Tomas Rosicky is back, the 35-year-old Czech playmaker played with the u21 side on Friday afternoon on his comeback from injury. He was given 45 minutes as he was in the starting 11 and was subbed at half-time with a shot off target to show for his effort.
Due to his long term injury, he has not featured with the first team so far this certain, but his return is certainly welcomed in a midfield area where the club is still short of bodies despite recently signing Mohamed Elneny.
The veteran player certainly brings something different to the team as he has a tactical knowledge and a football intelligence second to none in the current squad. He is like an electron in a particle accelerator, he can actually speed up the game at will on his first touch, break through defensive lines and create space for himself and other players.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a similar ability (as mentioned by Arsène Wenger in the past) but does not have the same maturity and experience to do it at the right place at the right time. He needs to learn quickly from the master on order to take over as the Czech maestro is reaching the end of his Arsenal career sooner than later. Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who also played on Friday, could also learn a lot from him in training.
Rosicky also has the unusual ability to link up the team’s attack into a chain of quick passes, via his intelligent movement off the ball. He has an instinctive feel to be in the right space to receive a pass and ,because he actually reads the game so well, he can anticipate the next move like a chess player.
With a top quality technical player like Mesut Özil and intelligent forwards like Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, players that are on the same wavelength as him, he can certainly create things and be the difference in the final third to open very compact defensive blocks.
With the games coming thick and fast between now and the end of the season, you would expect him to come as a sub in tight games either as a central midfield player or on either wing to create chances. He could also come in once games are won to give a rest to player like Joel Campbell, who works very hard but sometimes struggles to last the full 90 minutes.
And of course, when Arsene Wenger wants to rotate his squad, he can be a starter but there is a question mark if he can last the full 90 minutes at the highest level. You certainly want him to be involved in the games against Barcelona where he could be crucial to set up chances. Welcome back, Tomas!