Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky spoke to the Czech Republic press on Tuesday about his frustrations over a lack of playing time this season. The 34-year-old admitted that while he is currently on good terms with manager Arsene Wenger, he is not quite sure why he has seen a big drop off in time spent on the pitch since the end of the 2013-14 season.
Rosicky told the Czech Republic newspaper Denik, “I’m not sure what’s going on. I understand that I am 34 and that it probably plays a role, whether I like it or not. That’s without doubt. However, I’m not in physical decline. When I played for the national team against Holland I ran 12km and according to the tests at Arsenal I’m in the top five (players) in terms of speed.”
“We are on good terms, so I do not really know what it is. It is purely a coach’s decision. It’s not my decline. My health is fine too. Of course I want to play, but there’s not much I can do about it.”
The Czech Republic international has yet to receive a Premier League or Champions League start for the Gunners this season, and has only played small parts in five total matches of the campaign. Rosicky enjoyed his longest match of the season on October 1st, playing just 22 minutes in a 4-1 demolishing of Galatasaray.
When asked if his lack of playing time was because he did not fit into Wenger’s new tactical plans, Rosicky said, “It’s possible. Compared to last season we’ve changed the system and again have started playing 4-4-2. The coach is trying to find a system that best suits the players, and vice versa.”
Rosicky went on to finish, “I’m not in this alone, there are other players in a similar boat. When we do get a chance it’s harder for us to get into our rhythm. So far this season has been disappointing for us. We haven’t played well and when I’ve played I’ve not been at the forefront of things.”
Although Rosicky is at the ripe old age of 34, he absolutely still appears to have gas left in the tank. His chances created per minute and key passes per minute during the 2013-14 season virtually mirrored those of Wenger’s current favorite attacking midfielder/winger, Santi Cazorla (and the Czech’s numbers were better than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stats as well).
With Mesut Özil currently sidelined due to an ankle injury, and fellow midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla not playing as well as they could at the moment, Rosicky should be given a chance to shine once again.
“Little Mozart” has always been sort of a forgotten player for the north London team, as he has certainly never received as much praise as other stars to come through the ranks. However, Rosicky has been one of the most consistent, reliable, and underrated players at Arsenal since his arrival in 2006. While very few would suggest that he is the most talented player in red and white, Rosicky’s motor and relentlessness when he is on the pitch is second to none.
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