Originally posted on The Hot Stepanovs.
The cavernous arena reverberates the continuous hum that is emanating from the masses. The very same masses that have gathered to watch a genius at work.
The man who would lead his enraptured audience on a merry dance enters the fray and is greeted with raucous cheer. The symphonies that he has created in the past have left many speechless. The crowd that now focused on the diminutive magician were hoping to be privy to another magical display.
Little Mozart. Tomas Rosicky. The man that Marco Reus idolises. The moniker that the title refers to is apt.
Rosicky is a perfect fit for Arsenal. This is perfectly summed up by his impish pass to Olivier Giroud.
Phill Neville’s response upon viewing this sprinkle of genius was to proclaim that he would inflict a two footed tackle upon him if he tried anything that approached mickey-taking. The full comments can be found here.
Neville’s comment is everything that is wrong with the English view of the game today. Forward thinking and taking chances must be quashed. Football must be effective and simple. 4-4-2, defensive mindset, etc. There can be no room for character nor flashes of individualism. It is these very moments that change games though. Moments that Rosicky has carved as his very own niche.
Rosicky made his name during his spell at Borussia Dortmund. His rasping shot and fleet of foot set him apart and left opposition either drooling or with twisted blood. Seeing as the transfer fee paid by BVB was a then Bundesliga record, he had immediate pressure to succeed.and he more than sated the fans.
Five years passed in Germany and Tomas’s stock grew exponentially. In 2006 he left Dortmund and Arsenal were the lucky recipients of a 25 year old player who was capable of running a midfield.
I won’t run through his many seasons with us but it is enough to say that Gooners everywhere rue the raft of injuries racked up by the man I now wax lyrical about. These injuries robbed us of a player who could’ve changed results with his influence on the pitch.
Now 34 years old and his star is perhaps at its brightest. Last season he made 39 appearances for us in all competitions. This is impressive but not a surprise to any who have watched him. He has lost none of his imperious touch and vision, but more importantly he still has that vital ability to change impetus immediately. His runs from deep and quick interchanging of passes have transformed a spell under pressure to a goal on countless occasions. Whenever a game is swinging toward ignominy then the fans standard response is to cry out for ‘Super Tom’. It is this that is the best evidence as to what he adds to the team.
Since his arrival nine years ago, his fitness levels – in between his horrific injuries may I add – have never waned and may have in fact been boosted. None of his attributes have suffered as Father Time repeatedly clangs the ‘Last Orders’ bell. He is still one of the best we have at carrying the ball forward and crafting the intricate key needed to unlock the stodgiest of defenses.
So why after giving all he has, was the jury so swift to inflict retirement upon Rosicky after a poor show Vs Southampton in the Capital One Cup? Does giving away a penalty and having an off-colour game in your first match of the season result in a move away to the footballing scrapheap?
How fickle fans are these days. To criticise a player after a poor display is to be expected. To write off a player completely is akin to throwing away a car when the oil runs out. I also gave Rosicky a tongue lashing post-match as he and Podolski were downright awful.No condemning them to an Emirates exit though. Well, maybe Podolski.
To find a player that possesses what talent Tomas has is so rare. You can hire the worlds finest coaches and drill movements into the muscle memory so it becomes instinct. You can do all this and surround them with everything they may require. To nurture a flicked, blind 30 yard pass or an outside of the boot volley on the move is perhaps impossible. To use a particular corny phrase – it comes from within.
We have within our squad arguably four or five players that are capable of Rosicky mimicry. That is to say that they could carry off his repertoire and exert as much influence on the match as he does. Other clubs won’t be as lucky as us. Luck is probably the wrong choice. It is simply what Wenger picks out in his players. For Rosicky to rank as one of our most talented at the ripe old age of 34 is mind-blowing.
Yet it isn’t unheard of. Lampard at Man City is still showing that he has the knack of scoring goals, timing his runs and maintaining impressive levels of fitness in the nadir of his career. It is simply the evolution of sports science.
The injuries that robbed us of a Rosicky in his prime exerting his propensity upon a game may have perhaps also played in our favour. If he had been fit during our lean years, he would have been flogged more than advertising space on ITV. We would’ve been left with a shadow of a player who couldn’t have shown us what he was capable of as the team that surrounded him were simply incapable of producing the liquid thinking Rosicky displays on a regular basis. That may err on the harsh but the squad we have now leaves those teams in the shadows. So we perhaps can find a silver lining amongst Rosicky’s many ills.
At 34 now but still rocking his axe hard, this rocker with an orchestra conductor brain warrants a new contract. I would shudder at the thought of Tomas ending his career anywhere else. He can still play 30 games a season and if his bursts of pace dissipate with age, then his vision, thunderous long range shots and kaleidoscopic passing range allow him to perform a role that utilises these strengths. Wenger said after our Rosicky-inspired F.A Cup win versus Brighton that ” If you love football, then you love Rosicky”. Any football purist can enjoy the fare that our Czech guitarist serves up regularly. To ally his many silky skills, he busts a lung every game in attempts to gain every loose ball or get onto a wayward pass. To summarise;, our 34-year old playmaker – cum – warhorse is nigh on indispensable.
General consensus amongst fans is that, amongst the smorgasbord of technique he exhibits and the plentiful effort he exudes every minute he is on the field – the real reason we are so enamoured with Tomas Rosicky is that, during the aforementioned ‘lean years’, when our downtrodden neighbours smelled a chance to usurp us after years of ritual humiliation, we had a regular exodus. Like a party as a teenager when you realise that parents will be present – a regular flow of people exiting our establishment was the norm. Tomas remained faithful however. He stayed to clean up the mess left by others. He revealed his deep love and affinity for the Cannon by staying with us when suitors would have lined up for a chance to talk to him.
He stayed. We should repay his displays and faith in our cause by offering a contract extension and a testimonial. Some may argue that at his age it shows a severe lack of ambition by letting Rosicky take up a valuable squad place. I would argue the complete opposite. Rosicky in our squad, nay, in our team, can only be a benefit. Plus, finding a player nowadays who truly has passion for his employers is a scarce find indeed. Let us celebrate what a fantastic player he is while we still are fortunate enough to have him. Let us enjoy the footballing symphonies he creates at will. Our Little Mozart.