Redemption road

Chamakh was a regular goal-scorer in France, scoring 79 goals in 293 appearances with Bordeaux, but only found the back of the net eight times in the English Premier League during his time at the Emirates. A move across London has given him a chance to resurrect his career. By David Charnley.

Marouane Chamakh has set about trying to get his career back on track by making a loan move to West Ham United. The Morocco striker joined Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2010 after his contract with Bordeaux expired, but after failing to hit the heights with the Gunners he has been allowed to make the short move to West Ham.

Chamakh was a regular goal-scorer in France, scoring 79 goals in 293 appearances with Bordeaux, but only found the back of the net eight times in the English Premier League during his time at the Emirates.

However, a move across London has given him a chance to resurrect his career and his new boss Sam Allardyce believes he can get the best out of the misfiring front-man.

The Hammers boss said: “You provide the service he needs in terms of how he plays. He’s exceptionally good in the air and he’s really good at getting between defenders from crosses. We can provide the ammunition for him to hopefully get a few goals. If I cast my mind back to what he did at Bordeaux, he produced some good goal-scoring performances and won the league under Laurent Blanc and got them into the Champions League.”

Chamakh’s breakthrough season came in 2002/03, when he caught the eye of then-Bordeaux first-team coach Elie Baup. Baup drafted the striker into the French club’s first team and he made 14 league appearances as a substitute.

The following season he made further progress, scoring six league goals from 25 outings and also enjoyed a fruitful UEFA Cup campaign with four goals in eight games.

Chamakh continued to impress in the 2004/05 campaign and scored a hat-trick on the opening day of the season. It turned out to be a pivotal year for the striker as he won his first international caps for Morocco and scored twice for his country. His first silverware came in 2007 as Bordeaux won the French Cup but the following season under new boss Blanc he managed just four goals.

Chamakh started the 2008/09 campaign on the bench but rediscovered his form to help Bordeaux pull off a league and cup double. With one year left on his contract speculation mounted that the striker could be on the move but he decided to remain at the club for another year. He then went on to score 16 goals for Bordeaux and secure a transfer to the EPL as Arsenal won the race for his signature. But the Morocco front-man failed to establish himself with the Gunners and subsequently found first team opportunities hard to come by.

It seemed Chamakh could return to France but Allardyce made a move for the out-of-favour striker early in the January transfer window.

And the 29-year-old hopes the move to Upton Park will give him a new lease of life.

He said: “I didn’t have opportunities to play recently (at Arsenal), but I did well before and I know I am a very good striker. We played only one striker at Arsenal, so I didn’t play a lot, so I hope to do so more with West Ham.”

Allardyce has proven ability to get the best out of players who have lost their way and Chamakh will be hoping he is the latest to get back to his best with the help of the wily Hammers boss.

FACTFILE THE PLAYER: Marouane Chamakh POSITION: Striker CLUB: On loan at West Ham from Arsenal DOB: 10/01/1984 INTERNATIONAL CAPS: 63 INTERNATIONAL GOALS: 17

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: In October 2012, Chamakh scored two goals to help Arsenal come back from 4-0 down to beat Reading 7-5 in the Capital One Cup.

MOMENT TO FORGET: Morocco’s 2-1 defeat against Tunisia in the African Nations Cup final in 2004.

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