By Tony Attwood
When Rosický moved to Borussia Dortmund, his transfer fee of €14.5 million was a Bundesliga record. He he played just 41 times for Sparta Prague but his reputation had grown quickly.
When Dortmund got into financial difficulties everyone joined the queue to buy him, from Real Madrid to Tottenham. The Mozart of Football was ready to move on.
On 23 May 2006 Tomáš Rosický joined Arsenal. He was 25, and he took over Robert Pirès number 7. The transition felt perfect, especially when that summer Tomáš scored a sensational goal in the Euros.
His first Arsenal game was on 8 August 2006 in the Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb. His first goal on 13 September 2006 against Hamburg also in the Champions League. In all he played 37 times and scored 6 and looked set to hold his place for years to come.
But then disaster struck with a set of injuries which kept him out the last half of 2007/8 and of all of 2008/9. And when he was just about to come back in got injured again in pre-season.
However Arsene Wenger continued to have faith as in January 2010, Rosický signed a new contract.
Naturally all the injuries resulted in a dip in form – but that was a dip from the highest of standards. He clearly worked hard on his form, and on 26 February 2012, he scored the goal that developed into a comeback as we turned the game around and beat Tottenham 5-2.
He came third in the list for Player of the Season that year, but then once again he was injured – most annoyingly playing for his country. But he came good yet again. Arsenal.com describe his, ” Impeccable vision, accurate passing and sharp turns of pace”. There is also that regular use of the outside of the foot to take the ball on an unexpected trajectory.
Towards the end of the 2012/13 season he was clearly an influential player whenever he came onto the pitch and his form looked (to me at least) to be back to the highest standard.
Here’s the fully record…
|Lge (goals)||Cup (goals)||Europe (goals)||Total||Goals|
|2006/7||26 (3)||5 (2)||6 (1)||37||6|
|2007/8||18 (6)||1 (0)||5 (1)||24||7|
|2008/9||0 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||0||0|
|2009/10||25 (3)||1 (0)||7 (0)||33||3|
|2010/11||21 (0)||8 (1)||5 (0)||34||1|
|2011/12||28 (1)||2 (0)||8 (1)||38||2|
|2012/13||10 (2)||3 (0)||3 (1)||16||3|
|Total||127 (15)||20 (3)||34 (4)||182||22|
- Barnet 1 Arsenal 10; continuing the success
- Alex Hleb; part of the Flamini effect
- John Hollins MBE – squad man who became a regular
- Manuel Almunia: first, second and third choice keeper
- Ray Kennedy
- Robert Pirès: Emperor