Arsène Wenger confirmed Tomas Rosicky is ready to sign a new contract after
the Czech Republic midfielder highlighted his continuing importance to Arsenal
with a goal that helped confirm Wenger’s side had quickly moved on from the
Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
Rosicky, 33, is due to become a free agent at the end of this season but
Wenger, the Arsenal manager, revealed an agreement has already been reached
on a 12-month extension for a player who arrived at the Emirates Stadium
from Borussia Dortmund in 2006.
“Tomas Rosicky will stay,” said Wenger. “We have an agreement with him and it
will come out soon. I am absolutely adamant he has to stay at the club.”
Wenger restored Rosicky to his starting line-up after naming the midfielder
among the substitutes for last Wednesday’s visit of Bayern, a decision that
raised eyebrows given the manager’s tendency to select the player for his
team’s bigger games.
While a poor Sunderland
side apparently distracted by thoughts of Sunday’s Capital One cup final
meeting with Manchester City at Wembley bore no comparison to the current
European champions, Rosicky continued to prove his worth with a vibrant
contribution, capped by a clever finish to an outstanding team goal.
“I think when he arrived here he was less a tactical player,” said Wenger.
“He was purely creative, offensive player. Today he is a real organiser on the
pitch as well. I like to have him in the team because he gives a real
structure to our team.”
This was the ideal game to restore morale. Olivier Giroud, restored to the
side after an uncomfortable week in which his private life came under
scrutiny, struck after just five minutes and then again when he latched on
to Santiago Vergini’s under-hit back-pass in the 31st minute. Laurent
Koscielny’s 56th-minute header made it four and Emanuele Giaccherini’s
81st-minute reply did nothing to disguise the one-side nature of the game.
Trickier tests lie ahead for Arsenal, but Jack Wilshere believes they laid
down a template for how they must approach more challenging fixtures. “We’ve
got some big games coming up and we need to keep that same work ethic off
the ball – when we lose possession, we’ll try to win it back straightaway,
press them high,” said the England midfielder.
Mesut Özil was missing with a dead leg on Saturday, but Wilshere pointed to
the German international’s role in the dressing room on Saturday as evidence
of his status in the squad.
“Mesut’s fine,” Wilshere added. “He’s a great character and he’s friends with
everyone around the place. He’s got a dead leg which is not nice. But he’s
in the dressing room helping the boys before the game, talking to me and
telling me where to go. He’s a great character and he’ll be fine.”
Gus Poyet’s Sunderland have their own big game to confront next weekend and
this did nothing to clarify the manager’s plans. Poyet conceded that only
Lee Cattermole was guaranteed a starting place at Wembley and that he had
left the midfielder out at the Emirates Stadium because he feared the player
might fall foul of referee Andre Marriner.
“I don’t want to say something to get me fined but for me the referee was one
who normally sends Lee Cattermole off,” said the manager. “I made a mistake
when I said no one is guaranteed to play – if there is one player starting
next week, it is Lee Cattermole. The rest at the moment are substitutes.”
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