The Arsenal star who has replaced Fabregas as the great conductor
Reborn Rosicky is back to his brilliant best as the Gunners eye third place
The Little Mozart has been making the sweetest music at the heart of Arsenal's midfield during their sizzling hot streak of late.
Tomas Rosicky’s transformation from injury prone nearly man to the Premier League's most exciting, motivated midfielder is quite possibly the most extraordinary – and unlikely – story of Arsenal's increasingly bizarre season.
Orchestrating attack after attack from his central midfield birth – a welcome move after he floundered out wide far too often – Rosicky has married his unquestioned technique with a defensive instinct which is, at times, bordering on the fanatical.
Over the past five games, his box-to-box play has been a joy to behold.
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Arsene Wenger quickly moved to tie the Czech Republic star – out of contract in the summer – to the club prior to Monday night’s 2-1 win over Newcastle United, as Rosicky signed a reported two-year extension to his current deal.
"I am very happy," said the 31-year-old after the game. "I wanted to continue here and I am enjoying it very much so I am glad that I am staying.
"I am trying my best and enjoying the run of games that I am playing. Sometimes in the past it has been difficult when you play once in two weeks, sometimes it is not easy.
"You can see now that I have the rhythm of the games and that is what I needed. As you can see I think I am contributing well and I want to continue like that.
"My fitness is obviously a big thing too; the first step is obviously to play football. I have got that right now, I had the chance and I took it. Obviously I would like to stay in the team and playing like I am right now."
But quite why it has taken Rosicky nearly six years to show his true potential remains a mystery. Granted, injuries have seriously curtailed his progress since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2006, but that appears to tell only half the story.
Lacklustre and shorn of confidence, the sight of Rosicky walking away from Wayne Rooney’s free kick, without so much as a backward glance, during that 8-2 humiliation last August epitomised to many fans all that was wrong with the club.
Rosicky, apparently, was just another overpaid foreign mercenary being overindulged by a trusting Wenger.
But just four days previously we had seen a glimpse of the player his manager always believed was waiting to surface.
His barnstorming second-half performance – after replacing the hot-headed Emmanuel Frimpong – was the springboard for a 2-1 win at Udinese in the Champions League qualifiers.
It showed fans what he was capable of when handed responsibility. But his remarkable form – and influence – since last month has taken everybody by surprise.
Rosicky – who has captained his country for the past six years – has been a tour de force since Emmanuel Adebayor’s penalty put Spurs 2-0 up at Emirates Stadium on February 22.
With complete mastery of the midfield, he took control to haul the Gunners back into the game. Spurs had no answer. Rosicky's goal – his first in two years – capped a remarkable comeback to put the Gunners 3-2 up, and his form hasn’t dipped since.
Arsenal.com users voted him the man of the match, as he was again in a 3-0 demolition of Serie A leaders AC Milan nine days ago.
But those goals are only two of 19 he has scored since 2006 – a lamentable record for a player of his undoubted ability. There is still much to improve on.
Terry Neill, the former Arsenal manager, has described him as "the thinking man's footballer" while Paul Merson has consistently backed the player on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday.
"He is a proper footballer – no exaggeration, I could watch him play the game all day long," Merson said long before Rosicky’s rebirth as Arsenal's all-action midfield dynamo.
Wenger concurs: "I believe he is an exceptional player, a natural footballer who is technically top-class.
"He plays the style of football we champion here and shares completely our philosophy. He is always ready to work for the sake of the club, always willing to put the team first. I have huge respect for him."
One ambitious pass which just failed to reach its target on Tuesday night was met with a gasp and a round of sympathetic applause. Three months ago it would have been greeted with boos and derision.
As his energy levels dropped after another whole-hearted display against Newcastle, there was a standing ovation when he was finally withdrawn by Wenger. How times change.
Rosicky, as he said himself, is the musician who has finally found his rhythm...