Welcome to FANS DAY on InsideArsenal, as promised I shall provide a platform for articles from Gooners the World over, and this is your chance to outblog FTK. Considering the hectic exchanges of yesterday, I’m due for a rest anyway! I shall be judging the articles and the best submission based on relevance, presentation and comments from our readers will receive a superb prize in the shape of an InsideArsenal t-shirt. Just what the best dressed Gooners are wearing! Oh and yes the Editors decision is final!
C’mon get scribbling and get your articles in to me, I can add graphics and sort out the fonts so c’mon you Gooners
Today I welcome Galway Gooner and his submission should spark lively debate… so without further ado take it away Galway…
In the days leading up to the kick off of the World Cup in 2006 word started to leak out that the Czech midfielder had flown from the national side’s training camp to London to officially sign for Arsenal football club. The news had broken when the Czech coach mentioned that Rosicky would not make training that day because of his impending transfer. Arsenal, as always, said nothing until the deal was concluded but the speed at which the deal was done combined with a price that seemed absurdly low showed it to be a typical Arsene signing.
I was genuinely excited by the prospect of the Little Mozart playing in the red of Arsenal. Here was a player that while not blessed with physical presence seemed to have everything else. He was fast, two footed, had the eye for a killer pass, a great football brain and could finish from both outside and inside the area. I spoke to a friend in Germany (a Chelsea fan but what can you do?) who confirmed all the good things that I had heard about Thomas. Is he fast I asked? Most Certainly my Chelsea mate replied. Can he pass the ball well was the next question. Beautifully was the reply. Can he score goals came out next? Oh he’ll probably win you two or three goal of the month competitions was the answer from Germany.
So sum him up as a player I asked my German contact. Now, my German friend (or rather my Irish friend who now lives in Germany) has played a bit of football, he was never a professional but he played at about as serious a level you can play out without going pro, he may support Chelsea and think that Drogba is a world’s best player but Blue bias aside he actually knows and understands the game. He told me that Rosciky had all the skills necessary to be the best player in the world in his position but that he never would.
I watched the first game of the World Cup when the Czechs played The US and saw our new signing put in a superb performance. He ran the game, controlled it, owned in and capped a great performance with two brilliant but very different goals. The boys back in the studio spoke about what a player he was and how that now as he was going to be given the chance to learn and express himself under Wenger and the Arsenal style of football that he would go on to prove one of the signings of the season.
I had heard about Thomas before we signed him and apparently Arsenal had looked at him before. He had built up a reputation as a player of some talent during his time at Sparta Prague so much so that Broussia Dortmund spent £18million on him in 2001. £18million is a hell of a lot for a player in England but in Germany it is almost unheard of. When Dortmund got into financial trouble and with the team no longer challenging for any honours it was only a matter of time before he left. Rosicky arrived in Germany with a big reputation and despite some eye-catching performances and some goal of the month winners he never produced it often enough to attract the really big guns of Europe.
In the opening game of the World Cup it seemed that we had got him for next to nothing but a clearer picture had developed by the end of the tournament. This picture has now started to repeat itself with the exception that Thomas now wears the Arsenal red. We are going through a bit of a sticky spell at the minute. We have injuries to key players and are not playing with anything near the same level of skill or style that we have shown a few weeks back. There is no doubt that we are missing Cesc.
But no team is going to have all players available for the entire season. When we went to Villa with our little Spanish general out the main responsibility for creating the goals fell to Hleb. This is the same Hleb that I constantly slagged off last season as a waste of space, the same Hleb that ran down countless blind alleys and refused to shoot no matter how close to the goal or how clear the opportunity. But that was last season, this season Hleb is a different player.
Against Villa when the pressure was on him he responded, he responded brilliantly and I think he performance was a main factor in us winning a tough away game. When he was kicked out of the game our performance level dropped but we hung on for the win. At Newcastle with Hleb joining Cesc and Flamini (NDP – Trademark to Arseblog on that one) the burden of creativity fell to Rosciky. It is maybe unfair to place the burden of responsibility on one players shoulders but if Thomas isn’t scoring or creating than what is he doing? He won’t win you headers, tackling is not his game and he will never clear many shots off the line. We needed a big game from him against Newcastle but he was invisible.
We held on for the point but only just. Again there were circumstances in that game that you could allow a bit of leeway for Thomas. Newcastle were tough and determined and didn’t allow us to play (which they shouldn’t) and that type of game maybe doesn’t suit his particular skill set. But Boro away was the perfect chance for him to retort. Boro don’t generally go around kicking the opposition and while they may chase the ball down they don’t do it with anything like the saliva-dripping passion that say an Everton, Bolton or even Newcastle. Boro allow the opposition to play and that should have suited Thomas down to the ground. But given the perfect opposition and when he team needed him Thomas did nothing.
He wasn’t the only one but he was our most creative player on the park and he never even looked for the ball. Maybe there is something about him that I am missing. He has everything that his type of player needs but bar the odd game, the odd great goal and the odd flash of brilliance has he done enough to be in this Arsenal team? He has been here almost a season and a half and I cannot remember any period where he impressed game in game out for a run of five games or more. He is wearing the shirt that used to be worn by Pires.
They share many attributes but Pires at his peak will always be the better player. Pires would have been a much more visible player than the one that worn number seven yesterday. He may not have won many tackles, any headers and most certainly would not have cleared any shots off the line but he would have looked for the ball. He would have made runs into the box and it would have been the type of game where he won us all three points.
I want to like Rosicky, I want him to become the player that all this potential and ability teases us that he can be, but like my mate in Germany I am beginning to think that we will never be treated to anything more than brief glimpses of what could be. I hope I’m wrong to unless there is some drastic change Thomas will end up leaving us for a fee that seems a bargain and some other team will get all excited when they see spectacular highlights of his play.
Rosicky is 27 years old and should be in the form of his career and maybe he is, maybe this is as good as it gets? If that is so then someone needs to take our Little Mozart aside and tell him that as good as he gets is not good enough for Arsenal.
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