Tomas Rosicky Is Becoming Arsenal's Derby Hero

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky, right, scores past Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane stadium in London, Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

There is a sure-fire way to win the hearts of Arsenal fans: score against Tottenham. With his repeated derby heroics, Tomas Rosicky is becoming part of Gunners folklore.

His goal against Tottenham at White Hart Lane will live long in the memory. Every derby goal is important. However, this strike was something else.

After bursting in to the Spurs half, Rosicky attempted to play in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The England international couldn’t take the ball in his stride, so instead flicked it back towards Rosicky. Without a moment’s hesitation, the Czech midfielder unleashed a searing strike into the far top corner.

It had swerve. It had dip. It had the Arsenal fans on their feet, and the Tottenham players on their knees. It was a truly special goal.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

As Rosicky span away in glee, he celebrated with all the vigour you’d expect of a lifelong heavy metal fan. It clearly meant a lot to the experienced midfielder. After the match, Rosicky told Sky Sports:

It's one of the best, against Tottenham as well.

I'm delighted by a goal like that and most importantly we won the game.

It's a great result for us. These derby games are always very tough. It means a lot for us, obviously for our fans as well. We are delighted.

Rosicky seems to share a particularly potent affiliation with the North London derby. In the last two years, he has made enormous contributions to the clashes between Arsenal and Tottenham.

His goal in the 5-2 victory of February 2012 was a pivotal moment for both the Czech midfielder and the club. It announced Rosicky’s return to true competitive level, and it played a vital role in allowing Arsenal to overhaul Spurs to finish in the top four.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26:  Tomas Rosicky of Arsenal celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on February 26, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Rosicky’s stunning strike at White Hart Lane was actually his second goal against Tottenham this season. He also scored in the FA Cup third-round victory at the Emirates Stadium, racing away from Danny Rose before clipping over Hugo Lloris.

Derby day seems to bring the best out of Rosicky. However, if Arsenal are to lift the Premier League trophy, he’ll need to recreate those blistering performances against a variety of elite opposition between now and May.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rosicky admitted that the title race is incredibly close:

I think it's a great race for the fans as well as the players.

I think it will be until the last game of the season.

This is a very tough league, every game is very important and there are plenty of games still to go.

With Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere all on the sidelines, Rosicky is absolutely integral to Arsenal’s title chances. It is somewhat ironic that the once fragile playmaker has become a reliable figure during an injury crisis.

Rosicky recently signed a new two-year deal at Arsenal. That means he will have at least four more derbies in which to put Tottenham to the sword. Given his fantastic record in this fixture, you’d be mad to bet against it.

James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.