West Ham’s Allardyce backs loan signing Chamakh to prove his worth
West Ham's Sam Allardyce backs Marouane Chamakh to prove his worth after completing a loan switch from Arsenal last week
Sam Allardyce is backing Marouane Chamakh to prove his Premier League pedigree at West Ham, though the Moroccan faces a three-way tussle to lay claim to a starting berth.
After turning his back on a troubled and intensely frustrating two-and-a-half years at Arsenal and completing a loan switch to the Hammers until the end of the season, 28-year-old Chamakh arrives at Upton Park with a reputation to rebuild.
But if Allardyce has his way, the 6”2 fromtman will soon be thriving on a diet of crosses, with Joe Cole and Matt Jarvis waiting in the wings.
“Obviously he has been very disappointed with his lack of involvement at Arsenal, certainly over the last year almost, maybe even longer,” Allardyce said.
“And he’s itching and hungry to get back and show what he can do. So we’ll give him the platform and hopefully he grabs the chance with both hands.
“He’s exceptionally good in the air and he’s really good at getting between defenders from crosses. And that’s what we can provide him. We can provide the materials, the ammunition for him to hopefully get a few goals.
“He has got to show everybody that he’s capable of playing on a regular basis in the Premier League.”
That said, Chamakh’s first task is to unseat Carlton Cole, who has started West Ham’s last seven outings in league and cup, netting twice in the process.
Andy Carroll, meanwhile, is edging ever closer to a first-team return, and Allardyce has no intention of playing two up top, let alone three.
“All three of them are in a challenge for places and a challenge to play your best and keep the shirt,” Allardyce explained.
“If you don’t play your best, you lose the shirt, and the three of them will get the chance to play and the one who plays the best will stay in for me.”