goal, after 38 seconds against Wolves, and he also holds the record for scoring in the most consecutive Champions League games – six in total, although three came whilst he was at Bordeaux. Then, the well ran dry. Halfway through his first season he admitted to feeling burnt out, and that, it seems, was that.
For you see, there is no worse site in football than Marouane Chamakh coming on as a late substitute when you need to chase a game, and it’s a site that Arsenal fans have seen far too much. While Man United have a top class poached in Chicharito and Man City have an embarrassment of riches on the bench, we’ve got a lumbering, goal shy, shisha pipe smoking excuse for a player. In what was admittedly an abysmal team performance against Bradford, Marouane Chamakh looked like a frightened rabbit that had been let out of its cage trying in vain to lead the line. Even when he did score this season, it was in such a ridiculous game that I would have felt confident strapping on some boots and having a crack.
So off you go Marouane, and thank you Big Sam for taking him off our hands. With Chamakh joining Andy Carroll and Joe Cole at West Ham, it appears Allardyce’s transfer policy at the moment is akin to a student standing in front of the reduced section as Tesco, thinking that because these items were once expensive, but now they are not, then they must represent good value and should be purchased immediately. Well, let me tell you something folks, that 90p chicken breast is going to turn your stomach, and Marouane Chamakh is very much not going to hit the heights at Upton Park. That’s if he even gets a game, apparently he’s just been signed as cover for Carlton Cole, and if that isn’t the death knell for any striker then I don’t know what is.
Arsene Wenger made a curious statement earlier this week in regard to his transfer policy, suggesting that fans were growing tired of his preference to buy unknown players and that they’d rather have big, marquee signings. I’m sure there were fans who wanted Breda Hangeland rather than Laurent Koscielny, or Dimitar Berbatov rather than Olivier Giroud. I even read somewhere that by not signing Junior Hoilett last summer the club were showing a lack of ambition. Needless to say, I’m not one of those fans. I like knowing that we have a manager who can scour Europe for a player someone else hasn’t noticed, and when a new name appears in the Arsenal squad I get excited, regardless of who it is. However, sometimes it’s time to just cut your losses and admit you’ve made a mistake.
We tried, it didn’t work out, and now it’s time for Marouane Chamakh to join Nicklas Bendtner, Francis Jeffers and Jeremie Aliadiere in the Arsenal graveyard of failed strikers. Olivier Giroud, don’t you dare join them, the heartbreak is getting too much.