Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger denies being too lenient with Ozil following nightclub visit

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil was seen in a nightclub in Berlin, Germany, after having missed the Gunners victory against Newcastle, with manager Arsene Wenger initially giving him special dispensation to leave for his home nation early. But the long-serving coach has denied “going soft on discipline”, and insists Ozil has done little wrong in the matter, reports the Standard.

The German international was reportedly too ill to feature in the Newcastle victory, and was therefore allowed to travel early to Germany. But he was spotted in a Berlin nightclub the same day as Arsenal faced the Magpies. Wenger has come under criticism for not acting more harshly on the matter – as the Frenchman initially defended Ozil’s reasoning behind the incident – but the Arsenal manager insists he’s not going too easy on his players.

Wenger has had to deal with a number of conduct breaches this season, with Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny having both been fined for smoking. The latter has since permanently lost his place in the starting eleven too. He played down the Ozil incident, insisting that the midfielder was merely wishing a friend happy birthday for 30 minutes before leaving.

“He went out for half an hour to a birthday of his friend to wish him well and then went home. I’m not going soft on discipline. I’ve fined people when they work for us and don’t respect the discipline. On that front I don’t think you can stop anybody from wishing happy birthday to a friend when he is in his own country,” he said.

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