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.