In late July, Arsenal’s Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac were the targets of an attempted robbery, or carjacking, or maybe both. Kolasinac was able to scare off the two attackers, who had cornered Özil’s SUV and headed to the vehicle after they had gotten off their scooters, and fortunately no one was harmed, although both players took a bit of time off to recover from the shock of the situation.
UPDATE: There has been additional footage released of the incident, and it shows pretty clearly what happened:
New CCTV footage emerges of Arsenal's Kolasinac standing his ground against knife-wielding attackers. https://t.co/JlDTpYLEp0— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) November 6, 2019
There has been a lot of speculation about motive, and about who could have done this, and now we have an answer to both of those questions. Ashley Smith admitted his role in the incident last month, and now he’s joined by Jordan Northover in that admission. What were they doing? They were trying to steal Özil and Kolasinac’s watches. Yep. All this was because of watches. I will grant you that two professional footballers are likely to be wearing super-nice watches, but it’s just another illustration of how stupid most petty criminals are. That’s a huge risk to take for something so small.
Both men are due to be sentenced soon - Smith will be sentenced Friday, and Northover’s sentence will be handed down in due course. It’s good to be able to draw a line under this for us from the outside, but it’s also gotta be a huge relief for the two players as well - with the suspects in custody and due to receive their punishment, hopefully things can get back to normal for them, if they mostly haven’t already.