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Mesut Özil, Sead Kolasinac both held out of Sunday’s season opener

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This is not good.

Arsenal Pre-Season Tour of the United States Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Last month, as you’ll recall, Mesut Özil’s car was attacked by two men on motorcycles. The attack was thwarted when passenger Sead Kolasinac fronted up to the assailants and they took off. No motivation was given for the attack, as the suspects were not captured - after throwing some objects at the Özilmobile, they took off, while Özil, his wife, and the Kolasinacs waited it out in a restaurant where Özil knew the staff and felt safe.

That was bad enough, but it seemed random at the time and it was hoped that it was something that would never happen again. However, news today emerged that Özil and Kolasinac are being held out of Sunday’s game at Newcastle due to an unspecified “further security threat”, and the alarm bells start going off.

I am not about to start speculating what that security threat might be, whether it’s tied to the last incident, or anything like that, and I would discourage anyone reading this from doing the same. I will just say that a previously unsettling incident is now looking full-on scary, and I hope that the two players, their families, and Arsenal all take this very seriously, stay safe, and protect themselves as much as they possibly can.

UPDATE 10.50AM:

It appears that the security fears are based on more than one incident: