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Don't read too much into Mesut Ozil's post-NLD tunnel tantrum

It didn’t happen why you’d think it might have happened.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League
Those hands, they’re empty
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Tensions on the Arsenal side of the North London derby divide were very high on Sunday after the game. A visible sign of this was Mesut Özil combusting in the tunnel after the game; turns out, though, that this combustion wasn’t borne of the game itself. After every game, the FA or its drug-testing body (I’m not sure if there’s an independent body that does the work, but it’s the FA’s program) selects one player from each team to undergo a random drug test.

After the NLD, the player chosen for testing from Arsenal was Özil. He has apparently been picked a bunch of times before Sunday, as well, so the combination of an ugly loss and, presumably, frustration at having to stay later after class than the rest of the students in order to take a drug test, when he probably just wanted to put the day behind him, led to his tunnel meltdown.

And that’s basically the whole story, and the end of the story, despite what you might read in other places. Arsenal have nothing to do with the organization or running of the drug testing protocol, have no control over it, and don’t decide who gets picked to be tested. So to draw a line between “Özil is frustrated at how drug testing works” and “Özil wants out of Arsenal” is tenuous at best, and ridiculously stupid at worst.

I’m not saying both of those things can’t be true; they obviously can. But in this situation, where Özil could just as easily have been tested were he a member of any other team, I think we can probably conclude that his ire was borne of frustration on two separate levels, the loss and being picked yet again for testing, rather than as a definite sign or even an inadvertent clue as to his mindset regarding staying at Arsenal.