Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rosicky signing asks as many questions as it answers.

namely: where the hell is he going to play?

Firstly, lets get these, faintly ridiculous, videolinks out the way that seem to have been linked around the web:


The problem with these clips, is that they obviously, in a massively subjective manner, portray our new Bohemian [ eh!] in the best light possible. yet compare these links to this one:


Hleb looks like a goalscoring dynamo in this vid...

My point is: I am concerned that Rosicky won't get that many goals. These vids probably contain almost all the goals he's ever scored in major competitions: don't take them as representative of his overall scoring prowess. And one of our significant problems from last year was a lack of goals from midfield. Rosicky wants to be played in the centre - like Hlebby. malhereusement, Wenger will undoubtedly not play him there, like he didn't play Hleb in his favoured position, and he'll try and push Tomas into a new place.

But where! there are three possibilites as far as i can see

1) left-wing. Obvious. Fighting with Reyes for the position. Bobby could be on his bike. Neither reyes or Ros get goals but both are assist-meisters. Plus, rosicky is a fighter like Freddie. Imagine the technichal ability of Jose, with the bottle of Freddie = Tomas = new left-winger. Yet it took Alex almost all season to adapt to this position fully. No more transition! Please!

2) Fab's place. Not going to happen. Wenger hasn't bought Tomas to be a squad player.

3) Bergkamp role. A possibility. We would have to start playing 4-4-1-1- rather than a more avowed 442. yet, where does this leave Adebayor, and RVP? Is RVP being sacrificed for a lack of team play? Is he our Van Nistelrooy: all goals and nothing else? Rosicky only scored 5 goals in the Bundesliger last year; he scored 7 in 12 for the Czechs in qualifying. If he can up his scoring rate, a permanent 4411 system is a distinct possibility. And he will, because he will this arsenal team will offer him more opportunities for goals. But I would say that Adey will be Henry's standard strike partner. Even if Rossy gets the no.10 shirt.

Don't get me wrong: Tomas is fast, incisive and a battler. He's proven international standard. He's a superb purchase, at a knock down price. If we can get him up to 10ish goals a year - we'll cruise next year.

What the signing does show is a distinctive change of tact from Arsene. This is proven quality he's buying. This diamond has very few edges to smooth. Arsene, far more than he's letting on, wants that CL trophy - as Arsenal, WTF pointed out- which is why he's buying proven quality. This certainly won't be the last signing of the season, and i should imagine Arsene will try and get another before the world cup so as to save on money. Instead of buying a kid to build up, he wants players who'll get him what he wants soon.

Elsewhere, Torres is the big name we've all been linked with; but how about David Villa - highest Spanish goalscorer in La Liga this season. Also, after snatching Rosicky from under thier noses, will atletico want to do business with us?

Either way - we need a midfielder to add steel to our midfielder. Please, no boring, 'we need a Vieira replacement' suggestions. He is irreplacable. But, we do need a big, strong, tackling, defensive midfielder. Please write in suggestions. For me - yaya, Zokora, and the Diarra who plays for Lyon.

Overall though, what a great way to respond to last Wednesday. Instead of moping about, we've signed the best player in the world on a new long-term contract, and got a player of proven quality in. Class. Hopefully first of many. Also, interestingly, He'll be up against Essien when the Czechs play ghana in the WC. Interesting.

As long as Rosicky doesn't replace Hleb - who i really rate - this is a good day for the club - and i hope Arsene does really sait in this situation!



Anonymous said...

Think like Wenger! He is there to challenge Gilberto, with some Freddie cover thrown in.

The Gun said...

We didn't exactly snath Rosicky from under Atletico's noses; they didn't want to pay the fee up front so Dortmund contacted a number of interested parties, of which we were one. Once there was a decision to make, Rosicky obviously decided Arsenal was his best bet of top level competition. As far as Torres is concerned, I think all Atletico will care about is getting the biggest transfer fee possible for him, regardless of where it comes from.

Another point I want to make. I'm sick of this fad of having some big African bruiser/enforcer in the middle of the park. How many of the recent Champions League semi-finalists have had a big brute in the middle crunching into challenges but not offering much else? Vieira, Sissoko, Bouba Diop, Faye, Zokora, Toure, Essien, Diarra, Appiah, etc, etc. None of them have exactly had storming seasons hence the reason why they've not added much to their teams' success (or lack thereof), unless you count standing out at St Etienne and Olympiakos as an achievement. Of the high profilers, Essien is poised to become the most expensive sub in British football since Ballack's arrival and last season wasn't wuite what you'd expect from a £24m centre mid and Vieira has just had a mare with Juve (don't even mention the bought title).

Clubs have been playing catch-up to Wenger's introduction of a Vieira type for the past couple of seasons and it's got them nowhere. Guys like Hleb, Rosicky, Cesc, Xavi, Deco, Iniesta, Gerrard, Alonso, Kaka, Pirlo and others can just zip the ball around them as if they weren't even there.

Don't go mad or anything, this is just my personal opinion and nobody has to agree with it.

Goonerboy said...

No - I think its an interesting opinion.

I think you're right about this fad - but I do think we need someone with a little more bite in midfield. Although, as i forgot to mention, Rosicky is a real tough-tackling fella.

Either way, I'll be very intrigued to see where he plays, and I don't think Arsenal should pay more than £20m for Torres if we were to buy him.

Anonymous said...

I do agree somewhat with the above comment , Patrick and Gilberto were used when we could'nt get much out of our wingers (Fred and Bob) it was more or less two seperate midfield units , this season has seen a more technical and stonger midfield unit with just Gilberto sitting behind the 3, Patrick was all about impact and drive but now Wenger believes the ball can be moved quicker with better technical players, the away losses last year were not so much being out battled but the whole team in a rut of form.if they are in form then the ball gets played round these players with such pace that it can't be dealt with.

Anonymous said...

Gun, you make some good points, but when you look at successful teams this year they all have players capable of breaking up play, ie. makelele for chelsea, vieira for juventus, even barcelona resorted to van bommel & edmilson in central midfield at times. I think what most arsenal fans feel is that against certain teams we need someone who can stand up & be counted. We have no chance of domestic success if teams bully us again & whilst its easy to say just play the ball around them sometimes thats just not possible. A team like bolton are extremely comfortable if the ball is up in the air, what can arsenal do if they cannot get the ball on the ground & with our current team we dont have anyone who can do just that & set our football going. In europe its not such a problem as was proved this year!!

Anonymous said...

we need a strong man in the middle due to the physical nature of the PL. i think Wenger will sign DABO as he is on a free and is a player known to Wenger since he was a teenager. he will give us good support for gilberto.
everyone should remember this is going to be a very long season because of our CL qualification and as most of our squad are at the world cup they will not get much R&R time. we need to have a big squad this year as players will have to be rested if we are to compete for major trophies.
what would happen if gilberto got injured in the first month of the season? diaby will be out for most of next year according to medicle reports.

we have enough crative players we need some grafters who can put the boot in when required.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Pires will be joining Bergkamp in sliding off the Arsenal squad list. I see Tomas as a bit like both of them, so, having lost two and gained one, I cannot really see the problem in where we play him.

One thing I have learned in the past few seasons is that you are in danger of failing on all fronts, if you try to use a small squad to succeed in all four major competitions. One of the revelations this year was just how well we could perform against Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona, following a week or so off to get into shape. Conversely, the only reason we lost to Chelsea in the quarter finals of the CL a few years ago, was purely fatigue, after two tough games against ManU and another against Chelsea.

So, to succeed, it is absolutely vital that we have a decent squad in terms of size and quality. The pundits were saying last Wednesday that, when you compared our bench to Barca's, we were very lightweight. In the end, Rijkaard's substitutions won the CL for him. What I am saying is that we should not look at new arrivals as replacing somebody else but more look at them as sharing the load.

I still think we could add two or three more.

shooter said...

Villa plays for Valencia not Athletico

Anonymous said...

I believe that Dabo may already be on hiw way to Man City but he is an excellent player , followed him since he went to Inter at a young age, a bit like Davids as a player.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we do still need a 500lb gorilla in the squad. Somebody who we can take up to Bolton to trample all over those nasty yobs that they have. But I would only use him in circumstances like that.

Eddy The Red said...

Very interesting article Gooner Boy. There are more questions than answers. Can't agree with The Gun's proposition that beefy midfielders are out. Didn't Barca have a converted centre-half (Edmilson) in central midfield? Wenger collects small, footballing midfielders like George Graham did centre halves. At the moment we've got Reyes, Hleb, Pires, Ljunberg, Fabregas. Now we've added Rossicky. No steel or muscle to be seen - apart from Gilberto.(Diaby's going to be out for ages). Can we succeed with this lightweight midfield? Our record last season suggests not. And it's not just the Boltons of this world we struggle against. We only won five games against teams in the top ten (and two of those were against Wigan) and won one game against the top five.

It's not just muscle and physical presence. But I really hope the next signings will be hard, competitive midfielders - like Reo-Coker - to do the hard yards. Against Barca there was nobody to make tackles in midfield, so the pressure just grew and grew.

We need more competitive, aggression in midfield next season.

Bahraini Gooner said...

I would like to make 2 Points:
Point#1 - In regards to Rosicky, I was thrilled that Wenger purchased such an established midfielder approaching his prime years! We got so used to buying young players that we forgot how it feels to buy such a player..and what a bargain!!!
I think he'll probably be competing with Reyes for Left Wing (or can even be played on the right).. since Hleb plays on both sides.. I surely hope he's not gonna be played behind Henry as I would love to see a superstar forward purchase.. i.e. Torres (if we could snap him before ManU), Trezeguet (if Juve go down, which would be a dream).. I think any of these two forwards..in addition to T14..would bring terror to any defense they face.. with V.Pers as their sub.. wow.. (u noticed i left out Adebayor as he is not one of my favorite players due to his EXTREME inconsistency)..
Point#2 - Midfield battlers.. i agree that you dont necessarily need a tough african physical presence in midfield to dominate the park.. Barca dont have one.. Liverpool do just fine without Sissoko (although he's a good player).. However, if we were to go for one..i think Yaya Toure would be great (however, i do fear having too many I.Coast players isnt healthy to the cosmopolitan nature of Arsenal).. imagine what would happen in the next African's Cup?!
I think we need a great forward.. definately a Central Defender (Kromkamp?! - I wish!).. and definately.. a GK!! Get rid of Cygan (for sure), sell Campbell (inconsistent + high wages)..

Cheers from Bahrain!

The Gun said...

I think midfield "cover" or "protection" is more down to covering, tracking and closing down that it is to crushing an opponent with a wild tackle. Makelele isn't a Bouba Diop type player, neither was Roy Keane. Neither is van Bommel or Edmilson. All those guys are technically excellent, strong and competitive but they don't have to be giants. I'd be perfectly happy to have the diminutive yet aggressive Reo-Coker or Barton in my midfield. People have made too much of our lack of success against Bolton and put it down to the fact that we had no "enforcer" in the middle. We also happened to lose against WBA, Blackburn, Boro, West Ham, Everton and Man U and none of those exactly had a beast in the middle.

Wenger would never buy a player who would compromise his style and gameplan just to satisfy the demands of journalists and fans with no in-depth knowledge of the game and Wenger's systems. He bought Diaby and Adebayor, both of whom are technically excellent players, very fast, very young and keen to learn but a little bigger than the other names mentioned in chat rooms, on blogs and in the papers. Gilberto has been much more effective than Vieira this season, despite Juve buying their title. Wenger's philosophy is one of fluidity, even more pace and, now, tactical versatility and this is what will change our away form next season. We can now go to Bolton with 5 across the middle if we want, confident in the knowledge that Cesc, Hleb, Gilberto, Rosicky and Reyes can run rings around Campo, Nolan and Faye and pressure them in the same way that they did to Vieira, Emerson, Gravesen, van Bommel and Edmilson. The mistake was playing 2 relatively small guys in centre mid against much larger opponents with no adequate protection from other team members.

My argument tails off here as I know what I'm trying to say but I'm having problems explaining it lucidly. Let's just say that if we don't sign a Yaya Toure, Zokora or Diarra, I won't be too upset. I will be upset though if we let Reo-Coker go somewhere like Spurs without even putting a bid in.

Goonerboy said...

I agree on Reo-Coker: young, combative and great technical skills - it would be a great addition to the squad. But would Arsene buy him? And would his price be inflated due to nationality?

I wouldn't be surprised if this Gourcuff fella from France jets in as well.

waynegooner said...

Rosicky is a great signing for the club, and as a lifelong gooner i am excited about next season. Titi staying, rosicky signing cole possibly staying on. Its great news after last wednesday traumatic experience life goes on for the gunners.

My opinions on the current situation of our players is that i would like to see cole stay, pires stay (he still knows where the goal is) campbell stay (who would you prefer as cover campbell or cygan?) i know who i would. the only player i'd like to see gone of course is cygan. He is too lightweight a defender and not someone who i would rely on to cover a injury crisis, though give him credit for stepping into left and making one or two decent (note decent) performances last year. I say rid of cygan give djourou more appearances and use gilbert and hoyte as cover for our full backs. Hoyte who can play centrally would help us alot.

As you pointed out in your article where would he play? thats a good point im sure wenger has thought of this. personally i think he will play him as a winger and if an injury crops up put him alongside fabregas and gilberto. What a midfield and attack it would be if we had this line-up: reyes fabregas rosicky hleb adebayor henry. With freddie, robin and poss walcott? on the bench. Of course this line-up doesnt have the "midfield enforcer" but does have creativity.

All im saying is look at the positives and dont get down beat if we dont sign that midfield general who will kick players up in the air. Next season is shaping up to be a good one and i cant wait, so heads up all gunners fans, and go and enjoy this years world cup im sure where rosicky's best position is will be revealed. Come on you gunners!

Goonerboy said...

I have to echo waynegooner: I'm very excited about next season, in a way I wasn't last year.

I just hope our boiys have the stamina. It's going to be a marathon of a season if all goes to plan.

The Gun said...

Spurs have just had a £3.5m bid for Curtis Davies knocked back. Wenger likes him and I reckon if WBA start to negotiate with clubs then we'll enter the bidding. Would Arsene buy Reo-Coker? I think so. Would he buy Joey Barton? If he thought he could develop his technical skills enough, yes. It's just that he knows he already has Cesc, Gilberto, Rosicky, Flamini and Diaby to play in the middle next year. If we can bag Reo-Coker, a striker (check this story out http://www.arsenal-world.co.uk/news/loadnews.asp?cid=TMNW&id=283624) and a defender should Sol leave, then I think our squad will be complete considering the departures of Dennis, Bobby and maybe one other.

Chris M said...

I know Toure is our best defender, but he could be the Viera-ish player we've been looking for all along. He's fast, tackles no holds barred, has a good shot, and is a marshall on the field. If we can sign Curtis Davies from the Albion, then partner him with Senderos/Campbell, i think that could just do the trick.

Id also like Andy Johnson & a GK.

The Gun said...

Move Lauren into the middle and have Eboue, Hoyte and Gilbert as our right backs. Simple.
We don't need a GK. If Sol goes we have to replace him and I still think we need a striker who can gobble up one of the 673 chances we create per game.

Goonerboy said...


Please no. There's a reason he was sold to Villareal. He's not good enough for the Premiership! Although if we could pick him up. cheaply for turning Bobby's head toward Villa, may not be so bad.

Anonymous said...

Category 1. Midfield enforcers (in no particular order) Vieira, Graveson, Gattuso, (Keane 1995-2000) yaya toure, diarra, zakora, bouba diop, abou diaby, sissoko.

Big, tall, powerful, drive the team forward, more of an attacking threat that a defensive shield (this does not completely apply to all but to most of the above players in some way)

Category 2. Defensive shields: Gilberto, Makalele, Edmilson, emerson, (Keane 2000-2006) Senna.

These are harder players to get, mainly cause there arent many top class players in the world who perfect that position (e.g. United thinking Kleberson would be that player for them)

Tactically disiplined, good tacklers, good in the air, good outlet passer, able to focus for 90 minutes.

Category 3. Attacking midfielders: Cesc, Carrick, lampard, Gerrard, Kaka, Deco, Xavi, Zidane, Rosicky, Ballack, Scholes.

Great technically, defend but not their strong suit, great passers, and should have an eye for goal. These are the players that win you CL.

We Have Diaby, from cat1. need one more, Yaya.

We have Gilberto in Cat2. Need one more, Cheapest could be Senna.

We have enough in Cat3. Cesc, Rosicky, and Hleb Can play there.

This is only talking about Midfield, We need 1 more good central defender, maybe a very good striker (though i'm not convinced we do) and someone to replace almunia, he gives me more scares that Cygan at centerback.

Anonymous said...

from them clips it looks like rosicky does score more goals then helb and he looks like hes got a much better strike then him to its almost stevey like

Goonerboy said...

The stast on his goals are odd:

He scored 5 goals in the Bundesligue last year, less than Bobby.
But, he scored 7 in 12 games for the Czechs in qualifying. Odd. Or, perhaps, as Myles on ANR suggested - with better players he scores more.

I hope he at least tries to shoot more. Big prob last year: no-one even attempting shots, and us consequently playing pinball on the edge of the box.

Re: goals - go to the Arsenal world link above. Wind-up? Or are we are on the brink of getting Forlan? Opinions on him if we were to get him. I'm opposed.

The Gun said...

So according to anonymous at 12.07 we should have diaby, yaya toure, gilberto, senna, flamini, cesc, hleb and rosicky in midfield. Seriously mate, think a bit before you type, we can't just buy every midfielder going. Just by moving Lauren into midfield or by picking up Reo-Coker or Barton we'll solve a lot of problems. Someone who's aggressive yet very skilful and who can shoot from outside the box. With the progress made this year, the last thing we want is to stunt their development and new understanding by buying a total of THREE new midfielders as you suggest, that's ridiculous.

Ideally we'd have another centre back if Sol leaves, another striker with an all-round game and poacher's instinct and a centre mid who could actually be Lauren, thereby saving us a wad of cash.

Anonymous said...

Forlan? Ohmygod no.

We definitely need a keeper. Almunia just isn't good enough, and Jens is suspended for one or more of the early Champions League games. Again. Presumably we'll be looking at someone young to take over as number one in a couple of years. I really like Isakson, though if he has a good World Cup his price may be too high.

Where will Rosicky play? A Czech journalist and friend on the radio yesterday said he had asked him just that. Apparently Rosicky is very excited about Wenger's ideas but isn't going to betray them to anyone. Good.

Do we need a midfield bruiser? 'Fraid so. I don't like that sort of player but Gilberto can't play every game and he isn't always that effective in the Premiership anyway. Hokey-Cokey would be nice, but Zakora would be more economical. Yaya (who I don't much rate) is being difficult and prima-donna-ish, I've heard, so Wenger is unlikely to still be considering him

Wish we could have the Brazilian Seal for the times when Freddie has a headache, swollen ankle, etc. When I first heard of him a couple of years ago, I wanted us to sign him just to see the look on Fergie's face. For anyone who's not come across this phenomenon: he has a funny-shaped forehead which enables him to flick the ball onto his nose and run with it, which obviously leaves defenders in a bit of a fix. He has other qualities too, and it looks as though they've now been brought to Fergie's attention. The rumours are he's going to ManU, for some astounding amount.

Where will Ash go? Real and its monkey-grunters seems the most likely, poor Ash. I'll be gutted to lose him and he'll be gutted to leave, but all the signs are Wenger and DD are going to be ruthless.

And poor Paddy, talking of people who've buggered us around -gas in the air-conditioning can't have been nice.

Ash said...

Good analysis there guys. Particularly like the point about midfield enforcers and defensive shields. Lauren is a player who could play as a defensive shield but like Makelele he is not good in the air. He uses the ball better than Gilberto who I think is one of the best midfield sheilds in world football today and he proved it in this years CL. Gilberto is also quicker than most defensive shields which is an advantage and he is good in the air its just his passing that is abit lacking. I'd like to see a good understudy joining Mascherano maybe or De Rossi. Zakora and not ZOKORA is a fine player if abit over-hyped

About Rosicky he might be small but he can defend and so can Fabregas and Hleb. Fabregas will improve physically and he showed against Barca that he cant be easilly shrugged of the ball. Hleb is a battler too so I have no problem with Gilberto Hleb Fabregas and Rosicky.

Rosicky can score goals in a good team. Dortmund struggled this season but he scored 15 in 53 for the Czech Republic and he will score goals for us. For £6m he is a great signing

Anonymous said...

Either of these 3: Kevin Nolan, Tim Borowski, Daniele De Rossi....goals they can score.....tonnes of...from central midfield...big lads the bunch of 'em...

Anonymous said...

Enough!!! You guys are posting as if you are experts in either talent evaluation or footballing strategy. Don't you think AW has actually thought about those issues before. He took a supposed "transition team" to the finals of the Champions League and came this close to winning the whole thing. When we had the big bruising midfielder, where did it get us? How many of you had even heard of Cesc or Eboue or even Henry before AW got them. So please, CHILL and let the man coach. He obviously knows a thing or two about talent.

Keyser Soze said...

Do we need to sign a midfield hardman?? IMHO Flamini is a well suited to filling in if Gilberto is missing.
Don't think Song is good enough for us (have we signed him or is he still on loan)
And I believe AW rates Muamba from the reserves.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I read somewhere that Wenger was trying to buy an Argentinian midfielder in January but he got injured and the deal was called off?

Anonymous said...

Arsenal had been lacking in depth last season. the first 11 looks fabulous if everyone is fit and you wonder where the guys fit in. this was not the case and this is not going to be the case. Rocisky adds that depth on the wings and creative central midfield. What if Cesc goes injured? who will play in that position. Diaby, gilberto and Flamini do not look good as a pair.

Waiting for another defender to be signed.

Anonymous said...

He's what we need in the 4-5-1 for the coming CL...Freddie couldn't shoot outside the box and with rosicky dribbling, it can tear off the opponent's midfield and creat some space for Cesc and Titi....

Now we need a goalkeeper, thats all....we saw that in the final, Almunia was so nervous and the back four never passed back to him...that show the lack of confidence the team gave him....

highbury1913 said...

you have obviously never seen rosicky play... he is no scoring machine but then again nobody is, he is a playmaker that will get you around 10 goals each season, he is like what many are saying the key to out 4-5-1 formation in europe.

Borehamwood Gooner said...

Joey Barton for our missing midfielder to add some steel, or Lauren when he gets back from injury.

Anonymous said...

I'd like a keeper, a striker and a left-sided centreback. Otherwise, when Senderos is injured, who have we got? Only Cygan - every year we think he'll be leaving, every year we are wrong - or there's Hoyte, I suppose, playing out of position. But as Wenger never spends money on defenders, the best I can hope is that he'll invest in a defensive midfielder who can double as a centreback (as Gilberto can in a crisis). Can't think of anyone in the reserves for that role. Muamba looks skilful, but he's not a potential central defender and still too uncertain and frail.

Don't think we can count on Freddie much early next season. Migraines, the ongoing foot problems, fluid being drained from his ankle, etc. He's always been injury-prone anyway, so the World Cup on top of his existing problems doesn't bode well. When, roughly, is our first Champions League game - anyone know?

sggooner said...

let's trust le prof cos ARSENE KNOWS!!!

Anonymous said...

Farewell, Pires, and thanks. For me he was our most elegant, intelligent and, above all, unselfish player. Remember him passing up the chance of scoring so as to give the hapless Jeffers a chance. We're going to miss him so much. He seemed always to score against Spurs, and always in the FA Cup; until this last season he was the top midfield scorer in the league year after year. The best-looking, sexiest player as well. A big loss all round. All the best, Bobby, at Villarreal.

Anonymous said...

I'm baffled by the people who think we shouldn't discuss transfers on the grounds that we know less than Wenger, and no one cares what we think in any case. True, but then what can we discuss - knitting patterns? the weather? And given your point of view why do you bother to look at this kind of site?

TMarie said...

My sentiments exactly. I like to read about possible xfer signings, even if they are remote possibilities. What else is there to do in the off season?

Anonymous said...

Wenger does indeed know, but we can at least guess!!

Anonymous said...

who the fuck has heard of rosicky. problem with arsenal is its full of talentless french puffs who cheat and im not exageratin. and thats why you cant attract the top stars. without thierry your nothing. a one man team and you can't argue with that hes an absolute legend. and if he gets injured your screwed. shit midfield. mediocre back four. nazi keeper,a racist rapist(van persie), a cheat(reyes), a puff(fabregas), bent fucker(campBELL) and a dirty swede

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