18 February 2016

Do it for Tomáš! Get him to the FA Cup final; get him a chance to score the winner!

Arsenal have a busy week ahead, with massive fixtures against Barcelona in the Champions League and Manchester United in the Prem threatening to overshadow Saturday's FA Cup clash against Hull. After having won the FA Cup two times running, some might start to suffer from a certain indifference. Surely it would mean more to our season to set aside the FA Cup (been there, done that; no?), see if we can't shock the Catalans, and go into Old Trafford to put another nail in Van Gaal's coffin? Then again, we're rounding back into form after January very nearly ruined us, and with a late charge into the final third of the season, who better to cap it off with a winner in a third straight FA Cup—and possible double—than Tomáš Rosický?

Can you imagine the scene if winning the Prem came down to the last match of the season (15 May vs. Aston Villa) and it was Tomáš who scored it? Does any player in the squad celebrate his goals with such pure, unbridled passion and euphoria as this diminutive maestro? That first Prem goal of his against Wigan in 2007. Those knifing runs into the heart of the box to steal a goal; the third goal in that epic 5-2 win at White Hart Lane, or do you fancy him nicking the ball at midfield and charging in on Lloris to dink him? Why stop there? Let's toss in a little Wengerballian action in the box as he dinks the Sunderland keeper. If you don't like the delicate passing, maybe an absolute screamer to once again break Tottenham's hearts? We could go on and on.

Sadly, the list of highlight goals is far-shorter than it could have been, and Rosický's time at Arsenal may be showing the last fading embers of twilight after getting injured moments after coming against Burnley in the FA Cup third round. Despite picking up the injury, he bravely finished the match because he knew we were out of subs and would have to play a man down if he came off. Reports are that he'll be out six weeks, but there are murmured rumours that he may have played his last match for Arsenal.

It's therefore up to us to make sure that this is not the case.

In this his ninth season, Rosický has had to swallow a lot of pride and fight through endless frustration as injuries have sapped his strength and additions have crowded a midfield he once orchestrated so well. If we can extend our title-tilt until the end of the season, if we can fight our to the FA Cup final (which is really only three matches away), Rosický could find a chance at achieving something glorious for himself. If he were to score the goal that wins the Prem or the FA Cup, why, I think I might just break down and right there.

I don't ordinarily attach myself to individual players, but there's something special about Rosický, whether it's his style of play, his passion, or his embodiment of Arsenal's success and struggle over the last almost-decade. Yes, I love Alexis and Özil, of course, but no one in this squad "is" Arsenal to me as much as Rosický is. To see him hoist a trophy that his goal secured, I—well, I don't know if I could describe how that will feel. I won't try. Just savor it for now; let the idea marinate in your brain...

First things first, though—we have to get to that point first. Next step is of course Hull. Let's hope the lads can progress to the sixth round for Tom!