Individual Player Analysis (With Videos): Tomas Rosicky

I’m a huge Rosicky fan and that makes me a little apprehensive while writing this article. In the last instalment of this series I’d covered Eduardo and now he’s moved on from Arsenal. Recently, there have been some rumours that Rosicky could also be on his way out and I’ll be really sad if that happens.

In the last four years I believe Arsenal have played the best football when Rosicky, Hleb and Fabregas have been on the pitch. And I’m convinced that can be bettered by the combination of Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, RvP, and Cesc. Most teams won’t be able to get the ball from them. The only problem is that almost all of them have had bad injuries in the recent past and have rarely played together for any length of time.

The reason I like Rosicky so much is because he has it all. A fully fit Tomas Rosicky is pretty close to being a complete midfielder. He can play in almost any position in the midfield and can also play the No. 10 role. Little Mozart has the ability to split defences with his passing and movement, he can also make runs in behind and provide the final ball, and he can finish with aplomb.

I’ve rarely seen him lose the ball in the midfield in a one-on-one situation. Either Rosicky beats his man with a neat turn and a burst of pace or, at the very least, holds the ball and finds a teammate. In case you haven’t noticed this, you’ll see many examples of this in the videos at the end of the post.

I also like the driving runs he makes down the middle and also on the flanks. While he is not in the same category as Walcott or Vela in terms of pace, he does have a distinctive ability to accelerate faster than most players which allows him to leave his man behind. I don’t expect him to win too many 30-40 yard races but in the midfield one mostly needs to be quick over 10-15 yards and Rosicky is quite good at that.

While not his greatest strength, he does make some lung bursting runs in attack and defence and isn’t afraid of sliding in to make some hard but legal tackles.

Interestingly, he had 3 goals and 4 assists last season at roughly a goal or an assist every two games (187 mins). This is in the same ball park as Arshavin (188) and Valencia (187). Not bad for a man who has had a rough couple of years and didn’t have a great season by his high standards. His pass completion rate was also over a respectable 80 percent.

Having said all of that, I do feel that injuries have taken a toll on his fitness affecting both, his speed and stamina. I’ve not checked on this but I think he didn’t complete too many games last season. And frankly that is the only reason I can think Arsene would want to sell him (if he is thinking about it at all).

Apart from that the only other criticism I’d have of his play is that at times he is a bit casual or loses his concentration. That’s when we see a loose first touch or a misplaced cross/shot on goal.

So far in the pre-season he has looked leaner than last season but 45 minutes against smaller teams in non-competitive matches is not the way to judge a player of his proven class.

There is a valid argument that he’s had a lot of injuries and we just cannot rely on him but he does make a good contribution to the team whenever he is available. We should also remember he is very close to Fabregas and they get along really well on and off the pitch. So his presence in the squad means much more than just his contribution on the field.

When we’d signed him I thought he was good enough to take over from Pires. That might not be possible now as he’s lost some of his best years to really freak injuries. He could still provide a lot of big match experience and make an impact when it matters. I’m hoping we get to see the best of Rosciky once again.

And in case you’ve forgotten how good he is check out the following videos.

This was probably his best game last year

And this is the first part of an impressive Rosicky compilation from 09/10

If interested, you can see the other parts of this compilation and other Rosicky videos on this youtube channel.


18 Responses to Individual Player Analysis (With Videos): Tomas Rosicky

  1. simms21 says:

    OMG You are so correct he is the perfect midfielder.

    He’s actually the reason I started watching Arsenal. When he’s healthy he never dissapoints and is too dynamic to defend.

  2. Chydodolido says:

    I think ur rite,fit rosicky=lampard or gerrad or even better than them

  3. w12mcee says:

    rosicky vids should be played with classical piano in the background. he is poetry in motion. wish he would make more runs though. prince of the ‘no look’ pass.

    • Deto says:

      He’s the master of the outside foot pass.. it’s amazing every time. the accuracy and ease he does all this stuff with.

  4. joe says:

    he just needs to grab the game not wait until the team attacks a little more aggresion, stay injury free we’re sorted.

  5. Champion says:

    There is no denying Rosicky still is a good player, but I don’t think physically he will be able to replicate the performances in videos above this season and there in lies the problem.

    He hasn’t the same type of game as DB10 or Kanu. Cesc was also friends with Hleb and Flamini, that didn’t stop them leaving and him staying – I think the truth is the same in reverse, Cesc will go regardless of Rosicky. He’s with us for 2 more yrs max anyway.

    Fans need to be honest – is he still a player that could ‘orchestrate’ the show in a big match against Barca, Chelsea, Man U? I would say no based on majority of last year’s performances. Great player but I’ve no time to be sentimental, Arsenal’s cabinet has dust on it.

    • desigunner says:

      Those performances were from last season and not before his injuries, so why do you think he can’t replicate them? If anything, I think he can do better this season if he stays fit.

      I don’t think we should look at each player and say can this guy orchestrate a game. We have Cesc, Arshavin and Van Persie and Nasri as the main players. After that Rosciky is as good as any.

  6. santori says:

    Good piece Desi.

    I would say he has exhibited good tenacity last season, somewhat dispelling the unfair ‘fragile’ tag often put upon him.

    He would be excellent this season sitting deeper alongside Song in a 4-2-3-1. This will :

    1) Compress space around Song who is not the quickest.

    2) Allow Rosicky to hold and pass forward, thereby affording Fabregas a more offensive role which he excelled so well in season last.

    Putting him out left IMO is a waste. He’s a bit slower then before. Middle of the park is where he needs to be.

    • desigunner says:

      I wrote about this quite often last year. Never could follow why Rosicky or Nasri didn’t play with Cesc and Song. I guess it’s because Arsene wants a more defensive minded player as the third CM.
      Rosicky also had an issue of stamina and didn’t always track back, which is a dangerous trait in central midfield. Let’s see how it goes this season.

  7. SomeRandomGunner says:

    The thing i like about Rosicky is, he makes our game quick. He does not have to have Walcott’s pace to do it. Without him we look slower in passing and too relaxed some times.

  8. Van heusen jr. says:

    Good point santori. rosicky needs to be played in the cetral midfield along side fabregas. I.e song (dm)rosicky (cm) fabregas (Am).

  9. Shashi says:

    hey desi nice piece of article.. ive always like rosicky. when he cam in he was a real asset in midfield. With his intelligent passes and long shots, it was so amazing to see him play.
    But after his injury he has looked utter crap. Im fed up of seeing talented but weak players at arsenal. wenger get sum players who rather can break bones..
    ure right comparing him to likes of gerard n lampard, but do u see him nywere to physical gusto of both of them. We need a overall aggressive and strong display this time around…

    • desigunner says:

      I think saying he was utter crap is very harsh. His injury was really unique and unpredictable, and neither he nor the club couldn’t really have done much about it.

      He offers a lot of aggression when he plays with good players. Towards the end more than half the first team was missing so we cannot really judge based on those games.

  10. santori says:

    @Shasi…Rosicky may not be up to 100% but I wouldn’t say he is utter crap. He put up the most fight for us over the second half of last season, in particular when the ‘big’ players went out injured following the Barca match.

    OTOH, Citeh need to release 12 players. Amongst them possibly Ireland and De Jong.

    Perhaps we should get our own ‘dirty’ Dutchman in De Jong to do the business in the middle of the park and cover for Song?

    • desigunner says:

      I’ll be very surprised if they release De Jong. Might be players like Ireland, Onuoha, Michael Johnson and other fringe players like their collection of useless strikers.

  11. Champion says:

    Spot on Shashi mate, Rosicky has unfortunately been ravaged by injuries and he hasn’t retired from international duty which won’t help us at Arsenal.

    I am looking at the team without him in it and assuming that Ramsey comes back the same as before, him in the middle was more imposing and stronger, Nasri & Cesc have more aggression in there game as well as being more creative.

    Like I said I like the fella but I love Arsenal and think its time to cash in on him now before he turns 30 and has another injury. That said I won’t mind if he stays and retires with us as long as he moves down the playing time pecking order.

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t think anyone expects him to be a regular starter this year unless we have a lot of injuries. Certainly a good guy to have on the bench or for rotations, especially against relatively weaker teams.

  12. Manav says:

    Arsenal have been very unlucky to lose two of Tomas’ best years to injury. IMO, he can still be of great utility as he has loads of experience in mid-field. We’ve got some fine young mid-fielders coming up (Wilshere, Ramsey, Lansbury,…) and I think that if they get to play alongside Rosicky, they’ll develop quicker.
    From 2011-12 onwards, he can be used as an impact player as well (regular cameos through substitution). I’ll be happy if he stays @ the Grove for the next 2-3 seasons.

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