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CRYSTAL PALACE FAN VIEW: Why Marouane Chamakh is an expensive luxury we don't need

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STRIKER Marouane Chamakh impressed many Crystal Palace fans last season, but our columnist Alisdair Kemp isn't convinced the former Arsenal man is a long-term prospect for the Eagles going forward...
MAROUANE Chamakh, as well as being undoubtedly one of the more technically gifted players at the club last season, demonstrated a work ethic few could have foreseen following his nightmarishly nondescript spell at Arsenal. For these reasons his Player of the Year consideration was thoroughly deserved. Yet for all the fanfare surrounding the amiable Moroccan, some of his performances led me to question just how genuinely influential he has been. With this in mind and with rumours circulating of his imminent signing on an undoubtedly lucrative contract now seems the time to ponder whether we would be better advised to move on from the enigmatic frontman. An attribute frequently heralded by fans of the former Bordeaux man is his composure with the ball at his feet. Given our perennially paltry share of possession, a player upon whom the management can rely to keep the ball is unequivocally an asset. However, upon examining the statistics (taken from www.whoscored.com), it transpires that Chamakh's passing accuracy (71.2%) is in fact lower than that of Mile Jedinak (71.9%) and distinctly less impressive than that of the much-maligned Kagisho Dikgacoi. KG was deemed surplus to requirements by Tony Pulis, so given Chamakh's relatively disappointing passing statistics, one must assume that his influence in the eyes of the management is to be found elsewhere. Well it would be almost puerile to even consider goalscoring as Chamakh's five goals all season do not exactly inspire faith in his prowess in front of goal. Nor do his defensive contributions deserve any real consideration. Whilst it would be churlish to doubt his desire and effort, these typically manifested themselves in mindless ball chasing and poor positional sense. His defending of corners was invaluable at times but this is not a skill in short supply. For the money Chamakh would most likely command in wages (albeit as a free transfer) I believe we should be looking at a more dynamic playmaker. One with a little more pace to aid our counter-attacks. One with the instinct to play the ball quickly into the wide areas left empty by marauding opposition full backs trying to aid their attackers in breaking down our stubborn rearguard. It would be unjust not to mention the Moroccan's entertainment value as I do not intend on this article being a character assassination. As a supreme technician, some of his work with the ball was breathtaking at times last season. He did demonstrate an eye for a pass on a few notable occasions and it is clear that in terms of his raw talent, he was a big fish in a small pond with us. However, to my mind he would be better suited in a team that enjoys a healthy portion of possession; one in which his eccentricities and ambitious style can be better indulged. The grand irony being that he was part of such a team before joining us, and to no avail. For any Palace player losing the ball is criminal, so substance over style has to be the order of the day.

CRYSTAL PALACE FAN VIEW: Why Marouane Chamakh is an expensive luxury we don't need


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