I feel dirty already and I haven’t even written this post yet.

Once upon a very recent time I would be crying at the thought of Dean in charge of an Arsenal game but over the last season or two his edge seems to have softened and he’s been less of an odious little turd.

I realise I’m setting us up for a massive fall here.

Mike Dean’s last game in charge of Arsenal was against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and my review of him that day started with the sentence “I never thought I’d find myself reviewing Mike Dean and having nothing to say.”

No longer the worst referee for Arsenal since Anthony Taylor arrived in the league, Dean is still a ref who likes to be the centre of attention and prides himself on noticing infractions no-one else sees (and missing the massive ones that everyone else does).

Taking charge of 30 matches this season, he’s issued 138 yellows and six reds, an average number when compared to Craig Pawson’s nine and Graham Scott’s three.

This will be his fourth Arsenal match of the season (home defeat to United, away win at City, FA Cup match v Boro) and his third Burnley game which have all ended in draws.

Dean is a referee who needs no introduction to Arsenal fans.

We simply hold our breath and hope for the best, and even if he’s been significantly better in recent games, that doesn’t mean the scars from his previous performances aren’t still red raw.

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