Chamakh playing for Arsenal place at Nations Cup-coach

Reuters , Sunday 22 Jan 2012

Marouane Chamakh will want to shine at the African Nations Cup finals to impress his Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as well as helping Morocco succeed, national team coach Eric Gerets said on Sunday

Morocco's soccer player Marouane Chamakh (Photo: AP)

“Players who are not regulars with their club sides in Europe will be motivated not only to do well for their country but also to show their capabilities to their (club) coaches,”the former Belgian international told a news conference.

“I’m sure they will want to give something extra to show their good qualities to their coaches. In a way they are also playing for their places at club level.”

Asked whether selecting players who were struggling to hold down regular places at club sides would impact negatively on Morocco, Gerets said he saw little difference in their capabilities.

“When we started our preparations for the Nations Cup, all the players did the same work and they showed there is not much difference between those who play regularly for their club and those who don’t,” he said.

“They are all motivated to play for their country.”

Chamakh is expected to lead the attack for Morocco and Gerets said he had a regular scoring record for the country: “He is capable of taking the chances against Tunisia.”

The Belgian said he was excited about the potential of his team and fortunate to have the luxury of picking from a full strength squad.

It includes Dutch-born midfielder Oussama Assaidi, who had been injured in recent weeks. Gerets said he had made a full recovery from an Achilles tendon injury.

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