When Marouane Chamakh moved to Arsenal from Bordeaux, Gunners fans nodded in excitable agreement when the Moroccan outlined his desire to be a major part of Arsene Wenger’s squad.
Two years later and with Robin van Persie set to leave, the prospect of the gel-headed striker filling the Dutchman’s boots is enough to provoke a nervous breakdown amongst some portions of the club’s supporters.
Admittedly Chamakh won’t have to carry the burden all on his lonesome – Podolski and Giroud haven’t been bought for nothing – but if he is to play a part he claims he is ready and determined to prove his worth.
“If I am staying here with Arsenal, I will do my best for the team and give the maximum,” said Chamakh while on the tour of Asia.
“Last season was difficult. We were playing with just one striker [Van Persie] and that striker was the best player in Europe. There was not a lot I could do.
“I was upset because thought I could have played more but football is like that. Sometimes you do not have a chance.
“I hope this season I will play more than last. I have not spoken with the manager but I will soon.”
Admitting that confidence has been an issue, Chamakh stressed that he was only likely to improve his mental status with more game time.
“In the first six months after signing I had lots of games but after that I only played a few.
“Now I hope this season will be good for me and the club. Yes, I need more confidence. But to be confident I need to play more. I am determined to stay.”
While it’s fair to say that Chamakh has flattered to deceive in the last 18 months, and lost a fair few supporters by smoking shisha along the way, the one thing he hasn’t done is acted like an arrogant berk by moaning to the media at every given opportunity.
If he is to remain in N5 we can only hope that he manages to find the form he displayed on his arrival.