Arsenal have not seen the best of Rosicky
Written by Joel Che on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Rosicky has signed a new contract at 29. Is the best of Rosicky behind him? It is a worthwhile question given that I can only remember one memorable performance in an Arsenal shirt.
Rosicky was one of Europe's young gems at Sparta Prague. I remember, and I am sure Wenger does too, how he danced around a pretty solid Arsenal team in the Champions league in 2000. In 2002, he was at Borussia Dortmund and I remember hoping that he would not recover from an injury he had for a trip to England in the qualifying stages of the Champions league against Arsenal. He didn't.
However, he scored, assisted and was man of the match for the away game. In a year when Arsenal had a fantastic team, he made our defence and midfield look ordinary. Neither Vieira nor Campbell could get near him.
His currency rose quickly at Dortmund but I wonder what kept bigger teams away for so long. In 2006 when Arsenal went for him, they had to fight off Valencia. My favourite Arsenal player ever is Robért Píres and I was excited when Wenger bought what I thought was the perfect replacement. Wenger himself said that Tomas was the closest thing he could find to Píres.
Wenger has messed with players positions ever since I have been aware of him. Lauren from midfield to right back, Touré from midfield to centre back, Henry, Píres, Ljungberg, Song and it goes on. Wenger always says "a good footballer can play anywhere". Not too sure about that. Píres was an exceptional player and adapted well.
The rest were moved to new positions when they were very young and had time to adapt. Rosicky has not adapted so well at his age even though he is a good footballer. In addition, he has had a dreadful time with injury. So much so that one website announced his new contract with this cheeky intro: "Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky has signed a new contract with the club. Mischievous rumours that he has sprained his wrist in the process and will be out for a month appear to be unfounded."
The best I have seen Rosicky play was in pre-season in the centre and at the end of the premiership game at Man City where he created everything good that Arsenal did including a goal. I am doubtful that Rosicky will be influential anywhere else but where Fabregas and Ramsey play. I would like to see him there while Cesc is injured so he gets the chance to build some much needed confidence and influence in the team.
I really like Rosicky as a player. I love watching him when he is in full flow and in control. I have only seen him in complete control in the pre-season game playing in the centre. I hope he can find that confidence and control again. He has not played for long so his body is not as beaten as other 29 year olds so I would expect he has at least 3 more years in him. I hope that one or two those are his best years and that Arsenal benefits from it.