Speaking after Saturday’s match, the player talked of his incredulity when he saw that Scotland would line up in Prague without a striker.
“Did that hurt Scotland? Definitely. That was a special game if you wanted to make the play-offs. And you have to play to win on every occasion. But I had never seen anything like after 12 years as a professional player,” he said.
As if to emphasise his disbelief, he added: “A team without a striker. Have you ever seen that before? When their team sheet came into our dressing room before the match we could hardly believe our eyes. Not playing with a striker, and losing the game, came back to haunt Scotland today.”
Craig Levein’s side lost the match 1-0 and that made the return leg at Hampden fit snugly into the cliché of “must win”.
Rosicky, 31 next month, shrugged off his poor form at Arsenal to be influential in an enterprising Czech performance that was gilded by the award of a soft penalty by referee Kevin Blom of the Netherlands.
However, the Czechs missed two excellent chances in the first half, had a strong penalty claim turned down after a lunging tackle by Charlie Adam, and exploited Scotland’s defensive weaknesses.
“We’ve played Scotland three times in the last 18 months and I think we’ve been the better team on every occasion,” said Rosicky. “We knew that if we stayed calm and passed the ball well we would prove that we were technically better than Scotland.”
He was almost condescending about Levein’s side: “They gave us a good game this time, with the aggression you expect from Scotland. You shouldn’t expect to get a yard for free at this level of the game.”
But space was offered to the Czechs, particularly behind Alan Hutton and in front of Gary Caldwell, who defended too deeply.
Of the penalty incident, Rosicky, who has also plied his trade at Borussia Dortmund, said: “Milan Baros told me afterwards that he was due a penalty when Charlie Adam tripped him up in the first half. We also missed a chance from Baros earlier in the game that might have made the game easier for us.”
The Czechs are now almost certain to take the play-off berth but were understandably reluctant to claim it publicly with away matches against Spain and Lithuania to come.
Rosicky brushed aside the question but Michal Kadlec, who converted that fateful penalty with assurance, was more forthcoming.
The 26-year-old full-back said: “Maybe Scotland’s chance has now gone. They play Lithuania and they must win. We will now be supporting Lithuania and we will see what will happen on Tuesday.”
The Bayer Leverkusen player enjoyed an excellent afternoon and his summation of the group was as faultless as his play. “We are now five points ahead,” he said, succinctly. This is a substantial barrier given Scotland have won one game in the group so far.
Of Saturday’s match, he said: “Scotland are probably a better team than they were a year ago. They played as we expected, they put a lot of pressure in the midfield and tried to get the ball to Kenny Miller.”
He was diplomatic about the award of the penalty when Jan Rezek fell after little or no contact from Danny Wilson. “Rezek went down and the referee gave it. I didn’t see it because the challenge was 10 metres in front of me,” he said.
Kadlec regained his focus to despatch the ball beyond Allan McGregor. “I just concentrated on the penalty. I wanted to hit it high in the middle and that is what happened. It was not my goal but for the whole team, who fought very well,” he said.
Michal Bilek, the Czech head coach, could be forgiven for pleading that “he did not have the best view” for the penalty decisions. There was no upside to him entering the dispute over Blom’s performance.
There will be those, though, who may quibble with his assessment that his side “played the better football”. However, the Czechs were purposeful and resolute and had the better chances, with Baros and Jan Rajnoch missing in the first half, but there is a strong argument that Scotland should have closed out the match after leading 2-1 with seven minutes of play remaining.
The debate, though, is surely over regarding the destination of the play-off spot.