Arsene Wenger has revealed why Mesut Ozil was pictured in a Berlin nightclub just hours after being declared too unwell to play for Arsenal.
The Germany playmaker was allegedly seen with a group of friends at The Pearl nightclub for an anniversary event, but was supposed to be struggling with illness. Wenger had, on the same day, allowed him to sit out Arsenal's game against Newcastle United to aid his recovery.
But the Arsenal manager says Ozil had only popped out for half an hour to wish a friend a happy birthday before returning to his lemsip and his hot water bottle. That is one way to play down a controversial incident.
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Wenger told reporters: "He went out for half an hour to a birthday for his friend to wish him well."
When first reported, it was believed that Arsenal were keen to seek clarification from Ozil as to why he was out partying when he was supposedly too sick to play.
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Shortly after it was reported that Arsenal officials were relaxed over their record signing's conduct and would not reprimand him. Ozil recovered in time to play a part in both of Germany's international games against Australia and Georgia.
The Arsenal boss may be a lot of things, but an idiot he is not. It does not make sense for Ozil to have nipped out for half an hour and somehow ended up in one of Berlin's trendiest watering holes.
Just his presence in the club, for any length of time, suggests that he would have been well enough to play for the Gunners at St James' Park. Luckily for him, Arsenal came away from Tyneside with a 2-1 victory.
A close shave
Had they dropped points, there may have been a much bigger inquest into Ozil's absence as there has been. But it is believed that Wenger was never under the impression that Ozil's cold was severe and allowed him to report for international duty early regardless.
It is believed Arsenal warned Ozil over his responsibilities as a public figure and reminded him to not invite such stories on himself or the club. It is a talk that Wenger has had to have with another Arsenal midfielder several times.
Jack Wilshere is used to making headlines for the wrong reasons now. He may not have appeared on the football pitch since November 22, but he has certainly been hanging around the headlines regardless. It seems Ozil's professionalism is not Wenger's biggest concern at this moment in time.
Do you think Mesut Ozil should have been punished for going out just hours after declaring himself unfit to play for Arsenal? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
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