Football FanCast guest columnist Simon Webster looks at Arsenal's dilemma over Tomas Rosicky.
If there is one player that has probably frustrated Arsene Wenger more than any other, then surely it is Tomas Rosicky.
The Czech international is a class player, an extremely skilful and industrious footballer, however the continual battle for fitness after a succession of injuries must leave the ‘professor' pulling his hair out in frustration at being unable to call upon such a talent every week, given the difference he would make to any starting line-up. Wenger has been unable to do so for over two seasons and while this year we have seen Tomas finally return, it appears the niggling injuries (the after-effects of such a long lay-off), have started to kick in.
It is a grave shame for the player because there is no doubting that this is a big season for Rosicky, especially as he is playing for a new deal at the Emirates. The Czech is out of contract at the end of the season and why Tomas has been honest enough to concede that he may have to look elsewhere in January, should no new Arsenal deal be offered by then. Rosicky quite rightly is seeking long-term security, although he'll undoubtedly prefer it to be at the Gunners.
Rosicky said: "I have spoken with Mr Wenger on this matter,
"It is not the most actual thing, though, and there are no negotiations running these days,
"I know that even if I haven't reached an agreement with Arsenal, then I would still be able to find a new club to play for, although it might sound too self-confident." (Deniksport.cz.)
So what does Arsenal do with someone like Rosicky? It is a real tough one because firstly you can understand why the club are so hesitant about offering him a new deal, until such time that he proves his fitness, but the other side of the coin is should another club be willing to take a gamble on him and offer him a contract in January then there is a danger that he may just sign an agreement elsewhere. Why I fully understand Arsenal's standpoint, given his injury record, I just wonder whether it would be in the club's best interest to either offer a 12 month extension, or simply give the player a pay as you play contract, in much the same way that Michael Owen currently enjoys at United; I mean surely the club would be playing a dangerous game by waiting until the end of the season, especially with a player of Rosicky's quality?