It was very interesting that yesterday ‘Little Mozart’ aka Tomas Rosicky put a statement on his website assuring fans that he was on the way back.
After more than a year out injured, and a career hampered by injuries, I don’t blame him in some respects for wanting to reassure fans that he is planning on making his comeback very soon.
There’s no doubt that a fit Rosicky gives Arsenal something extra, a wit and threat that the current team does not have in abundance.
But when he refers to Arsenal’s decree that the state of his health should remain private, it set the alarm bells ringing for me. It suggests to me that Rosicky wanted to remind people that he is planning on making a complete return to Arsenal action, in case anyone had written him off.
He talks freely about not being in a great state of mind after missing so much football and no one can blame him for that.
Despite assurances that the Andrei Arshavin deal is all but complete, I won’t be convinced by it until the announcement is made by the club.
After Kaka decided to stay in Milan, Arshavin may well make a suitable alternative for Manchester City - and of course, money will not be a problem.
But if the Russian star does still join us, it leaves Rosicky wondering about his future in North London.
After all, assuming Theo Walcott or Samir Nasri are fit, Arshavin is likely to fit into the side on the opposite wing, given the freedom to express himself that served Robert Pires so well, and Alex Hleb to a lesser extent.
I don’t think Arshavin is central midfield material, but his game does allow him to play as a second striker if required as well. That will give us five forwards for the Premier League run-in, providing no one else gets injured and Eduardo makes a satisfactory return to first team action.
But all this means fewer opportunities for Rosicky.
Yes, having a large squad is a great thing, especially when the Champions League gets going. Arshavin will almost certainly play a major role in the domestic competitions while ineligible for Europe this season.
But with high wages, an indifferent fitness record and a number of others competing for his position – not withstanding the emerging presence of a certain Jack Wilshere as well – don’t be surprised if Rosicky leaves Arsenal this summer.
Rosicky is 29 this year and just as Lauren discovered, when you get to that age, Arsene Wenger is unlikely togive you the chance to rebuild your career on his watch.