On Sunday against Manchester City, Mike Dean confused me.
Used to ranting and raving like a lunatic after he’s been in charge of one of our games, I found myself thinking ‘that’s the best refereeing performance I’ve seen in some time.’
Of course, it’s easy to praise a referee when you win but that’s never stopped me before, especially not when it’s Mike Dean in charge.
Manuel Pellegrini may well have thought that Dean was fooled and that Nacho Monreal dived to win the penalty, Arsenal’s first under Dean in 27 games, but the City manager was wrong – it was a foul and a penalty.
There was perhaps only one major decision that Dean got wrong – he should have shown Vincent Kompany a second yellow for his foul on Alexis Sanchezs on the egde of the City box.
Raising his whistle to his mouth, the referee then decided to play an advantage so he clearly saw the foul which was undeniably a booking as the defender cleaned Sanchez out. That he didn’t come back to book him after the play stopped was the only blot on his copybook thoughout the entire game.
It seems strange to be praising a man like Mike Dean who has done us more harm than good over the years, but try as I might to say otherwise he had a really good game.
Given the standard of refereeing that we’ve seen over the course of this season and last, it was quite refreshing to see.
And as for the Arsenal curse under Dean?
Most surprising of all, Arsenal have now taken 14 points in their last 7 games refereed by Mike Dean – the curse is over…
— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) January 18, 2015