Five little words that strike terror into the heart of Arsenal fans everywhere – Mike Dean is in charge.
There’s probably nothing that I can tell you about the man who will run around like a little dictator as he referees Arsenal’s next game against Manchester City that you don’t already know, but let me try.
Back in 2013 the media seemed to catch-on to the fact that Arsenal had a simply awful record when he was in charge of their games it was laughable how few games they were able to win.
A mixture of playing top sides (Dean seems to be the league’s official go-to man to when Arsenal have a big game) and Arsenal being Arsenal combined but I doubt that you will find a fan who doesn’t think that Dean played some part in our awful run under him.
An official who prides himself on spotting fenikity things that others miss, and getting off on the technicalities of the game too obscure for anyone to know they even exist, he is often found turning down stonewall penalties for Arsenal (Andrei Arshavin at Old Trafford springs to mind as one of many) or giving the most ridiculous penalties to the opposition (Gareth Bales’s dive).
He was the referee who sent Arsene Wenger to the stands for kicking a water bottle. Funnily enough, that also happened at Old Trafford, almost like there’s a theme here and perhaps it’s no coincidence that since Sir Alex retired Arsenal’s record went from winning 7% of games with Dean in charge to winning two, drawing two and losing just once from the five he refereed last season and this so far.
Perhaps the fact that he had to apologise to Wenger after the stand incident made him hates us more. Or less. Who knows?
Excellent research by @7amKickoff in 2013 when Dean’s curse became apparent showed that the ref, who hails from the Wirral, awarded Arsenal just two penalties in 46 games. He gave United 13 in 40 over the same period if you’d like a comparison.
But we’re all just paranoid, right?
If you’re interested, he hasn’t given a penalty to Arsenal in his last 26 matches, no other team has went that long under Dean’s watch. But then again, it’s not like Arsenal are a team who play intricate football in the opposition’s box leaving them more susceptible than most to winning penalties, eh?
It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, Mike Dean doesn’t like us and he isn’t afraid to show it.
Dean last took charge of an Arsenal game when Manchester United came to the Emirates earlier this season, you know, the one they lost 2-1 and he added nine minutes of stoppage time to because he likes to make sure he’s had enough stoppages to get on the TV a lot.
I could breakdown his stats for you for this season (18 matches, 77 yellows, five reds) but none of that really matters when he referees an Arsenal game because he hates us.
I might have mentioned that.
Expect him to turn down legitimate (and even stonewall) penalty claims by Arsenal and offer City every advantage possible.