The Curious Case of Tomas Rosicky

The loss to Wigan yesterday effectively ended Arsenal’s hopes of Premier League glory and the focus is now on next season and how they can improve. Much has been made about whom the club will sign in the summer and the money that Arsene Wenger has at his disposal. With players coming in, there has also been speculation about who will be shown the door at the Emirates in the summer, with Manuel Almunia, Sol Campbell and Eduardo some of the players whose days could be numbered. What about Tomas Rosicky? The Czech midfielder has looked like a shadow of his former self since returning from injury and even though he has shown flashes of brilliance, he has been inconsistent and it is unclear where his future lies.

On his day, Rosicky is capable of the spectacular and has the ability to take over a game. Energetic, with excellent vision, impressive passing and a powerful shot, Rosicky can orchestrate games from midfield and was described as the “little Mozart”, when he was at Borussia Dortmund. But constant injury problems, which caused him to miss around 18 months and all of last season, have taken away some of Rosicky’s potency and leave him unable to assert his impact on games.

This season, Rosicky has played in 32 games for Arsenal in all competitions (starting 19 of them), scoring three goals and providing 5 assists. The Czech midfielder has come up with some important goals for Arsenal this season, notably against Bolton and the injury-time equaliser against Everton in January. But in some games Rosicky has been anonymous, in particular in the Barcelona game and against Spurs.

So does Rosicky have a future with Arsenal? He signed a new long-term deal in January and Wenger is clearly a fan of the Czech international, who turns 30 in October. But with the likes of Nasri, Fabregas, Arshavin and Ramsey all similar players to Rosicky, where does he fit in? Some Arsenal fans I have spoken to believe that he should be let go, as he is a shadow of his former self and doesn’t have what it takes to perform on a consistently high level in the Premiership anymore.

Ultimately, I believe Rosicky has a future at Arsenal, albeit as a squad player. Experienced, and world-class on his day, Rosicky always gives 100% for the team and can back up the likes of Arshavin, Fabregas and Nasri, who all tire over a long season. The injury problems have affected Rosicky, there is no doubt about that, but he is still capable of producing flashes of brilliance and would be the perfect impact sub to come on and orchestrate play for Arsenal next season. What do you think – does Rosicky still have a future at Arsenal?

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