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Chamakh: I Was Blackmailed

Maroune Chamakh has blamed his disappointing spell at Arsenal in part on being blackmailed.

The Moroccan international striker has spent time at West Ham United on loan, and recently joined promoted Crystal Palace, after his career at the Emirates ground to a standstill.

He says he had to think long and hard before committing to the Eagles, as a result of his unhappy stay in England thus far.

Not only was he blackmailed and his career stagnated at Arsenal, but he also says he was “lied to” to by Hammers manager Sam Allardyce.

“It was not easy for me because things about my private life were disclosed," Chamakh said about the “pretty serious” blackmail case that haunted his first few months in England, according to 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."

Regarding his ill-fated loan spell at the Hammers, Chamakh added: "I made a bad choice. It did not go well at all.

"The manager promised me that with Andy Carroll's injury, I would have playing time. We had a conversation but he didn't respect it. It's because of that I needed some time before saying yes to Crystal Palace.

“I do not want to make the same mistake twice."

Chamakh arrived in England from Bordeaux with a big reputation, but quickly found he had to play second fiddle to red hot Robin van Persie at Arsenal.

When the Gunners sold RVP to United, Chamakh sniffed his chance to prove his worth, but was again pushed into the background by the arrival of Olivier Giroud.

He now hopes to show English football that he is a top quality striker, by helping Palace survive their first season back in the Premier League.

"There were several opportunities [to play] in Greece, Turkey, Spain, France and even the Middle East,” he said.

“But I prefer another season in England because I love this championship. I know I'll have plenty of time to play here [at Palace]. I'm going to get chances, and find the net."

Chamakh Joins Palace


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