Rosicky: My football age is only 29

The 31-year-old midfielder believes he will be able to play longer because of a lengthy absence with a hamstring problem and looks to Paul Scholes for inspiration
Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky believes he will be able to prolong his career by two seasons because of his lengthy spells out with injury.

Rosicky turns 32 in October but believes the two years lost to a hamstring problem can be subtracted from his "football age".

The Czech Republic midfielder returned to action in time for the 2009-10 season and has made at least 30 appearances in all competitions in every campaign since then, claiming his fitness statistics are as good as they were before his injury.

"The [fitness] numbers are very similar," Rosicky told the Official Arsenal Magazine. "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."

With his return to full fitness, Rosicky's form has improved dramatically this season, earning him a regular spot in the Arsenal starting XI.

However, the playmaker could not point to any particular factors which had boosted his performance and insisted his match preparation remained the same.

"My preparation for games and training has not altered at all, it's the same as it has ever been," he continued.

"Sometimes you can look at a player and see that he's suddenly doing this and that and it's making a difference, but that's not the case here.

"So if you ask why things are going well, it's hard to say - obviously the whole team is playing very good football at the moment and I think I fit quite well into the team now. We enjoy playing together and that's a big part of it."

Rosicky did admit that Arsene Wenger was now deploying him in a role which suits his abilities and that he was enjoying the "rhythm" of having cemented his place in the team.

"I'm [playing] in the advanced position of the three, looking to get in between the opposition's midfield and defence," Rosicky explained.

"When we have the ball I'm starting quite close to Robin up front, and after that I can come a bit deeper and stretch the pitch out.

"I can't say for sure whether this has made the whole difference, but I would certainly agree that what the boss is asking [of me] at the moment suits me nicely.

"The whole season has gone quite well for me, but I was injured twice in the first few months so couldn't keep up sustained form. I'm enjoying the rhythm the manager has given me now."

The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder now hopes to continue at the top level in the way that veteran
midfielders Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have done for Manchester United.

"I can say that I feel very well and I hope I have many years to come," Rosicky said.

"You see players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes - what they are producing at their age for Manchester United is great and that's a real inspiration for me.

"Everything is possible, but of course it will depend on my health."