'League Cup left its mark on us' - Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh admits players began to doubt themselves after the defeat to Birmingham City

Moroccan international claims the shock loss to Alex McLeish's side left the Gunners asking themselves questions and also that he is low in the pecking order at the Emirates

Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh has admitted that the Gunners began to doubt themselves in the wake of their shock League Cup Final defeat to Birmingham City back in February.

Before the losing out to the midlands club, Arsene Wenger’s side were chasing an ambitious quadruple of trophies. However, following the defeat, Arsenal’s luck rapidly declined as exits in both the FA Cup and the Champions League coupled a dismal spell in the title race which gradually slipped through their fingers.

The former Bordeaux player believes the loss at the hands of Alex McLeish’s side was the catalyst for such a poor run of form.

"Right up until the end of February, we were competing on every front," Chamakh told the Daily Mirror. "Then we lost the League Cup final and we started asking ourselves questions.

"Everything happened very quickly, the Champions League came: we played well in the first leg against Barcelona and then we blew the return.

"In hindsight, the League Cup left its mark on us. It's my first season with the club, but it's been a long time that my team-mates want to win something.

"All that's left for us is to finish the season as best as possible."

Chamakh has experienced an indifferent start to his Arsenal's tenure, despite the 27-year-old beginning the campaign as first choice striker - achieving seven goals in 18 starts and nine substitute appearances.  However, after the return of Robin van Persie from injury, the Moroccan international’s chances soon faded, but the striker insists that he happy playing second fiddle to the Dutchman.

"With the injuries to [Robin] Van Persie and [Nicklas] Bendtner, I found myself at the forefront of things from the outset," said Chamakh.

"When they came back, people said I had lost my place. Well, actually it's more that Van Persie logically got his place back.

"He's an excellent player, a phenomenon. I still have a way to go yet and I'm here to learn. That said, if I can bring that little bit extra to the team, all the better."

Our  provides the best breaking news online and our  football fan community is unmatched worldwide. Never miss a thing again!