XXXXXXX, a half-season wonder

So I took an interlull-esque dip into blogs past, because I was just thinking about Giroud (footballistically), and I emerged with this:

11.09.10

Lose him and we are looking to Carlos ‘Chip It’ Vela or heading back into Arshavin territory. So please, XXXXXXXX – no injury.

16.09.10

XXXXXXXX is a revelation. A willing front man who can toil away happily, holding the ball and distributing it, but who has a real eye for goal, I would wager that Bendtner is now sweating a bit. Why on earth did Wenger scrimp on the £7m by waiting this long to sign him? He could have made a real difference in the back end of last season.

27.09.10

XXXXXXX will surely be holding the line again, but that’s fine – he’s made a good start to his Arsenal career with three goals in eight. He’ll need a break at some point but if we can keep him in one piece until Bendtner or van Persie return, then he’s very much the main man.

09.10.10

Our over-reliance on the ever-willing XXXXXXX has been another of my worries.

17.11.10

As an appendix, my players of the season so far are Nasri (up a massive notch), Fabianski (purely for rising from the ashes), XXXXXXX (better than Bendtner) and Wilshere (staggering talent coming of age).

28.11.10

Fortunately, XXXXXXX eased the nerves with a deft toe-poke.

A quick word about Nasri and XXXXXXX. It is very doubtful had you placed a bet on the opening day of the season that you would have tipped those two to top our scoring approaching Christmas, but with 10 and nine goals respectively, they have exceeded expectations.

04.12.10

Shoehorning van Persie and XXXXXXX into the same team is a glorious headache.

06.12.10

So thank heavens for XXXXXXX’s impressive debut season. Mon chapeau est doffed, as they say in France.

21.12.10

XXXXXXX has been a hit

This is precisely the kind of non-sequitur / fluff piece that interlulls were invented for, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m certain that I also don’t need to tell any of you that XXXXXXX is of course that great Houdini of strikers, Marouane Chamakh. (For a while, he did well in a box). Formerly of Emirates Stadium and now of no fixed abode.

“Where are you going with this?” I hear you ask, and I answer that I’m not entirely sure, only that I recall a player who made his presence felt, could score with the head and the foot and for whom plenty of exuberant words were once written (not least, as you can see, by myself).

And I suppose that some people compare Olivier Giroud to him. Because he’s from the French league, maybe, a striker and tall – but if you think about it there are big differences, and not just in price. Chamakh started his Arsenal career so well, getting something like 11 goals by Christmas, and then faded away drastically. Giroud has started his career at the club more slowly and has set himself a target of a dozen goals for the season. Chamakh scored 16 goals two years running in France, but Giroud got 25 – a huge difference. But the biggest difference is that Chamakh didn’t really replace anyone, whereas Giroud part-replaced a man who scored 37 goals. That’s where the burden is.

Personally I think that Giroud is a decent player and will prove it, if he’s not doing so already, but then again, I did say that about Chamakh.

But the main conclusions of these rambles are these:

a) There’s really no use in making comparisons or judging a player after ten games. It takes a season before a decent assessment can be made. By Christmas 2010, Chamakh was a big player for Arsenal. By May 2011, he was not. Will Giroud have hit 12 goals by May? I think he’ll get more than that.

b) Chamakh’s decline is not only baffling, but sad.

3 thoughts on “XXXXXXX, a half-season wonder

  1. Vaguely thought that Arsene might seek to rehabilitate MC this season, just as a backup, but it looks like he’s been put in the same holding pen as Park was kept now.

  2. Me too. I thought he could slot in where Giroud is, on occasions. I wonder how Chamakh would look if he got 5 x 90 minutes in a row?

  3. It’s extraordinary. I’ve said it before : I’ve never seen a player disimprove so dramatically. (certainly not an Arsenal one)
    It’s good to remind people of the above – (and it should be pointed out too that you were hardly going out on a limb with that praise, pretty sure there was unanimous agreement with your sentiments at the time) – it amazes me how many people have rewritten history & talk about Chamakh as if he’s been rubbish since the day he arrived.

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