It’s been 72 hours since the FA charged Arsenal with something, so it’s hardly surprising their sleuths are hard at work trying to get to the bottom of an incident at Villa Park that could land first team data analyst Miguel Molina in hot water – that’s according to the Evening Standard.
The Spaniard, part of Mikel Arteta’s backroom staff 2020, was seated in the press box for Saturday’s match and appears to have incensed his opposite number, Victor Manas, by wildly celebrating Emi Martinez’s stoppage time own goal.
It’s claimed that Molina and Manas, who used to work at Arsenal when Unai Emery was in charge, had to be separated by stewards and that the skirmish continued later on in the pitchside tunnel
There’s talk of verbal taunts, red cheeks, blown kisses; a wholly uncivil Spanish war. Honestly, it sounds spectacular and we demand to see the footage.
Asked about the scuffle in his post-game press conference, Mikel Arteta said he’d not spoken to Molina but promised, “Like anything that happens in the stands. We will look at it, address it and take action if it’s necessary.”
Arsenal have redacted that section from their transcript.
It’s not the first time that Manas has been in trouble in England. He earned himself an ‘improper conduct’ charge in 2018 following a similar incident during halftime of Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace. On that occasion, he was given a one-game ban and was fined £6,000.
We expect both men could well be facing something similar this time.