Seems appropriate to give a brief update on the football topics I covered when I last blogged here (sorta) regularly 2 years ago.
Marouane Chamakh left Arsenal to go on loan to West Ham United for the 2012-2013 season. He’s now at Crystal Palace FC, where I hope he’ll have a resurgence (what can I say except I have a soft spot for this player). Also of note: he’s kept that delightful haircut I’m so fond of).
Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal team have bounced back something fierce since signing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid last month. They’re topping their Champions League Group, and – shocker of shockers – they’re also atop the (admittedly young) Premier League table. Of course, between the time I wrote the post about the media going in on Arsenal and now, the media went in on Arsenal so much harder and more regularly. Now, though, things are looking up for the Gunners, so they’re forced to give grudging credit to Wenger, which amuses me.
My football fandom has expanded to include Everton – the team I’ve chosen to support in the Premier League. In a separate post, I’ll talk about how that happened, and it’ll be a really short one, because not that much thought went into it.
Since this blog is new, it’s short on traditions, but I’d like to start one today called “Whatever happened to…” Football is a game of here today, gone…today. One moment you’re the toast of your team or league; the next, you’re on the bench with nary a mention in the many column inches devoted to the sport.
Because I’m an obsessive fan of this game, thoughts of it will come to me unbidden – say, on my morning bus ride to work – and I’ll want to ask a question of no one in particular or pursue some avenue of thought. Today, while at the gym, I asked myself. Whatever happened to Marouane Chamakh? Remember him? I do, and not just because of that unsightly, yet somehow endearing rooster haircut.
It feels like it was just yesterday that every football pundit (almost) was praising Arsenal’s acquisition of the Moroccan international – back in the days when Arsenal were praised for anything. Filling in for an injured Robin Van Persie, Chamakh scored fairly consistently for the Gunners in the early part of last season. But with the return of RVP, Chamakh fell out of favor (football cliché alert!), and was rarely seen between January and May.
I have to say that I miss him. Yes, I liked watching him play, but I also loved his goal celebrations. And you’d think that with all of the squad’s current problems, Arsene Wenger might at least give a thought to bringing Chamakh back into the starting XI.
Ah well, until that time, I suppose I’ll have to console myself with photos like the one above.