Tomas Rosicky - Arsenal's forgotten man

Rosicky In Action

Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky's injury sustained at Euro 2012 at the Czech Republic has pushed him to the back of the queue at the Emirates.

Euro 2012 was pretty disastrous for Tomas Rosicky. The Czech Republic may have edged through their group, despite an opening 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Arshavin's Russia, but by time they took on Portugal in the quarter-finals, the midfielder did not play a part.

He could only watch on as a Cristiano Ronaldo goal gave Portugal a 1-0 win, because he had sustained an Achilles injury.

That injury has prevented him from playing a part for the Gunners this season, and his place in the three-man midfield is under threat.

Truth be told, Rosicky had been underwhelming since arriving at Arsenal in 2006, suffering badly with injury, and being accused of failing to step up when Arsenal needed their senior players to deliver.

Then in early 2012 it was like a transformation happened. Rosicky became an instrumental part of Arsenal's midfield, as fans and manager always hoped he would be, showing why Wenger was right to persist with him all this time.

Performances which stand out are the 3-2 FA Cup comeback against Aston Villa at the Emirates, and the memorable 5-2 win over Spurs in which he was outstanding.

But yesterday as we ran an article on Arsenal's prospects upon Wilshere's return, it has become clear at present at least Rosicky appears to be peripheral figure. Arsenal's first choice midfield three is tipped to become the trio of Arteta, Cazorla, and Wilshere.

Even the outstanding Abou Diaby, excellent early this season, would find himself on the substitute's bench. Then there is Aaron Ramsey, Emmanuel Frimpong, and Francis Coquelin competing for places, along with young gun Thomas Eisfeld, who counts Rosicky as his idol.

So it is going to be tough for the Czech to win his place in the side, but that doesn't mean if he recaptures his form of last season he can't do it.

Diaby remains hit and miss with injury, and Arsenal will want to be careful with Wilshere. Playing the young Englishman in every game twice a week will just not be a viable option for Arsene Wenger.

So there will still likely be a role for Rosicky, who we'd consider in Arsenal's top five midfielders, with Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere, and Diaby.

No return date has currently been suggested for the midfielder, but the club will certainly be hoping to have him back sooner rather than later, and before Christmas. His presence underlines the strength in depth Arsenal have, and underlines just why fans feel they are capable of mounting a title challenge.

He may be 32, but don't write him off yet. Out of sight he may be, but he shouldn't be out of mind for supporters, who can expect him to play a significant role when he returns.

How important to Arsenal will Rosicky be when he comes back?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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