Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feared Tomas Rosicky's career was over

20 July 2009 11:00
Rosicky returned to the Arsenal team for Saturday's pre-season friendly against Barnet for what was his first match since January 2008 following a spate of knee and hamstring injuries. "There was a time when I was worried Tomas wouldn't play football again and he felt the same," said Wenger. "But he had always led a healthy and dedicated life. Mentally he's also very strong. Of course you have to ask and hope if he will ever get back to where we want him to be and the answer looks like yes." Against Barnet Rosicky was clearly keen to demonstrate that he was not psychologically affected by the long injury lay-off and throw himself into a series of 50-50 tackles. His enthusiasm left even Wenger feeling slightly uneasy but there is now confidence he can play a full part in pre-season and be available for the start of the Premier League season against Everton on August 15. "At some stage he was even a bit too confident to go into dangerous tackles," said Wenger. "We have to manage him well and prepare him well. If he comes through pre-season well he could start the season." Saturday's match against Barnet was also a chance for supporters to see Arsenal's new £10 million signing Thomas Vermaelen, who started in central defence alongside William Gallas. "Vermaelen had a good start and I think he had a good welcome to English football because he got some good challenges here. I think it was a good start for him overall," said Wenger. "He is strong, solid, calm and when he became more confident in the second half you could see that he passes the ball well. He should be a good addition to the squad yes." The Arsenal squad travel to Austria today for a 10-day tour that will also take them to Hungary and Germany for three friendly matches.

Source: Telegraph