Over the last six to seven years, Arsene Wenger has adopted a strict policy for players who are above thirty. In Arsenal’s present squad, there are two players who are hovering around the thirty year mark: Andrei Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky.
There have been several rumors and calls from fans to sell these two players especially Rosicky. These two might not have had great seasons but I believe they still have something to offer the club.
If there something that we have learned from Arsenal’s campaign in the last two years it is that experience plays a crucial role during the title run in. Both these players have plenty of experience in the top flight but more importantly they have experience in winning trophies something which very few players have within the Arsenal squad.
I firmly believe that these two players do have a vital part to play for Arsenal and Wenger should stick on to these two experienced campaigners.
More than Arshavin it has been Rosicky who has come under fire and he has been under harsh criticism in recent times.
It has been a well documented fact that over the last two to three months, Tomas Rosicky and has showed none of the potential that once made him the Bundesliga’s most expensive transfer.
Rosicky got his Arsenal career off to a promising start as he scored six goals in his first season and looked bright. He adjusted into the Arsenal team and looked to be another great buy by Arsene Wenger.
His next season was cut short by a hamstring injury that kept him out for 18 months and resulted in him missing the entire 2008-09 season. He finally made his competitive return against Manchester City on September 2009.
Since his full return from injury, Tomas Rosicky has looked a shadow of his former self and has struggled to keep a place in the starting lineup. He has lacked consistency and despite showing some magic in glimpses he has looked off pace at times.
Last season he found the net thrice including a great goal against Bolton. This season he has played 30 games but has found the net only once. He had a thirteen month goal drought that ended only when he scored against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.
He may be struggling currently but let’s not forget that during the start of the season he actually played very well and did impress in a central role. During the absence of Fabregas, it was the midfield trio of Arshavin, Nasri and Rosicky that put in some wonderful performances and dictated the game.
It is possible that he is going through a lean patch at the moment and he can always bounce back. Wenger is known to show faith in his underperforming players and he showed show his faith in Rosicky and Wenger is capable of doing that.
Many Arsenal fans have called for the immediate sale of the Czech Republic international but I beg to differ. Even if Rosicky is sold he will fetch no more than 5 million considering his age.
Also next year Arsenal will have players like Lansbury who will be pushing hard for a first team spot and players like Rosicky can provide these up and coming players leadership and he can be a guiding force for these young talents.
Rosicky may be underperforming right now but he has shown that he does have the quality and Wenger should look to keep him.
Arshavin on the other hand has been frustratingly inconsistent this season. One match he will be terrorizing defenders and the very next matches he will pass pathetically, miss easy chances and put in a completely lazy performance. One sometimes gets the feeling that with all his talent, he is capable of being one of the world’s best wingers.
He initially got off to a flying start but as the season progressed, Arshavin continued to struggle. He looked weary a number of times but most importantly he was never giving in a 100 percent for the team and it was obvious to everyone watching that he was putting in extremely lazy performances.
He would not chase down balls and would not offer protection of any sort to his full back which meant that Gael Clichy too started to struggle.
The real nadir came in the match against Leeds United as he put in a horror show which culminated in the Arsenal fans booing him.
But since then he has improved and put in match winning performances against Everton, Barcelona and has impressed ever since. He has taken on defenders and beaten them with ease and he has once again started to look like the man for whom Arsene Wenger broke the club transfer record.
But despite his struggles this season it is interesting to note that he has scored nine goals for the club but more importantly he has provided 17 assists which is a truly impressive statistic. It just goes to show how he possesses the quality to change the game even when not at his best something only few players in the world can do.
Arshavin is still a match winner and he should be kept at the club at least until the likes of Miyaichi, Lansbury and Emmanuel Thomas are ready to fill their places.
Even if they are sold Wenger has shown that he prefers to replace outgoing players with young and upcoming players and it is unlikely that Wenger will buy a replacement. So it would be best for the club and their youngsters if Wenger kept these two players until the youngsters come of age.
Last year Chelsea won the league and this season they bought just the one player but sold two to three players who despite being only squad players were experienced campaigners and possessed experience at the top level. Ballack was one of these players.
This season Chelsea have a very minimal chance of winning the league and although the sale of these players are not the only reason they did play an important role.
Arsenal are a club that is progressing and selling two of their more experienced players can only be a step backwards for the London club.