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Mesut Özil and Unai Emery reaffirm their membership in the Best Friends Club

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Lesson: don’t believe everything you read

Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Mesut Özil, as we know, didn’t play in the West Ham win, and didn’t even make the bench. The hot rumors spinning around in the wake of his not making the squad that day were all about a training ground bust-up with Unai Emery, and how there was now going to be friction between the two now.

And, because it was Mesut and not, say, literally anyone else, people used that incident to project how they felt about him onto the situation, which is always fun. He’s a polarizing player, for reasons that have less to do with his playing ability than with people’s perceptions of his play, which aren’t always...smart? The best? Knowledgeable? Anyway, we all know the critiques by now - lazy, unmotivated, doesn’t care - and we also know, at least I know, that most of them are crap. But that doesn’t stop people.

Anyway, turns out - shockingly - that there was a benign reason for his absence, and it turns out he was sick, not pissed off. According to sources close to the club:

The former Germany international was sent home early on each of the the two days preceding the West Ham game on the advice of the club doctor. Ozil was prescribed a dose of antibiotics to cure a severe cold that developed into a laryngitis, and attended the match as a spectator.

So, there we have it. He was sick, he wasn’t staging some sort of imaginary revolt against the tyranny of the new Arsenal regime nor was he chafing under its constraints. Sometimes, a cold is just a cold.