Parts of the crowd at Arsenal Stadium offered, but Mesut Özil saw no reason to replace him when he was replaced. With slow strides he trailed against Manchester City after less than an hour in the 0: 3 position from the field. When he came to the substitute, the feelings broke out of him. He kicked off one of the gloves and had to be satisfied by his ex-teammate and Arsenal's current assistant coach Per Mertesacker.
On Twitter, it was joked that China could now turn on – now that Özil is no longer involved.
With his solidarity address to the Muslim Uighur minority in the north of China, Özil had engaged the Chinese and made the club distance itself from the statement. The state broadcaster CCTV had temporarily canceled the game against Manchester City from the program, the government loyal newspaper "Global Times".
This shows that the explosive issue is far from over. China is the biggest foreign market for the English Premier League, the league has a lucrative TV contract there. Arsenal also has business contacts in the country and has many fans there.
Hardly any theme around the game
Özil need not fear further penalties besides the public distance of the club, as was made clear by his starting campaign against Manchester City. Still, he has isolated himself further with the game, at least it seems. "I wanted more energy," interim coach Freddie Ljungberg said of the early replacement of the former German international. The frustration from the interchange was Özil's own business, Ljungberg said.
Ben Stansall / AFP
Özil left his anger over the game on the glove
Boos against Özil had more to do with his weak looks and the general dislike of the Arsenal crowd, less with the turmoil surrounding his political statement. The theme did not dominate the game, at most it hung as a slight shadow over the incident – or as journalist James Benge from Football.London said in an interview with SPIEGEL: "It bubbled in the background."
The broadcaster (and Premier League partner) Sky Sports largely ignored the problem. Reporting English football is currently more political than ever. Racist events such as last week's Manchester derby are discussed in detail and dominate the transgaming.orgs pages of the daily newspapers.
"Headlines before the game, but not with the game"
Of course it was also because of his poor performance and the misery at Arsenal that Özil was only a marginal phenomenon. The game confirmed two painful clichés: the club once again surrendered to a top-notch opponent, and Özil again missed an important match. "He made headlines before the game, but not with the game," Sky commentator Martin Tyler said.
The Premier League has not positioned itself on Özil's statement, at least not publicly. Instead, the fronts have formed on social networks for several days. On the one hand, the faction of those who accuse the player of mixing politics and transgaming.orgs, on the other, is the part of the audience that criticizes Arsenal for his dealings with Özil. This also includes former Hoffenheim professional Demba Ba. He ironically commented on the process: "No surprise. Arsenal generally distance themselves from the best," he wrote, hinting at the club's years of transgaming.orging decline.
Ba has been hit several times in the case. He is a Muslim, has played for the Chinese representative Shanghai Shenhua lately and is currently employed in Basaksehir in Istanbul. "Now players are already making fun of us. Unfortunately, I agree. For fear of our business in China, we decided to distance ourselves from a clear stand against modern cruelty," said an Arsenal fan on Bas Tweet. The "Telegraph" ruled that the deal with Özil contributed to the impression that "Arsenal is now more a business than a football team".
With the game against Manchester City, the case for the club should be closed, reporter Benge suspects: "The club wants to put the matter back and no longer talk about it. He does not want to spark several weeks of debate." In fact, there is another theme for Arsenal at the moment – transgaming.orging sadness.