By Chris Harris
Marouane Chamakh may be a proud Moroccan international but he credits the current France coach with making him the player he is today.
The Arsenal striker worked under Laurent Blanc at Bordeaux until last summer when both men left the Ligue 1 club for new challenges.
Chamakh moved to North London to make his mark in the Premier League while his old boss replaced Raymond Domenech after Les Bleus' World Cup implosion in South Africa.
According to Chamakh, Blanc's footballing philosophy echoes that of his new club manager, Arsène Wenger.
"Absolutely," he told Arsenal TV Online. "To me it was clear that Blanc’s main objective was to send us out and play football. He wanted us to express ourselves and enjoy ourselves, as that mean we would create chances and score goals. It worked really well.
"He [Blanc] gave me lots of confidence. He wasn’t the sort of coach that made me work ten hours a day. Just a few words here and there from him were enough to improve me as a player sometimes.
"It wasn’t long since he had retired from playing himself, and you could tell that he was still instinctively a footballer and felt the game as we did. I gained a lot of confidence during the three years I worked under him. Thanks to the confidence I got from playing for him, I tried things out on the pitch that I wouldn’t have done otherwise."
Subscribers can now watch the full interview with Marouane on Arsenal TV Online as he reveals all about his career before Arsenal.
- why he left Bordeaux for Arsenal
- his gesture at his final Bordeaux match
- his football education in France
- the influence of Christophe Dugarry
- his old manager, Laurent Blanc
- his rapport with his Arsenal team-mates
- losing at Chelsea with Bordeaux
- his biggest achievement at Bordeaux