The Revitalization of Tomas Rosicky
It’s no mere coincidence that the rejuvenation of Tomas Rosicky’s Arsenal career has come just as the Gunners are enjoying their best run of the season. In fact, Rosicky has arguably been one of the main reasons for Arsenal’s recent resurgence in the Premier League.
During his time at Borussia Dortmund, Rosicky picked up the nickname “The Little Mozart.” Injuries have plagued his stay at the Emirates Stadium and the moniker has generally faded away. A few months ago, Rosicky was considered part of Arsenal’s deadweight, along with Sebastien Squillaci, Nicklas Bendtner, and others. But his recent fantastic form has convinced Arsenal supporters to compare him with the famous composer, and not in a sarcastic manner.
An injury to Aaron Ramsey provided an opportunity for Rosicky to start against Tottenham Hotspur in February. He scored at the Emirates Stadium in the 5-2 Arsenal victory, but it was his overall performance that suggested his good form would not be fleeting. The Little Mozart controlled the midfield that day; he overpowered the much-praised duo of Scott Parker and Luka Modric.
Before Rosicky was integrated into Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven, the Gunners were struggling. Aaron Ramsey looked very tired playing at most advanced position of Arsenal’s midfield triangle. And that was to be expected considering that the Welshman had never started more than seven Premier League games in a single campaign before this season. Thankfully for the Gunners, Rosicky stepped in to carry the load.
When Cesc Fabregas was sold to Barcelona, many in the media saw Mikel Arteta or Aaron Ramsey as the possible candidates to replace Arsenal’s departed captain. Tomas Rosicky was not even in the discussion- an afterthought at best. However, the Czech Republic captain has proven to be the best fit to fill the void Cesc created when he left the Emirates Stadium. In recent weeks, Mikel Arteta and Alex Song have served as the holding midfielders while Rosicky has been granted the freedom of drifting in behind Robin van Persie.
The Little Mozart has played the role of the crafty veteran. Rosicky’s strengths are well known; he can pick a pass, go around defenders, and make creative runs. But the abilities that have perhaps surprised opposing defenders the most is Rosicky’s pace and work rate. Sometimes, when he receives the ball, Rosicky unleashes a burst of pace and just runs past a defender, almost as if he is using the sprint button in the FIFA videogame. In addition, Rosicky covers plenty of ground during a match. When the ball is in the opposition’s half, he will chase down and pressure defenders, even putting in a hard tackle when it is needed. The nickname “The Little Mozart” indicates that Rosicky is a finesse player, but don’t mistake finesse for timid.
Arsenal awarded Tomas Rosicky with a contract extension last week. Extending the contract of a 31-year old midfielder seems to go against Arsene Wenger’s long-held customs, though maybe the Frenchman is envisaging a healthy blend of experience and youth in Arsenal’s midfield. Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, and Alex Song will provide the youth to combine with the experience of Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky. When considering Arsenal’s midfield options for next season, some may still discount Rosicky’s chances of playing a key role for the Gunners in the future. However, that would be unwise; The Little Mozart has proven the majority of us wrong before.