Position : Central Midfielder
Nation : Czech Republic
2011/2012 Appearances : 38 (13 as sub)
Signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2006 for £6.5 million, Tomas Rosicky has had many injury ravaged months on the sidelines. Obviously talented, the Czech Republic captain has been unlucky with his hamstrings, over the season, but the past season, we have witnessed the best of ‘Little Mozart’.
Here is a look at Tomas Rosicky‘s season.
He started in a makeshift midfield comprising Andrey Arshavin, Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey. Reeling from the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, added to the absence of Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby, Rosicky put in a mixed display and failed to get into his groove. Arsenal salved to a 1-0 win over Udinese, with Rosicky playing an intelligent role in midfield. He came on as a second half sub for Emmanuel Frimpong in the second leg against Udinese, and played a vital role, as Arsenal held on to a 2-1 win. He was also involved in the horrendous 8-2 loss at Old Trafford, where he played an assist to Walcott, for Arsenal’s first goal of the game.
Injury would keep him out for a few weeks and he would only return as a late sub in the 3-0 win over Bolton. Rosicky put up a good midfield display in a 2-1 win over Olympiakos. After missing the North London derby, he put in a fine display against Sunderland, in the league, creating many outlets in attack for the Gunners. He would go on to play a vital role in a narrow 1-0 win in Marseille. He appeared as a late sub in the 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. More substitute appearances against Marseille and West Brom would follow.
After some more injury problems, he would again appear as a sub in a 3-1 loss in Olympiakos, a 1-0 win over Everton, and a 2-1 win at Aston Villa. He finally started against Wolves at home, and put in a workmanlike performance, creating many chances, and also missing some, as Arsenal had to settle for a draw. He would come on as a sub in the next game against QPR, and could have scored Arsenal’s second goal, but for some brave blocking. He offered little coming on as a sub in losses to Fulham and Swansea.
He returned to the starting lineup in the 2-1 home loss to Manchester United, and overall Arsenal lost the midfield battle. Rosicky did put a decent display, and was responsible for brilliantly releasing Chamberlain on the wing, to set up van Persie’s equalizer. He was impressive in a 3-2 FA Cup win over Aston Villa, where he dictated much of Arsenal’s attacking forays. His next start would come in a 7-1 mauling of Blackburn, where he was again impressive, helping set up the opener, and creating many more plays.
Despite a mediocre win over a Sunderland, Rosicky provided a bit of pace in midfield. He struggled on the left wing against Milan, when Arsenal lost 4-0, on a boggy pitch. He was the Gunners’ most industrious player, but lacked penetration. He would come as a second half sub in another disappointing 2-0 FA Cup loss at Sunderland, with minimal impact. Rosicky’s redemption would come a week later, in the North London derby, where he was nothing short of brilliant. He bossed the midfield, as the Gunners ran 5-2 winners. His tireless running and tracking, capped with a goal from a narrow angle, deservedly won him the Man of the Match award.
An average performance against Liverpool would follow, but Arsenal won 2-1 at Anfield. He was brilliant again in the second leg of the Champions League tie against AC Milan, where he combined effectively with Oxlade-Chamberlain as Arsenal raced to a 3-0 lead, looking to overturn a 4 goal deficit. Rosicky looked menacing, carving out the Milan defence time after time, and even scoring the second goal. His fine run would continue with another good performance in a 2-1 home win over Newcastle.
More impressive displays in wins against Everton and Aston Villa were to be followed by a lacklustre display in a 2-1 away loss to QPR. He would return to his best against Manchester City, where he made countless darting runs into City’s defence, as Arsenal won 1-0. After being rested in an away game at Wolves, he returned in the 2-1 home loss to Wigan. He was again industrious and provided the assist for Vermaelen’s header in the 21st minute.
After being shut out by Romeu and Essien, in a 0-0 stalemate against Chelsea, he assisted van Persie for his equalizing goal against Stoke. He made many intelligent runs, and was by far Arsenal’s best player on the day. He got another assist when his throughball gave Arsenal the lead momentarily in a 3-3 draw with Norwich at home. He had a good game overall. He would play the first half of the final game of the season, against West Brom, which Arsenal scraped 3-2, before going off with an injury.
Here are some key features of Tomas Rosicky‘s game.
1. Midfield Play
Attack wise, Rosicky is Arsenal’s best central midfielder. Comfortable on the ball, and menacing on the run, and gifted with pace, his quick movement and passing, make him an important player for Arsenal. After coming to his true self in late February, he ended the season with 6 assists.
The Czech is a real workhorse. Constantly working for the team, he is good in tracking, as is evident in games such as Tottenham, Milan and Manchester City. He helps out Song and Arteta really well.
3. Fluidity, Intelligence
What makes Rosicky so good is his ability to blend in to the midfield. He can shift weight across easily, which makes him hard to mark. His intelligence allows him to play spot runs quicker than others, and his assists against Manchester United, Norwich City and Wigan speak for themselves.
4. Work Rate
Rosicky has a very impressive work rate, and constantly is on the move. He can be so effortless and can change gears in a game within seconds.
SUMMARY AND RATING
“I may be 31, but my football age is just 29.” were Rosicky’s words, as the season draw to a close. Despite being unlucky with injuries, Rosicky has shown that he can come back to his past self, and be the player Arsenal bought him for. Playing with a smile on his face, and a real hard workhorse in midfield, he will be vital to Arsenal in the coming season. He gets a 7.5.