Saturday, 21 August 2010

Arsenal v Blackpool: It's a big game for - Marouane Chamakh

Today's home game with Blackpool provides Marouane Chamakh with a test on his first Premier League outing at the Grove.

The Moroccan international had a mixed game against Liverpool, but this afternoon he'll face a test because of the unknown qualities of the newly promoted opposition.

At Anfield, his first touch wasn't always perfect. That made it difficult for him, playing the role in the centre of the front three, to bring in the players to either side of him.

It also allowed the Liverpool defence to nip in and take the ball from him. During pre-season his touch was less heavy but the pace of a Premier League game could also be a factor.

One of the reasons Wenger brought Chamakh to north London was his ability to head the ball. That was evident against Liverpool and his fearlessness should be commended.

When going for the Rosicky cross which lead to our equaliser, the number 29 did not flinch as Reina game for the ball and challenged our forward in the air.

It was his determination which saw us equalise. No other Arsenal player in the side, baring Thomas Vermaelen, would have gone for that ball.

It is a tool we need to use today against Blackpool. 

Chamakh also developed an excellent understanding with Samir Nasri. With the Frenchman now out for a month, the Moroccan will need to forge new partnerships with those that play around him.

But whoever he plays alongside, Chamakh is a top quality player and he will run into channels and chase down balls. He's not the type of player we had in our squad last season, following the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor.

The one thing Chamakh does need to do today is score goals. It will boost his confidence and hopefully take him onto a new level.

Chamakh will face today the 6'3" Ian Evatt and the 6'2" Craig Cathcart in the Blackpool defence. He should use his power and pace well in order to beat his two opponents, who prior to this season not played in the Premier League.

You would expect an international footballer with the pedigree of as Chamakh to score a hat full today. I for one hope he does.

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