Marouane Chamakh reveals blackmail case ruined his Arsenal career
Striker also says Sam Allardyce lied to him at West Ham
Thursday 22 August 2013
Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh has admitted that a blackmail threat, which involved a police investigation in January 2011 “weighed him down” and affected his performances for Arsenal.
“It was not easy for me because things about my private life were disclosed,” Chamakh revealed in an interview with L’Equipe. “The tabloids did not have the right to publish photos or videos. The story weighed me down. People tried to blackmail me. I filed a complaint; the police intervened and found these people.”
The 29-year-old made a bright start to his Arsenal career, scoring 11 goals in his first 22 appearances for the Gunners after joining on a free transfer from Bordeaux in July 2010, but Moroccan’s form suffered with the blackmail case going on behind the scenes, and then Robin van Persie’s return from injury forced him out of the first team reckoning.
He added: "I wish I had more time to play at Arsenal. I respect the coach’s decisions, but I didn't always get my chance.
“With the system of one up front there was no comparison between him [Van Persie] and me. I respect the choice of the manager, but I didn’t really have my chance. I may have been too stubborn to want to stay too long at Arsenal.’
Chamakh then moved on loan to West Ham in January 2013, but he only made three Premier League appearances for the Hammers and failed to score. He has called his decision to join West Ham a “bad choice” and has blasted manager Sam Allardyce for breaking promises.
“I made a bad choice. It didn’t go well at all. The manager promised me that with Andy Carroll's injury, I was going to be able to play. He did not keep his word at all,” Chamakh said.
“Alou Diarra had warned me. But I just did what I wanted and went anyway. That’s why I took a bit of time to say ‘yes’ to Crystal Palace. I didn't want to make the same mistake twice.”
Despite offers from teams in other countries, Chamakh has no regrets about staying in England for another season, after signing a one-year deal at Palace last month.
“There were several opportunities, in Greece, Turkey, Spain, France and even the Middle East. But I preferred to stay one more season in England because I love the league.”
“Do I regret moving to England? Not at all, even if it didn't go as I had hoped. But I don’t regret it because I found what I came for - the league, the atmosphere."
“It is just wonderful, even at a small stadium like Crystal Palace’s. This is what I want - just the game in a great atmosphere.”
“It will be difficult not to end the season in the bottom three but if we apply ourselves and show solidarity, we can stay in the Premier League.”
Latest in Sport
Moments of truth: Matches against Liverpool, Olympiakos and Manchester City will go a long way to defining David Moyes' long-term future at Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: And finally... Arsenal can call on Kim Kallstrom
France 20 Ireland 22 match report: Ireland hold on to give Brian O'Driscoll perfect end to glittering career
Michael Schumacher: Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to F1 legend with special helmet for Australian Grand Prix
Aston Villa 1 Chelsea 0: Red-carded Jose Mourinho slams referee after defeat
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'