West Brom 1-2 Arsenal

Wenger urges Rosicky to stay

April 7, 2013
By ESPN staff

Arsene Wenger has urged Tomas Rosicky to see out his career with the Gunners after the midfielder scored a brace in Arsenal's 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Tomas Rosicky fires home his second goal of the game
GettyImagesTomas Rosicky helped Arsenal take another step towards a top four finish with two goals against West Brom

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Rosicky, 32, scored his first goals of the Premier League season, having made just five appearances this campaign.

Injury and form struggles have hampered his time at the Emirates, but Wenger is confident the Czech Republic international's performance against West Brom is a sign of what he still has to offer Arsenal.

"Tomas was fantastic. He is an important player for us," Wenger said. "Unfortunately he was out injured for a long time. But every year he gives us a push at the end of the season. I hope he finishes his career with us. I rate him that highly."

Arsenal temporarily moved into fourth place, with Chelsea to face Sunderland on Sunday, and Wenger believes his side's recent form in the league should help them clinch Champions League qualification.

"I am very pleased, it is three big points.," he said. "We have 22 points out of the last 27 but we know our target is to continue to do that until the end of the season..

"We know we have one target to win our games, then we don't have to look at Tottenham or Chelsea. If we lose our games, then you have to look at the results of the others. Our attitude is simple, we have to win the games.

"Can we finish fourth? I believe we will do it. We are conscious as well we have to give 100 per cent commitment in every game and it will be difficult and edgy to the end. We are ready for the fight and we always tell the players 'don't look at everyone else, just focus on ourselves'.''

Per Mertesacker's 70th minute red card paved the way for Thomas Vermaelen to enter the fray after being kept out of the line-up by the solid performances of Laurent Koscielny and Mertesacker.

"He [Vermaelen] did very well when he came in," Wenger said. "I have three quality centre backs and I rotate. In recent times I played only Koscielny and Mertesacker because we won the games and there was no obvious reason to change. Thomas is a quality player."

West Brom boss Steve Clarke denied the Baggies have surrendered their ambitions of European football next season, insisting his charges showed the kind of fight that has lifted them into the top half of the table.

"If you had asked me that after the West Ham game last week, I would have said yes," he said. "The response was good today. The performance today deserved to get something from the game. I don't think you can say we took it easy or didn't display a determination to get something from the game."