Thursday, March 3, 2011

Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh Could Be the Key Factor in the Gunner's Title Chase

Arsenal supporters were distraught by the defeat against Birmingham City at Wembley in the Carling Cup final and it was further bad news that their best striker Robin van Persie was injured in the game. The Dutchman has had a long history of injury woes and though the initial prognosis rules him out for only around three to four weeks, supporters will be anxious with regard to his recovery considering that it could turn out to be longer than that for the talented striker.

However, the Gunners were handed a morale boost in the title boost due to the defeat of Manchester United against a rejuvenated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal proved that they can cope without the imposing presence of Van Persie against Leyton Orient, whose golden run was halted by the Gunners at the Emirates.

With the game against Sunderland on Saturday, it could prove to be extremely important as to which decision Wenger takes regarding his strikers. Marouane Chamakh scored for the first time for the Gunners in around three months while Nicklas Bendtner scored a well taken hat-trick which proved that he has the calibre to be a top class striker in the future.

Wenger has shown a tendency towards favoring the Dane striker ahead of the Moroccan for the role of the lead striker in the recent past and Bendtner is looking completely fit and on form. It is likely that Bendtner will get the nod for the game against Sunderland while Chamakh continues his wait to recover his superb form at the start of the season.

It is surprising that Chamakh has endured a lot of criticism for his current loss in form which has been mainly due to a combination of fatigue and loss in confidence. He started in plenty of games for the Gunners this season and is one of the main reasons why Arsenal are still in the race for the Premier League title.

Injuries to Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner could have ruined Arsenal's season but the Moroccan's full efforts ensured that the Gunners will have a physical presence upfront. He said that he had lost his edge due to the number of games he played and that he would be rejuvenated by March. As it turns out, Van Persie will be injured for the whole of March and it is up to Marouane Chamakh to lead the Gunners in this tricky month of fixtures.

Bendtner has also done extremely well since making his comeback but his versatility could be utilized by Wenger considering that Tomas Rosicky has not been at his best this season. Though critics have questioned Chamakh's abilities,  a striker who is able to score 11 goals by the end of November in his debut season in the Premiership is a quality player and if he is given a run of games, Chamakh can regain his form and confidence.

Nicklas Bendtner's goals and assists towards the end of the last season proved to be extremely vital but ultimately in vain as the rest of the team could not step up to the title run-in due to plenty of injuries. However, with the Dane in good form and Marouane Chamakh to support him, Arsenal have two strikers who are capable of leading the Gunners to victories in the absence of the influential Robin van Persie.

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