December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright
Friday, January 11, 2013
Sam Allardyce says Marouane Chamakh is desperate to prove himself at West Ham after a nightmarish spell at Arsenal – and he could make his debut against Sunderland this Saturday.
The 28-year-old Morocco striker has joined the Hammers for the remainder of the season after falling badly out of favour at the Emirates, where he hasn’t made a Premier League appearance since May.
Chamakh will compete with Carlton Cole and Liverpool loanee Andy Carroll for a starting berth at Upton Park and Allardyce is aiming to get him back to the form he showed at his previous club Bordeaux.
“He’s itching and hungry to get back and show what he can do,” said Allardyce.
“Obviously he’s been very disappointed with his lack of involvement at Arsenal, certainly for the last year – maybe longer.
“We’ll give him the platform and hopefully he grabs the chance with both hands and reproduces his Bordeaux performances.
“He won the league with them, played in the Champions League and obviously played well enough for a team as big as Arsenal to want to take him.”
Asked if Chamakh could feature against Sunderland this weekend, Allardyce said: “Yes. I haven’t picked the side yet but he’s available for selection.”
“He won’t be able to be involved in the [FA Cup] replay against Manchester United because he wasn’t registered in time for the first game. But from there on, yes.”
Allardyce thinks the key to bringing the best out in Chamakh will be to playing to his strengths.
He said: “He’s exceptionally good in the air and he’s really good at getting between defenders from crosses.
“That’s what we could provide him. We can provide the materials and ammunition for him to hopefully get a few goals.
“He’s got a big chance to prove what he can do in the Premier League with us.
“At the moment it’s about him proving himself and helping us by scoring more goals and producing performances that we can get excited about.”
Allardyce confirmed that Chamakh, Cole and Carroll, who is due to return to action in two weeks’ time, will be vying for one spot in his starting line-up.
“Carlton, Andy when he’s back and [Chamakh] – there’s a challenge for places.
“Play your best and keep the shirt. If you don’t play your best you lose the shirt.
“All three of them will get the chance to play and whoever plays the best will stay in for me.”