In the midst of a battle to stave off relegation, Werder Bremen have announced that they have suspended Marko Arnautovic and Eljero Elia for the remainder of the season.
Arnautovic was pulled over for speeding around 3am last Friday. Elia, driving a separate vehicle, pulled over when he saw his teammate on the shoulder of the road. Reports suggest that there were multiple people in both vehicles, and an argument with law enforcement ensued where backup officers were called. Both players passed alcohol tests.
Neither player suited up for the squad in Saturday's 0-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen, and Thomas Schaaf spoke sternly about the two players: "We cannot tolerate such unprofessional behaviour in preparation for our match in Leverkusen."
The club announced the suspensions with a statement from sporting director Thomas Eichin.
"We need the full concentration of every individual player for the final stretch of the league. We made clear once again to Marko Arnautovic and Eljero Elia that their behaviour was detrimental to the team. Both of them will complete a co-ordinated training program away from the professional squad."
Bremen are only two points clear of the relegation zone with three matches remaining in the season. Their three remaining games are against Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Nürnberg. While Elia has been mostly unimpressive for Bremen since signing in the summer, losing Arnautovic could be a major blow in the final run-in. I expect we'll see twenty year old Özkan Yildirim get a run out for the majority of the remaining games. He's shown well in his limited time this season.