Tomas was probably not an obvious first choice at the start of the season. By the end, he was one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Aaron Ramsey was preferred in the attacking midfield role before Christmas but Tomas came to the fore in the New Year with a string of outstanding displays.

He impressed in matches against Manchester United and Blackburn before producing perhaps his best performance in an Arsenal shirt when Tottenham were beaten 5-2 at Emirates Stadium.

Tomas stabbed home a Bacary Sagna cross to complete Arsenal's comeback in that game and help the hosts on their way to a season-defining victory.

By this point Tomas was an integral member of the first team and followed up that derby display with another goal in the 3-0 win over AC Milan.

That proved to be the last of his goals for the season - but Tomas' influence elsewhere was more than enough to make up for that.

Tomas celebrated a new contract in March with a fine display in the last-gasp win over Newcastle and continued to hold down a regular berth as Arsenal secured third place.

This was the Rosicky of old. The deft spins in midfield, the vision and impeccable passing harked back to his day as one of Europe's hottest properties. Buoyed by a new contract, Tomas still has plenty to offer.

“There’s no difference between what I’m doing now and, let’s say, five years ago. You know, my normal age is 31 but in football years I’m 29 - I lost two years because of injury so let’s just talk about my football age. I still believe I have plenty in me - we’ll see how it all goes, but right now I feel great and want to continue this way.”

tomas rosicky 2011/12 SEASON STATS
Competition Appearances Goals Assists
Premier League 19+9 1 5
Champions League 5+3 1 -
FA Cup 1+1 - 1
Carling Cup - - -
Total 38 2 6

While Tomas' virtuoso display in the 5-2 win over Tottenham caught the eye, one of his more understated displays deserves as much credit. Coming on at half time in Arsenal's crucial Champions League qualifier second leg against Udinese, the midfielder helped changed the course of the game to see the Gunners safely through. "I felt that we lacked a little bit of creativity in the middle of the park and needed to be a little bit more creative," said Wenger after the game. "Tomas had a big influence in the second half."

Tomas Rosicky

Tomas celebrates with Gervinho

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30 May 2012