Marouane Chamakh demands Arsenal beat Chelsea for the good of their sanity

24 December 2010 07:08
Marouane Chamakh believes Arsenal need to beat Chelsea this weekend as much for their own mental state as for the three points that will keep the north Londoners above their title rivals.

The Gunners host the defending champions on Monday in their first fixture since a morale-sapping defeat at Old Trafford almost a fortnight ago. There, Arsenal's frailties were plain to see as their miserable run against the top teams continued.

Earlier this season, Arsene Wenger's side enjoyed the better of the play at Stamford Bridge but slumped to a 2-0 defeat, taking their aggregate score against Chelsea to 11-1 in the last four meetings. The record against Sir Alex Ferguson's league leaders is little better.

Chamakh the knife: Marouane Chamakh know victory over Chelsea will be the fillip Arsenal need to maintain the title race

Now summer-signing Chamakh wants to stop the rot and at the same time fire the belief into his team-mates that they can mix it with the best.

'As I have said before the game against Chelsea is worth only three points, like every other game,' the Moroccan said. 'But for morale we simply need to get a good result.

'We didn't win at Liverpool, lost against Chelsea and Manchester United - OK, they were away - but playing at home we need to beat Chelsea. It is not just for ourselves but for our pride. We need to beat Chelsea and Manchester United at the Emirates.'

Heading for trouble: Chamakh has bought a new dimension to Arsenal's attack

Chamakh's sentiments are echoed by team-mate Emmanuel Eboue, who admits he is tired of playing well without grinding out the necessary results.

'Always against the big teams, United or Chelsea, it is always us playing well but losing,' he told the club's website. 'We just need to play our football, not be scared to play and respect our team-mates.

'We have to be well prepared for the run of games. It is difficult for everyone but we have to keep focus and rest well when we are at home. We are in a good position so we have to seize our chances.'

'For Arsenal, what is important is to be focussed every time we play. It doesn't matter who we play, the big teams, Chelsea and United, or anyone else. If we play well and lose at the end, for me, we have done that too many times.'

Chamakh attack: The Moroccan has already reached double figures for the season

Chamakh sees positives from the defeat at Stamford Bridge and has urged his new club to learn not only from their mistakes, but also from the manner in which Carlo Ancelotti's side battled their way to victory.

'I think we played really well, we dominated the game,' he added in the interview with Arsenal TV Online. 'It was sad but that is the way it is. They played a tough but realistic game and we need to use this to win the home game.

Fed up: Emmanuel Eboue would rather see Arsenal win than they play well and lose

'They're not in a good place and we need to take advantage. Sooner or later they will start winning again so it will be good to take advantage of this month, month-and-a-half of poor Chelsea performances. One man's bad luck is another man's good fortune. We have to take advantage of this.'

The striker, 26, has bought a new dimension to Arsenal's attack this season, and has already reached double figures for his first campaign in the Premier League.

The former Bordeaux man is embarking on a first ever festive programme and admits he is approaching it somewhat nervously. Chamakh believes it is at a time like this - where Arsenal play three times in six days - that big squads and strict fitness regimes come into play.

'It will be a bit strange because it is a first for me,' he said. 'Firstly because you play during the festive period and secondly because the games are played so soon after each other. I'll be like a little kid who discovers this for the first time.

'The main factor is how we manage our physical condition. Luckilly we have a large squad with lots of talent so I think the manager can rely on this and swap players around if he needs to. Those who manage their fitness best will get the most points. But it will feel strange.'

If Arsenal are to emerge victorious in the titanic clash on Monday they will have to keep Didier Drogba quiet. The Ivorian has been a constant thorn in Arsenal's side for a number of years, scoring 13 times in 13 appearances, including two at the Emirates in a 3-0 win last season.

Both Chamakh and Eboue know only too well what the rampaging forward brings to the field.

Eboue, an international colleague of Drogba, claims he often jokes with the Ivory Coast captain about his incredible record.

'Everytime we play Chelsea and Drogba scores, I say "why against us do you always score" and he says "Manu, I dont know why, I am sorry".

'You always have to stay focussed on him. He gets one chance and he can score.'

Creature of habit: Didier Drogba has an unnerving way of scoring against Arsenal almost every time he plays them

Chamakh meanwhile eventually emerged from the shadow cast by Drogba in Ligue 1 following his time with Marseille, Guingamp and Le Mans.

'His legacy in France is immense,' he said. 'He shows if you work hard you can reach your goals.

'I have the greatest respect for Didier Drogba and for what he has achieved even though he went through some tough times. As far as I am concerned he is a role model. He has had extraordinary success. As an African man it makes me even happier to see him having success and getting rewarded for his hard work. I wish him lots of happiness.

'I hope that one day I will get to his level even though I know he has raised the bar very high. It is very flattering to be compared with him even though I now I am far from being at his level.'

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Source: Daily_Mail