Mesut Özil kicks door after Arsenal's defeat by Tottenham in angry reaction to drugs test selection

The midfielder was criticised for his anonymous showing in the derby defeat and reacted furiously to being selected for a drugs test in the minutes after the loss at White Hart Lane

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The Independent Football

Mesut Özil allowed his frustration at Arsenal’s north London derby defeat to get the better of him after reacting furiously to a drugs test request in the minutes after Sunday’s loss to Tottenham, with the midfielder angrily kicking a door inside the White Hart Lane changing rooms.

The Germany international came in for intense criticism after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat by their bitter rivals, with the attacking midfielder enduring an anonymous game as Spurs guaranteed their first finish above the Gunners in 22 years.

As the beaten Arsenal side retreated to the sanctuary of the away dressing room, Özil was nominated for a random drugs test – as is custom after matches – but he flew into a rage at being selected and initially refused to do it.

After being threatened with a fine, Özil lashed out and kicked a door that left stud marks imprinted on it, before agreeing to carry out the test. Özil’s anger is believed to stem from his frustration at being selected for post-match drugs tests repeatedly this season, though the defeat by Spurs will not have helped his mood.

Özil’s poor demeanour on the pitch has coincided with his slump in form, with the World Cup winner scoring just two goals in 18 matches for Arsenal, a run that dates back to the 13 December, and the loss at the weekend not only means that Arsenal cannot overhaul Spurs for the first time under Arsene Wenger, but it also leaves them as clear outsiders in the race for the top four as next season’s Champions League begins to drift out of reach.

Added to the controversy surrounding Özil is his current contract situation, with the 28-year-old poised to head into the final year of his contract next month. It’s reported that Özil wants a new contract worth £300,000-a-week in order to extend his stay at the club, though he has made public his happiness in London and his desire to remain with Arsenal.

But the club, having been reluctant to meet his high wage demands, are now concerned about his slump in form, and a reported £280,000-a-week contract offer appears to be in doubt with suggestions that the club could be willing to sell Özil if the right offer comes in this summer.