Why is Tomas Rosicky an Arsenal legend?
Let us first explore the meaning of the word ‘legend’ in this context. According to the website of the Cambridge English Dictionary, the noun legend when used to denote a person is said to mean ‘someone very famous and admired, usually because of their ability in a particular area’.
What was Tomas Rosicky particularly good at you ask? To be honest we only know that he was good at football and guitar but God knows what else he could have been good at! In any case, he was mind blowing at football and was considered a prodigy when he signed for Arsenal just about ten years ago so that tells you that people had already decided that this kid could one day become a special player.
Let us take a look at his stats. 246 appearances for the club which included 88 subs and 158 starts and yielded a total of 28 wonder striker. Each goal he scored was truly special in its own way and a lot of them were sublime, spectacular efforts too but is 28 goals and 246 games not a bit too little to label someone a legend?
I can see why people would think so and even the goals against Spurs does not yield legend status automatically, because hey, if Fran Merida had scored a couple against the Spurs he wouldn’t be called a legend would he? However, as always fello0w Gooner, you are looking at this the wrong way. Goals alone do not a legend make, are the words I must utter for you. Fans have a big part to play in the matter and Rosicky has always been a firm fan favourite because he knew what the club meant to people and his goal celebrations had more energy than the entire Emirates stadium most days. He looked like a 12 year old in a 30 year old’s body every time he starts running to the crowd, hair flying and smile shining. These are important things to be a fan favourite, Passion. And Rosicky was passion personified.
We loved him but did he love us back, you ask? Was he worthy of our affection and our support and backing?
Well this is what he said about his only match this campaign:
“It was unbelievable, something I didn’t expect. Since the moment I started to warm up on the sidelines it was exceptional. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes after such a long time being out. The relationship with the fans after 10 years was always great and they always knew I played my heart out and they always appreciated me and I appreciated them. As I said it is heartbreaking I can’t give them anything back after the reception they prepared for me.”
Let’s take a look at what other people have to say about him-
A privilege both ways (Image from:Arsenal.com)
Arsene Wenger on him recently: ”I personally, like we all do here, love the player. The standing ovation he gets every time he walks out there tells you a lot. We love the man as well, and his attitude, and his exceptional class and qualities. It’s sad [that he’s leaving] but I must say, for me it was a privilege to manage him.”
Wenger on him a couple of years ago: “If you love football, you love Rosicky”
Petr Cech: “He creates opportunities for everyone else and that is one of his main strengths. As soon as you give him the ball you know something is happening.”
Robin Van Traitor: “I just love playing with him because he’s so quick in his mind. That’s something you can’t pick up later in your career. You either have it or you don’t.”
Cesc Fabregas after one of Rosicky’s injuries: “I have spent a lot of time with him and I know how he feels. I know what he wants and I have never seen a guy being so committed, so professional and never giving up. If this happened to me I probably wouldn’t want to talk to anyone, I would be always down and angry. But he’s unbelievable. He’s the type of player you enjoy playing alongside and as a guy he’s amazing.”
That is a lot of people who know their job, talking about someone who knew his pretty well too!
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At Arsenal we have always prided ourselves on doing things the right way, for having that elusive element that all other teams have lost over time – class. Tomas Rosicky was full of it. Yup, that alone could make him an Arsenal legend but then you would know half the story. He was loyal was our Tomas, as loyal as anybody can ask for. More than most can hope for to say the least. As elusive as class is in football, loyalty is even rarer. And for a man to stay with a club who had won nothing for the first seven years of his stay, comparable to Steven Gerrard levels of loyalty and even he had fits where stories broke about him being lured away by Mourinho’s candy. Rosicky never gave us that headache or any heartbreak really, he was always present with that perfectly coiffed head of hair and that irresistible 20 year old kid smile that he always has.
His performances in the Arsenal shirt have been few and far in between recently owing to injuries, but there is no doubt that if fit he would have made the starting XI in some capacity, even with all the Ozils and the Cazorlas. Rosicky was a forward thinking man, so forward thinking that he could only run forward with the ball. If he ever ran back, he made amends for it with the trademark outside of the right foot pass that went – you guessed it – forward!
Recollections of his play and goals will be expectedly exaggerated from now on because we won’t want to criticize a player who played for us for 10 years and then went on to leave everybody with a teary face when he left. However, that does not happen to everybody does it? The Brazilian Ronaldo is still remembered as a phenomenon but will anybody remember Andrei Arshavin as a consistently brilliant footballer? No, because they will only remember his 4 goals against Liverpool and not much else. These stories and tales of players from ages past are only made up about those who were worthy of it.
This brings me to the other meaning of the word ‘legend’: a very old story or set of stories from ancient times, or the stories, not always true, that people tell about a famous event or person. Which means that if a tale is repeated enough it becomes a legend after continuous repetition and addition of unverified parts to it. It must spread to a wide audience of course, but a legend can be made up, so to speak.
I will shout from the terraces tales of Tomas Rosicky, the Arsenal legend. I will tell my friends and their friends, and my co-workers and classmates, my newspaper vendor and the guy at the local stationary shop, and my wife and everybody at our wedding in my toast for the night, and my kids when I have them and their friends when they have those. I will not stop till the people who think he isn’t are hoodwinked into believing that he is. I implore you to do the same.
Sample conversation down the line in 2030-
Football Fan A: Who was Tomas Rosicky mate?
Football Fan B: I heard he was a legend, Arsenal guy wasn’t he?
Football Fan A: Yeah through and through mate. Class up to his eyes they said.
We have zero players worth affording legend status to in the past ten years during the little Mozart’s time here so I say we take what we have and run with it. Arsenal twitter is notorious for winning polls and stuff, maybe Arsenal lore can become notorious for making their legends stand out among others in the game. I understand if you don’t want to bandy about the word legend lightly but I’m just trying to make everybody appreciate what we had and who we are losing.
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Disclaimer: For those who do not get jokes, this article is not intended to be a completely serious take on the matter. There are *slight* exaggerations throughout the piece so please do not blast me talking about how light I am with the legend tag. Also, I love Rosicky.
Tomas Rosicky is an Arsenal legend because he had spirit, determination, verve, class, technical ability, talent, grit and the inimitable factor of being an Arsenal man from a foreign land.
Rosicky:“I’ve always come back from everything and I will come back again, I will not give up. I will make it happen once more, I will have the strength to make it, I will find it and I will be back again.”
Fare thee well Little Mozart, may you come back from everything you ever say in life.
Sohum Sen is a half Bengali-half Gujarati Gooner from Kolkata, India. He lives the highs and lows with Arsenal and has a soft spot for Wenger. The things he loves most in the world are as follows- his little sister, his girlfriend and the Arsenal. Always available for a good debate, he fancies himself as a bit of a philosopher and as a tactician. He happens to be studying for a degree in Electrical Engineering, while simultaneously dreaming of writing a blog. He hopes to be a ST holder one day.