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Rosicky "I'd be stupid to be dissatisfied"


In an interview given to a Czech website Tomas Rosicky acknowledged that there was much to be happy about at Arsenal despite not being the first pick for the team. Responding to a question as to whether he was satisfied just to be back playing the midfielder said 'I'd be a fool to say no'

After an absence from the game of 20 months from January 2008, this summer Tomas picked this season as a crucial one for him. In terms of the number of games he says that he can't be completely unhappy with the 14 starts and 10 sub appearances he has garnered so far this season.

'Everyone wants to play more but on the other hand I can't complain. I usually get a game every week so I play often enough. Of course it could be better that's for sure. One reason could be that I haven't scored. That's a blot I regret. Then again we know how it goes in football. I had a period in Germany where I probably didn't score throughout the spring or autumn. Then the next spring I scored 5 times. I know that it turns around again. I'm not getting a headache about it but it doesn't help me at the moment.'

While seemingly acknowledging that he isn`t an automatic starter Rosicky asserts that there are too many games over the season simply to be considered a first eleven or second eleven player. Accepting that he is part of a big squad he sees it as a positive that Arsenal probably has greater strength in depth now than it has for some time. 'Everyone wants to play all the big games' he says 'I'm sorry that I don't but I'm not angry about it. It's not my style to complain to the newspapers to try to improve my position.'

It's a new experience for a player who from his teens had been one of the first names on the team sheet. 'It is true prior to my injury I always belonged to the first eleven, either here or in Dortmund. When I got hurt it was clear that the club couldn't wait indefinitely for me to recover and they brought in Arshavin. But as I said, Arsenal is a big club, in which there'll always be a struggle for a place. There are enough games to play and if we want to be successful we need to have quality players not only in the first eleven. In addition Wenger is keen to rotate the squad and I believe that spring will be better for me.' Expanding on his relationship with Wenger he says that they speak often enough about his role in upcoming games but that while he is not one to demand to play every game he'll never reveal details of his conversations with the manager. Asked if he was always happy with the outcome he laughed as he replied 'No, but this does not really tell you anything.'

At the same time Tomas finds himself in the unique role of often captaining the team despite his more reserve role. 'That's another thing. If I had a bad position here, I'd never be the Arsenal captain' acknowledging the honour he continued 'Already in Germany I was captain. Maybe my coaches see something in me they like and want me to have responsibility. And I appreciate that without a doubt.'

Accepting that the risk of injury plays a role in how often he plays the Czech International explained 'Nobody knows what would happen if I played Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday and probably no one even wants to try' he laughed 'I could play three matches in one week but what the effect would be is unknown. Perhaps it would be okay, perhaps not. That I have been fit for the entire first six months may be associated with the fact that I do a lot of things differently, and it works. Previously injuries often occurred to me not so much during the match, but during training. I believe the improvement will hold in the future because I found things that work for me. Of course this does not mean that I will never be injured, but perhaps this is the limit. For this I am very happy.'

Responding to rumours in his homeland about a possible interest from Aston Villa in the January transfer window he insisted that he did not think such a move possible. 'Because I want to be here and I want to win something with Arsenal. Unless something dramatically changes, it is not possible. I know what I want.' On the prospects of a contract extension he declined to answer 'It remains to be seen, I do not want to go down this route. I will stay with the answer that I told you earlier. At the moment I do not want to change the jersey, it ends there for me.'

There seems to a strong sense of realism in Rosicky's interview partly it seems from an understanding as to how close he came to ending his career and a combination of delight and relief at finding himself back contributing at the highest level. He clearly regrets his misfortune in losing what should have been his peak years and that's a regret that gooners everywhere would share given the obvious quality of the player.

'Unfortunately I was playing the best football of my career when what happened to me happened. I would go on the pitch knowing that what I did could decide the match. I also managed probably seven assists before I was injured in that January. We were heading the league. That's life, it just happens. No need to cry over something. But I'm glad I'm back, I made it and I have a few good years ahead. Let's see what happens next.'

There is no doubt that Rosicky`s peak years are behind him but with the dependence on youth now also behind the club there is an opportunity to re-evaluate the benefits of senior players, the role they can play in a squad and the experience and expertise that they can bring. If with that comes a sense of realism from a player who isn't just chasing the biggest payday and appreciates the advantages of playing at a club which is prepared to reward loyalty and commitment to the squad then maybe Tomas' often sublime skills, which he still has in abundance, can entertain us for a while longer.

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Date:Monday January 10 2011
Time: 11:47AM


Really refreshing read from a clearly intelligent footballer. I'm glad Tommy Gun is currently happy with his lot, because it would be easy ... and understandable ... for a player of his age to want to move somewhere with more regular football, but he can see what's going on this club, and that he stands a good chance of winning things and playing 20-30 games per season whether it be from the bench or starting line up. He's a quality footballer, and he usually works hard and get's stuck in. Top interview.
10/01/2011 12:06:00
I foresee the sort of role for Rosicky that United are very adept at adopting. They're very good at having elder statesmen happy to represent the club, even if they don't play every week, and be a positive influence on and off the pitch. Rosicky still has a good contribution to make and recongises that he will play a lot of games. I think that's maybe the perspective a long term injury gives you. Certainly Djourou seems to be a more focussed individual this season and maybe a reminder of how fragile one's career is contributes to that. The interview confirms what we see on the pitch, that TR7 is a top pro and kudos to him for coming back at all. I certainly doubted he could.
Little Dutch
10/01/2011 12:11:00
Yes you did .... didn't you have to bear your arse on the town hall steps or something :)
10/01/2011 12:15:00
Nice job Amos for sharing this piece. I didn't see this interview anywhere in the newspapers I read. While quite a few of us are criticising the decreased leadership and creative spark with Rosicky (especially instead of Cesc) on the pitch. As I said on the forums, I think he's a mature professional who respects the club and his job. At 30 I think he could do the Ljungberg stuff, coming off the bench or starting some games to offer some creativity and experience. We kept complaining about the lack of experience in the squad before, now our patience is starting to bear fruit. Just as it'd be "stupid" for him to be dissatisfied, we'd be stupid to say he's not good enough (for the starting XI probably) and let him go. It's guys like him that helped United win their trophies in the recent past.
10/01/2011 14:14:00
Think you're all letting your judgement be clouded by pity. He's on a fair old whack - something he wouldn't get elsewhere, is playing a game a week - why would he moan? Lou - "players like him" have scored key goals for Utd. Does Rosicky have more than one goal in the last year? For someone who's started on the regs as someone playing off the strikers in home games against poor opposition, this isn't good enough.
10/01/2011 14:28:00
I am taken in more by the intelligence he oozes, not getting drawn into any sensational stuff the journalists crave. I shall believe along with him that, maybe, the 'spring' will usher in his best performances and a turnaround for him, because he is one heck of a player when on song. He is due a goal; that will help his confidence.
10/01/2011 14:29:00
And you're probably letting your judgement be clouded by cynicism. You've no idea what he's on nor what he could get elsewhere. You've certainly allowed it to distort your understanding of the broad point that Lou was trying to make which is that senior players have contributed to United's success. Goals are only a part of that contribution. There aren't that many midfielders of his quality willing to play a squad role.
10/01/2011 14:38:00
Where is this quality you refer to? Can you back that up this season? And having "no idea" what he's on - i could hazard a guess it's around the 50/60k mark with some half decent fees on top of that. I of course, am basing this on Arsenal's wage structure with our top earners, Cesc, Van Persie & Arshavin being on about the 80k mark - or is that wildly wrong Amos? I wouldn't say my judgement's being clouded by cyncism just by what i've seen on the football pitch.
10/01/2011 14:46:00
I think his qualities have shifted somewhat since his injury. He used to be known for silky skills, nice passing and being pretty dangerous from range (and that's where the wages came from), but we have to reassess Tommy now. He was out for a very very long time, he's not going to jump back in and play like he used to. But he offers us a good shift, and valuable experience, different qualities from when we signed him but qualities nonetheless. Maybe if he stays injury free he can bring us some goals or some extra creative flair, but as it stands right now he's a quality squad player .... better squad player than most other sides in the PL have on show that's for sure.
10/01/2011 14:58:00
I could try to back it up if I felt your mind would be receptive enough to consider it objectively - attempts created perhaps? - but it won't be. We could all hazard all sorts of guesses but none of it would prove your assumption right or wrong. It's as likely to be wrong as right. So are you saying we should dump Rosicky then? That he isn't worth a place in the squad based on what you think you've seen so far?
10/01/2011 14:58:00
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