From his impact at Anfield, which contrasted an indifferent Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky might have a claim to make about who Wenger’s starting options in midfield should be, especially with Nasri now sidelined.

After his introduction, the Czech midfielder sent dangerous balls into Liverpool’s box for Chamakh who had been starving of that all day and perhaps that highlighted how Rosicky, along with Nasri, are the better crossers of the ball we have.

It was in that crossing fashion which Rosicky set up the equalizer after carving out Arsenal’s best effort of the game which Reina saved. Thus, if Arshavin’s cold performances remain, who is to denyArsenal’s No. 7 a starting place on the left – if his injury problems are to end of course.

Anyway, let’s just recap his vital cameo on Sunday.


Then again, has Arshavin not been taking Rosicky’s place anyway, perhaps?.

Remember, before this guy was stricken down by a niggling injury back in January 2008, which was also before Arshavin arrived, Rosicky was a first-choice player in Wenger’s line-ups and despite a struggle with fatigue, he was forced to start that FA Cup tie with Newcastle – which he limped out of – because he was so key to the team at the time.

For me, Tomas has not been given a fair assessment in his Arsenal career.

Unbelievably, last season was only Rosicky’s second full campaign as an Arsenal player. In his debut 2006/07 year, the Czech star was quite terrific in most of his appearances while netting some stunners including a double at Anfield in the FA Cup. He looked to resume those exploits in 2007/08 and was doing just that, equalling his tally of 7 goals from his first season by half-way through the camapign before it soon ended prematurely.

Rosicky then missed the entire 2008/09 term, and when he returned last season, had a fairly contributive 2009/10.

There are those still skeptic over Rosicky’s ability to gain a key player status at the club but those critics are merely judging him on last season, which was his first time of playing top-level football again in more than 12 months. Even so, the 29-year-old showed impressive work-ethic (remember the heart he showed at the Camp Nou?) when present on the pitch and his enthusiasm, occasional sumptuous tackles and ability to track back on the left was far more appreciable than that of Arshavin.

Upon all that, Rosicky netted vitals goals against Bolton and Everton while showing scarce class from Arsenal in his first appearance of the season when he came off the bench to score in the embarrassing 4-2 loss at Man. City.

I am also of the opinion that fans do not regard Rosicky’s hard-working efforts on the pitch because his style of play is not so different from his colleagues in midfield. What I’m saying is that, we have too many small, technical midfielders like him who bring the same flair to the table, so it is hard to appreciate what Rosicky provides…unless its something truly special like netting a hattrick at Old Trafford or playing Song’s DM role well.

Thus, we expect too much of Rosicky in roles which he was not made for. An example is how he was criticized for one of the goals against Legia Warsaw recently. It is not his fault that he is a pure attacking-minded player (with feeble physical presence) and has few or no capable defensive-minded teammates on the pitch to compliment his work.

This point also brings about the importance of the likes of Diaby and Song who add some touch of vigor to our midfield. Diaby, despite his heavy first-touch and appalling short passes, provides the strength and muscle you need when probing a tough opponent. What’s also not mentioned is his clinical ability in front of goal (watch his goals against Portsmouth, Birmingham, AZ Alkmaar, etc.). Lampard and Gerard are players skilled going forward but they wouldn’t be who they are if they were often bullied in midfield or could not finish like strikers.

So, for instance, if you go to dirty Stoke with a midfield of Arshavin-Fabregas-Rosicky-Nasri, don’t blame Rosicky or whoever for not being an’ Essien’ in stopping Ricardo Fuller’s run towards our back line. Instead, blame the man who chose to play absolutely no recognized defensive midfielders.

This point also relates to the much-maligned Denilson who is criticized for failure to claim a responsibility which he truly was not designed for. From his shows as a youngster at Sao Paulo, the boy was nothing close to a DM but instead a central attacking midfielder. That was very apparent in 2007/08’s Carling Cup run which saw him smash home long-range goals, set up chances for Eduardo and Bendtner and deliver set-pieces – basically playing Cesc’s role.

Wenger let Diarra, Flamini and Gilberto all leave at once and all of a sudden, every central midfielder is supposed to be Makelele at best?

No, this team is in need of another defensive midfielder!

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