Marouane Chamakh has revealed the start to his Arsenal career has been a bruising test and the Premier League has proved a physically demanding arena.
The striker moved to the Gunners during the summer from Bordeaux and has admitted the French league gave him no preparation for the trials the Premier League would give him.
Chamakh has adapted well to the English game, scoring 10 goals for Arsenal already — including in the recent 4-2 win over Aston Villa at the weekend. The goals, however, have come at a price with the striker suffering from neck and shoulder injuries.
Chamakh told reporters: "I was never in such a state at Bordeaux. Things take on a new dimension here. Against West Ham I was in incredible pain with my neck.
"It was impossible to turn my head. Every ball that's contested here I get ploughed into - and the referee doesn't blow for it."
The 26-year-old added the English game had different expectations when it came to tackling.
"When people pushed me in France, I fell down and got a free kick," he said.
"When there's a hard tackle here, I have to get up and play.
"After a Premier League match, I walk off with my body aching, with scratch marks, stiff muscles. Three days later, we go again."
Chamakh is likely to be rested for Arsenal’s League Cup tie on Tuesday.