Marouane Chamakh: Can he end our trophy drought?
According to Greek myth, when Pandora opened her proverbial box consisting of all the evils of the world she gave escape to creatures (which were metaphors for worldly plagues) such as crime, poverty, pain, hunger, sickness, vice etc. However amongst all this anguish and sorrow and desperation that Pandora had unleashed upon the world she had also let loose a remedy called hope. According to the myth due to its being the last creature to be let out of the box the nature of hope is such that it takes a long time to arrive, especially when the evils of the world seem too difficult to bear. It wouldn’t be incorrect to state that the last five years have seemed to us ardent and die hard Gooners as if Pandora’s Box of evils had been unleashed upon us with the Gunners failing to win every single title they are eligible to play for in a season. That’s a potential 20 Championships lost. Even the reasonable fan would have to stand up and scream “Enough” at this point. For a club like this, for players like these, for a manager such as this, to win zero out of twenty titles, is categorically unacceptable. Could it be that Chamakh is the missing ingredient to Arsene Wenger’s perfect recipe? Is he the one who we have been waiting for? Is he the personification of that expectation that makes life bearable and that serves to be the savior in Pandora’s myth? Is he our last hope?
When I first heard that Arsenal’s star summer signing was a certain Moroccan striker I was unequivocal about my views. After 5 years of desperation and agony, after coming so close to winning it all, only to fumble at the most delicate moments of our entire season and after a flurry of exits saw some of our best players leave for potential title rivals, I was becoming pretty fed up. I was expecting an international superstar to pack his bags and make his way to the Emirates and be the answer to all our prayers. When I heard that Chamakh was to be the answer I was skeptical to say the least. Sure Chamakh is a great potential signing for any club attempting to win the title, but is he what Arsenal needs, I pondered? After 5 years without a trophy I was certain that nothing other than a Messi would do.
But Chamakh’s goal scoring record of late speaks for itself. He has been prolific if not exemplary and is certainly exceeding the expectations of most Gooners as of late. He has scored 10 goals in 17 starts, 3 goals coming from 3 starts in the Champions League and scoring 4 times in his last 5 games. Reaching double figures in terms of goals scored is a great start for a striker at this stage of the season. It may seem a bit surprising to some that Chamakh could be capable of such a conspicuous goal scoring record. But it has slowly begun to dawn on everyone as to what these double figures actually mean.
If Marouane’s tried and tested philosophy of slow and steady wins the race turns out to be more than just theory and evolves into glorious reality, could the fans actually be in store for something that was not thought likely or even possible at the start of the season? If Chamakh continues his progress, his contribution may prove to be decisive in the final stages of the season. Too often Arsenal’s strikers have been sidelined due to injury and since the departure of Henry there has been no one to take over his mantle. But it seems that Wenger’s long term plan is finally coming to fruition.
No one is saying that Chamakh could well turn out to be the next big thing in world football. But it seems evident at this stage that he could play the same role for Arsenal that Florent Malouda played for Chelsea last year in terms of a dramatic increase in his goals and assists tally. Of course all of this speculation seems a bit premature especially given the Moroccan’s slight tendency to not convert absolute sitters into goals. But that’s the problem with judging strikers; if they score unexpected goals they’re appreciated for it, but if they miss more than a half chance it is difficult not to get upset with them. Everyone would rather have strikers score at those moments when they are expected to rather than when they’re not. But Chamakh with his aerial ability has certainly added an edge to the Arsenal frontline; something that was definitely lacking last season.
Point being ladies and gentlemen that Marouane Chamkh could potentially be Arsenal’s highest goal scorer in the past five years if he continues his stellar run. Fabregas as our highest goal scorer last season scored 19. Robin Van Persie scored 20 in 38 starts in the season before that. Chamakh could possibly outstrip them both and also by a decent margin of games started. Here’s hoping.