I've put carjacking behind me says Arsenal's Kolasinac
PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 September 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Sead Kolasinac insists he has put a carjacking attempt on both himself and Mesut Ozil behind him - but admits it was tough to deal with at the time.
The pair were targeted in Golders Green, north London in August and missed the opening game of the new Premier League season at Newcastle as further security threats arose.
Kolasinac was shown on CCTV footage getting out of Ozil's vehicle and chasing off the assailants, while two arrests were made for public order offences outside Ozil's house several days later.
Since the incidents, Kolasinac has featured in three Premier League games and is likely to start Arsenal's Europa League Group F opener at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night.
"About what happened I don't want to talk about it in details," he said on the eve of the game.
"It's happened and it's something that belongs to the past. The same with Mesut. We are back and we focus on our job and team. We have a very important match ahead here in Frankfurt.
"Well, of course, I'm happy to be back. Of course, mentally this was hard, missing also training for a couple of days.
"I made up for it. I'm back and happy to be back with the team and able to perform with them on the pitch with the team."
While Kolasinac is set to retain his place in Unai Emery's side, the Arsenal head coach opted to leave Ozil at home, rather than take him as part of his squad for the game in Germany.
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Emery insists the 30-year-old needs rest despite playing just 71 minutes of football this season - having not featured until he started Sunday's 2-2 Premier League draw at Watford.
He missed the start of the campaign after the security threat and then through illness.
Ozil retired from international football with Germany last year amid controversy and, on what would have been his first return to play in the country, he would have no doubt been in for a hostile reception from a fervent Frankfurt crowd.
But instead Emery offered up the rather bizarre excuse that Ozil was instead being rested alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos - who has played every minute of the opening five Premier League games of the season.
"We are playing now a lot of matches and I want to use different players and also can have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad and Sokratis and Mesut, they rest this match," he said.
"I prefer after the Sunday match to rest that match and to train and to be ready for Sunday.
"Because we are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played and also I'm thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11.
"After that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.
"Really the first match he played on Sunday, he played well and was good physically - also giving us his capacity and skills and after his first minutes (of the season) it was good for us.
"Now he is ready to help us, not tomorrow but on Sunday - we are going to play another match and are thinking to do some rotation."