A member of Unai Emery’s background team at Arsenal has been charged with improper conduct and fined £6,000 by the FA after an incident which took place at half-time during Arsenal’s visit to Crystal Palace on the 28th October.
Victor Manas is a new member of the coaching staff at The Emirates, having been brought into the fold by Emery after the Spaniard replaced Arsene Wenger as Gunners boss. A trusted confidant of Unai’s, Manas has been working under him for more than a decade, shifting from a strength and conditioning coach to a video analyst back in 2007.
Whilst this is the first I’ve heard of any off-field drama from the game in question, there is a very good chance that Manas’ “improper conduct” came as a result of the penalty kick Luka Milivojevic converted just before the referee blew the half-time whistle. Looking back at the incident, there’s no doubt that Cheikhou Kouyaté was fouled before the spot-kick was awarded so it’s difficult to know exactly why Manas lost his cool but even so, all signs point towards the opening goal of the game being the blue touch paper for his loss of composure.
As it happened, the second 45 minutes was to prove far more controversial, with Alexandre Lacazette giving the visitors a come-from-behind lead by slapping the ball goal-wards with his hand and Wilfried Zaha being brought down for another penalty late on to level the scores; obviously the Arsenal coach had calmed himself down by that stage.
It would be great to have a window into all of the little flash points which take place in tunnels and dressing rooms from week to week but in this particular instance, the FA charge will see a line drawn permanently underneath Manas’ actions.
I wonder if we’ll ever discover what he did to earn the fine?