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Chamakh on Emirates Return

30 January 2014

Palace striker Marouane Chamakh admits he is relishing a return to the Emirates Stadium this weekend. 

The former Arsenal man is gearing up to visit the home of his former employers for the first time since leaving the club in the summer.

And the Moroccan international frontman is looking forward to being re-united with a few old friends come 4pm on Sunday.

He said: “I’m very happy to be going back and playing at the Emirates again. I’m looking forward to seeing the players, the manager and the fans. I have some very good memories from playing at Arsenal. 

“I learnt a lot there on my initial arrival in England. I learned a lot about discipline, learning and understanding the English game and getting used to how to move and pass on the pitch as an attacker in this league. I’ve continued to learn a lot more since coming to Palace.”

Chamakh has been impressed with the impact made by new Palace manager Tony Pulis, who has led the Eagles to 16 points from his 11 Premier League games in charge so far.

“Each manager has a different way of managing. Pulis is different, but the strategy has not changed,” Chamakh said. 

“Through good and bad, he has kept the same tactics. He has helped us build a solid defence and has encouraged us to work hard mentally and always give 100 per cent during matches. 

“Managers work differently, but they all have the same objective of winning the game. Arsene Wenger sees all matches as a chance to win. Pulis thinks the same thing, home or away. Even when we are playing the big teams, he has the same objective, which is to win matches. 

“The match against Hull was very important. Hull were three points ahead of us going into the game, but we have now drawn level, which we wanted to do. We need to get as many points as we can at home between now and the end of the season.”

But for now, the 30-year-old is fully focused on Palace’s next away trip, which he knows will provide another stern test against an Arsenal side who have impressed him this tern.

“The singing of Mesut Ozil was very good for Arsenal,” he added. “They are in a season of transition, as a lot of clubs are, but they want to prove themselves and do something good this season. 

“That’s shown in their recent run. Even if they aren’t playing well they are still winning matches consecutively. Their mental attitude has been a big factor this season and they believe they can win things.

“I think I’ve got a lot more confident since coming to Palace though because I’ve had a lot more experience playing matches. The team as a whole is feeling confident too after Hull City and we are confident we’ll be ready for the game against Arsenal.” 

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