By The Scout
Czech Republic – Tomas Rosicky
My pick from Group E will seem opportunistic but I had selected him prior to the 3-0 victory over the US. Tomas made headlines prior to the World Cup with a big money transfer to Arsenal from German club Borussia Dortmund. Just 25, Rosicky already has vast club and international experience and won a Bundesliga title with Dortmund in 2002.
His instincts and footballing skills are likely inherited from father Jiri, a celebrated player in the former Czechoslovakia national team.
Rosicky is an attack minded midfielder and during the qualifiers for Germany 2006, scored seven times in 12 games. Whether he is cutting open defenses with his precision passing or a marauding run, Rosicky’s strength is in the attacking end of the game. He lacks the strength or size to win balls in the middle of the park but when in possession is highly effective. As his two goals against the US showed, his shooting and finishing ability are world-class. This array of abilities that let him orchestrate play has earned him the nickname of “Little Mozart”.
However, consistency has been a problem for Rosicky and like countryman Milan Baros, his best performances have often come while playing for his country and not his club. He goes through spells of brilliance and periods where he appears uninterested.
The Czechs will hope that his form holds as his creativity will be vital to their progression in the tournament.