Chamakh: I can be Arsenal's Didier Drogba
Published 23:00 22/12/10 By Neil McLeman
Marouane Chamakh wants to become a club icon like Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba.
The Morocco striker has already scored ten goals for Arsenal since joining in the summer, including the club's quickest in Premier League history at Wolves.
But after only half a season in English football, the French-born forward insists he will get better.
And the 26-year-old has set his sights on becoming as important for the Gunners as Rooney at Manchester United and Drogba at Chelsea.
"I know I have the ability and through hard work I can improve my game," said Chamakh.
"I think I haven't reached their level yet but I will get there one day. This will happen if I keep focused and if I carry on working hard.
"I don't feel inferior to them but they've worked really hard to get where they are."
Chamakh joined on a Bosman transfer in the summer after eight years at Bordeaux, where he helped win the title in 2009.
But he admitted he initially found it hard to follow in the footsteps of Francophile strikers like Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Emmanuel Adebayor in North London.
"At the start, I put myself under a bit of pressure because of that," he said. "Knowing that I had only played at only one club, I thought I would need a season to adapt. But I am ahead of schedule. I didn't think I would play so much but with suspensions and injuries, I have been able to take advantage. It has helped me progress. I love our style of play. You get to touch the ball a lot. We have the same philosophy as with Laurent Blanc (former Bordeaux, now France, coach). What I like is that we never change tactics because who we are playing. We play our own game. I am sure that in time, I am going to score a lot of goals."
Acclimatising to English life has been helped by finding a house near the Arsenal training ground, hiring two Moroccan chefs - and his friendship with Samir Nasri.
"We have got on really well together since the start of pre-season," Chamakh explained. "He has been like a brother to me. He took care of me, really helped me, took me out and invited me to his house to watch World Cup matches."
On the field, the forward admitted the club's Spanish captain had been a revelation.
"I love to play with Fabregas," Chamakh continued. "He is a fantastic kid.
I didn't really know him before I arrived here. In the few matches we have played together, I have found a player with fantastic talent, great vision and a very rare quality of passing. Yohann Gourcuff (at Bordeaux) was superb, but when I see that I play with Nasri, Fabregas, Diaby or the little Wilshere, an adorable kid, I can say that I am very lucky."
And after signing a four-year deal in the summer, Chamakh now wants to see out his contract.
"I am in the club of my life. I don't count on staying in football forever. I will go till the end of my contract. That leaves me with four good years. I played at my favourite club in France and I played now with the club I have loved since I was little. For some, it is Real Madrid or Barcelona. Me, it has always been Arsenal. You have to see that I leave the pitch worn out after every match. I am very proud to be a Gunner."