I’ve got something completely different for you guys today, a minute-by-minute analysis of Maroune Chamakh’s performance for Bordeaux against Olympiakos in last night’s Champions League game.
For those that don’t know we’ve all but signed the Moroccan striker on a pre-contract and I though it would be interesting to actually watch him play and talk about his performance rather than just speculating on what others have said.
3′ – First things first it should be said how slick this man’s hair is. With his skinny but firm frame, greasy faux mullet and glowing skin he is very Cristiano Ronaldo-like indeed.
5′ – Nice touch and lay-off for a midfielder there.
6′ – A nice touch and run there on the right, showing some good pace to nick past one defender before losing the ball to a second. He looks to be taking up a position on the right side of attack, even if he is technically supposed to be the focal point. Very Thierry Henry, that is.
9′ – Attempts a run behind the defence but the through-ball to him is cut out. That is quickly followed by another neat lay-off from a throw-in and a lovely header down off a long-ball to a supporting teammate. His touch is looking good so far.
16′ – Chamakh pressures Raul Bravo into conceding a throw-in when he could have chosen to switch off. A little bit later he makes another excellent flick-on from an arrowed long ball that is just cut out by the defence.
18′ – This game is making me a bit sleepy, I have to say. Neither Olympiakos nor Bordeaux look like they’re going to score and Chamakh is only getting fleeting touches…
19′ – …like that. Yet another excellent flick-on, but it comes to nothing. He has won everything in the air so far.
20′ – This Bordeaux team apply excellent pressure, especially up front. Chamakh appears to be a key component of that, harassing defenders anytime they are in possession.
22′ – Some Bordeaux player has just fallen over, revealing possibly the craziest looking underpants I have ever seen a football player wear. They were white with squiggly black and blue lines. Weird, but strangely compelling. I wonder how much a pair would cost on eBay?
26′ – Another good chest down sees Bordeaux’s left winger eventually aim a cross at Chamakh. It doesn’t reach him but I wonder whether we’ll cross the ball as much as they do.
28′ – Almost a half-an-hour in here and the impression I get is that Chamakh is very much a one or two-touch player, a target man and a team player. All good signs, particularly because his touch is good and he has physical prowess to dominate the air.
29′ – Howard Webb is the referee here by the way, and he’s just given the most ridiculous red card. A Bordeaux player slides in to win the ball cleanly, gets studded unfairly in the calf by a Olympiakos player, but somehow gets booked. Shocking refereeing by the biggest fraud in English football.
33′ – Olof Mellberg, the man that Freddie Ljungberg once had the balls to pick, attempts to jump over Chamakh but literally bounces off the Moroccan. The ball goes out for a throw. How strong is this man!?
38′ – Chamakh makes a great run in behind the defence, holds the ball up and feeds Wendel aka Wendell Sailor, who shoots wide. A nice bit of play there.
44′ – He’s been a bit quiet for the past five minutes. Meanwhile Olympiakos are stepping up.
45+1′ – Bordeaux have scored from a set-piece. Chamakh throws his body into the mix and Ciani heads home from Yohann Gourcouff’s free kick.
Panda Bear has been kind enough to offer me a Frosty Fruit as we prepare for the second half. What a champ.
45′ – Our man gets involved quickly with three good touches on the right side, followed by another on the left. He links well and doesn’t give the ball away, with the play ending up in a Bordeaux free-kick. He looks up for adding a second here.
50′ – Bordeaux’s style of play is quite interesting. Chamakh is clearly the main striker but he pulls to the right quite often, allowing Gourcuff to push forward from his attacking midfield position. It’s quite clever really.
54′ – Just as I say that, Chamakh and Gourcuff play a double one-two before slipping the ball forward to Wendell. A foul is called for an initial challenge on Chamakh.
58′ – He wins ANOTHER header, flicking on for Wendel who promptly gives away a foul. Chamakh gets involved again on the right side, exchanging a couple of passes.
64′ – Not much going at the moment. Bordeaux are pretty much just sitting on their lead, hoping it will get them through. As such, Chamakh isn’t getting much ball.
68′ – Chamakh has a little bit of a disagreement with Mellberg while some guy is down injured. I was hoping he would Ljungberg him there, but alas.
70′ – He fouls the left-back while trying to win back another lost cause. You’ve got to like his hustle.
73′ – A good hold-up there, under pressure from Mellberg. It was a long ball, casually chested down and the ball laid off. Flawless with a big man at his back.
75′ – Wendel breaks, gets tackled and the ball drops to Chamakh who shape to shoot but also gets tackled. Is it interesting that Chamakh is yet to have a shot on goal with just 15 minutes left? Or is he just a team player?
78′ – Chamakh jumps for a header and gets taken out by a defender. He looks pretty annoyed after taking a whack to the side, but amusingly it is the Olympiakos player who comes off second best. It was a cheap shot by the defender to Chamakh’s ribs but he took it well…
79′ – …and is soon up and about, making a couple of decent passes.
83′ – Chamakh makes a couple of good plays down the right side, in particular feeding a good pass into the centre to create an opening that is not taken. That was probably his most creative play of the game.
87′ – Our man makes his first really poor touch of the game, losing possession from a simple lofted pass. Bordeaux quickly regain the ball though.
89′ – Olympiakos almost score, but have a header cleared off the line. Great effort there.
90+3′ – Olympiakos have two fantastic chances to win the game and even have a goal chalked off when the goalkeeper is fouled.
90+4′ – The final whistle blows and Bordeaux get the sort of 1-0 win that has been their staple this season. Solid at the back, not creating much going forward but making the most of their chances.
So what have we learned about Chamakh?
Chamakh’s performance suggests he is good in the air, has a strong first touch and is quite pacey. He’s not going to burn past players or win matches on his own but he looks mature, composed and would be a useful addition to our squad. Which is what we already knew.
It’s only one performance, of course, but he looks a good player.
Have your say on Marouane Chamakh’s game by leaving a comment.