Given his terrific recent resurgence, it came as no surprise that midfielder Tomas Rosicky signed a new contract at Arsenal. However, the praise he has been inundated with appears to be overwhelming.
Less than a month ago, following Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League first leg, Rosicky was among the handful of Gunners slammed by the club’s former midfielder Emmanuel Petit.
Ever since then, the Czech playmaker has rediscovered top form, playing at a level reminiscent of his memorable Borussia Dortmund days several years ago.
Last week, after Rosicky scored an impressive goal against Milan in the second leg to complete a full circle on his progress, skipper Robin van Persie described him as a player whose naturally ability is gifted and cannot be acquired.
In response to his captain’s backing, the player committed his future to the club and spoke proudly of the honor to represent the North London outfit.
“It’s a great honour to sign a new deal with Arsenal, I love the club and am proud to wear the Arsenal shirt. It’s felt like home since I arrived six years ago and I couldn’t be happier to commit my future to the team,” Rosicky stated on Arsenal’s official website.
Revealing high ambitions at the Emirates, the 31-year old added: “The manager, my teammates, the staff and the supporters – everyone plays their part in making this a great club, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.
“I believe we have a really talented group of players and, together with the manager, the future looks bright. It’s always been my goal to win trophies here at Arsenal, and I will fight hard to achieve my dreams here.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has stood by Rosicky throughout the player’s struggles with form and fitness, and seeing how Rosicky’s re-emergence has calmly filled the void left by the transfers of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer, the Frenchman could not hide his delight.
The Frenchman explained: “I’ve always been a big admirer of Tomas’ abilities and am delighted he’s chosen to commit his future to the club. I believe he is an exceptional player, a natural footballer who is technically top class.
“He plays the style of football we champion here and shares completely our philosophy. He is always ready to work for the sake of the club, always willing to put the team first. I have huge respect for him.”
In addition to RvP and Wenger, another Gunner has spoken out openly to acknowledge the impact of Rosicky.
“Tomas has been absolutely outstanding. I have a lot of Arsenal-supporting friends and everyone I have spoken to can’t talk highly enough about how well he has been playing,” Jenkinson – a lifelong Gooner – told Arsenal Player.
The young right-back added: “His change of pace and the way he turns with the ball shows he is a special talent. He has been outstanding, and long may it continue. He is not in my position but just his talent and the fact that he has been there and done it, and has been at the club for a long time, [means] he is definitely someone I look up to.
“He handles himself in such a professional manner off the pitch too and I can learn a lot from that as well.”
Rosicky’s stunning turn in fortunes has propelled him to a select group of Arsenal players – such as Alex Song, Wojciech Szczesny, and Thomas Vermaelen – who are often named as the leading contributors in the supporting cast for Van Persie, who is the league’s leading scorer.
While apprehensions regarding his injury-prone past are inevitable, Wenger remains optimistic.
“I think [he can continue for years] because he is serious, conscientious and has a healthy life and has the basic technique to survive at the top level. He shouldn’t set himself limitations,” the manager concluded.
Rosicky and his teammates host Newcastle United at the Emirates tonight as they aim for a win that will send them three points clear of Chelsea and within one point of third-place Tottenham Hotspur.