He arrived at the Emirates aged 26 off the back of a superb season in the Bundesliga with Dortmund and an outstanding World Cup 2006 performance in which he scored one of the best goals of the competition against the USA.
Arsene Wenger acquired the Czech Republic international for a fee of £6.8 million, which for those who saw his display on Wednesday against Dortmund will seem like daylight robbery.
Statistically, he was top notch against last term’s Champions League finalists – he was operating an 80% pass completion rate, a 100% tackle success rate, made three key interceptions in midfield, and earned the Gunners a valuable free kick up field.
What he did when has the ball is only half of Rosicky’s game – it’s was he does without it that mattered most on Wednesday. He is the first to rush and hassle the opponent, pressing high up the pitch, forcing the opposition into errors and hurrying them, denying them space and time on the ball. Many of you will notice that, when Rosicky plays, Arsenal press much better, higher up, with more consistency and intensity than they do without him in the team.
With the ball, he is intelligent, positive and ambitious – his creativity and vision means he’ll find a teammate in space, pass and move, like Xavi at Barcelona, he is always looking to receive the ball. His interplay with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, and Mikel Arteta as well as the fullbacks is superb – one touch tiki--taka.
There’s a reason he’s earned himself the nickname ‘Mozart’ and there’s a reason Arsenal played their ‘symphony’ so well on Wednesday – they were playing the Mozart way.
With Jurgen Klopp describing Arsenal's style as like an 'orchestra', ahead of the tie, Rosicky's performance could not have been more apt.
image: © wonker