Ju Young Park and Marouane Chamakh have been dropped by South Korea and Morocco respectively ahead of forthcoming World Cup 2014 qualifying matches.
The latest news comes as a further blow to the two ‘strikers’ after a season at the Emirates which has seen them barely feature, despite being the only back-up to club captain Robin van Persie.
According to Supersport, Morocco coach Eric Gerets appears to have opted against selecting Chamakh in his 26-man squad solely for football reasons after the player scored only a single goal all season at the Emirates. While on the surface the decision may seem unsurprising to Gunners fans, it’s a startling turnaround for the former Bordeaux man who used to be a talismanic presence for the Lions of Atlas.
Park meanwhile looks to be paying the price for delaying his military service. Initially suggesting that he’d return to Korea to undertake the mandatory duty, the 26-year-old, who until recently captained his nation, has since secured a delay after being granted a 10-year residency visa by the authorities in Monaco, the principality in which he used to play his football.
“I think he should publicise his thoughts clearly,” coach Choi Kang-Hee told journalists after a backlash by supporters confused by the striker’s decision.
“A national team must take into account not only an individual player’s capability but the atmosphere of the whole team.”
Admitting he had agonised over whether to select Park or not, he continued:
“What is important is whether a player is willing to sacrifice for the team and whether he has pride in his team.”
It’s pretty obvious that Park and Chamakh need to get their careers back on track as soon as possible. Despite their initial enthusiasm at joining the club, being at Arsenal has not worked out for either of them. Hopefully for all concerned, ties can be severed amicably and clinically in the coming months. Failing that perhaps we can just send them to Anfield, they’ll take anyone these days.