Tomas Rosicky, it could be argued was one of Arsenal’s Saviours of last season. Yes the departed Robin van Persie got all the goals, but his form from February to the end of the season gave us that little push we needed and helped us claim a vital third place finish and snatch Champions League Football from under the noses of our fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Yet, despite this he has become somewhat of a forgotten man. Arsene brought in the majestic Santi Cazorla from Malaga and his wonderful displays coupled with the injury Tomas suffered in the Euro’s have seen him left out of the thoughts of many of the Arsenal faithful.
Rosicky’s adventure here at Arsenal started in the summer of 2006. Gunners legend and key part of the invincible’s Robert Pires had left for Villareal and Arsene Wenger had to seek a suitable replacement, he brought in then 25-year-old Tomas Rosicky. Tomas came to North London with a glowing reputation in Germany, his symphony like displays earned him the name of ‘The Little Mozart’. Immediately, it was known why he had this name. His displays were majestic, his burst of pace enabling him to glide past players as if they were not there , the long-range scorchers and my personal favourite, his beautiful outside of the foot swerving passes. He had it all, his performances amazed all week in week out.
He continued this into his second season until an unfortunate hamstring injury, a very strange one that had never occurred previously. When it had happened, Wenger initially said that Tomas would be out for “days not weeks” well it turns out he was out for months. 18 months. An 18 months that would cause him to miss the whole of the 2008/09 football season. Now unfortunately I didn’t watch much of the 2007/08 season. I lost my appetite for football due to the departure of a certain Frenchman, (a story for another day) but I have been told many times that our midfield quartet of Hleb, Cesc, Flamini and Rosicky were the best in the league and if not for losing that quarter to injury, we would have won the league that season. He returned to the team early in the 2009/10 season and while he did show glimpses of his ability, he never returned to the form he had prior to the injury. He wasn’t our Mozart of old.
Over the next two seasons Rosicky had injury after injury just about making 30-odd appearances a season. This coupled with his poor form saw many Gooners call for him to be sold. But instead Arsene kept faith in Rosicky, and his perseverance would soon pay off. The first half of the 2011/12 season had passed and Arsenal were struggling to break into the top 4. So far Tomas had been playing second fiddle to Aaron Ramsey up until this point as the latter’s poor form had seen the Czech play-maker leapfrog him in the pecking order. This proved to be a good decision as it was clear game by game Rosicky was getting better and better. Then came the 26th of February 2012. The day of the North London derby, Red vs White, The Cannon vs…the Cockerel on a beachball. Arsenal were playing well, very well, Yet found themselves 2-0 down, but they weren’t about to give up and they started a historic comeback, the comeback that would save their season and Rosicky was pivotal in this comeback. His burst of pace was back, the skill was back, the swerving passes were back, he scored the goal that completed the comeback. Mozart, was reborn. The result was the start of Arsenal’s mount back up the table and Rosicky had a huge part to play as he guided Arsenal to a third place finish.
Despite all of this, the arrival of Santi Cazorla has understandably made Gooners forget about Rosicky and what he did. However I still feel he has a big role to play this season, the question is, where.
With Cazorla here I think it is safe to say that Tomas won’t be getting much game time in the attacking-midfield role that he flourished in last season unless injury strikes, which is something I’m sure none of us want. He could also play in the deep-lying midfield role alongside Arteta but although this is the position where I think he will end his career in, if Wilshere and Diaby manage to stay fit and on form throughout the season he won’t get much playing time there either. Which brings me to the point of this article. It’s well-known that when Tomas first came to Arsenal, when available he would normally start on left-wing but our new German Lukas Podolski has made that position his own. However there could still be a role for Rosicky on the wing. The right-wing. I believe that he could be very effective for us in this position especially in the big games as he would help us dominate possession in these matches. Also the right-wing has been a bit of a problem for us this season. Gervinho, despite being our top scorer, has been very poor when he has started in that position. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a young, raw talent and hasn’t been great either. Theo Walcott’s contractual issues have seen him drop down the pecking order and has been more effective as an impact substitute in my opinion. So who better than Rosicky to solve this problem? His pace, intelligence and work rate will certainly help him thrive there and his experience is key to how well we do this season.
It’s just a suggestion, but I would be very happy to see The Little Mozart ‘Bach’ into a wing role.