Mike Dean struck again on Sunday, costing Arsenal a win against West Bromwich Albion, and statistics give weight to the conspiracy he’s been unfavourable to the Gunners.
Ask any Arsenal fan which referee they hate the most and they’ll answer with Mike Dean. The suspicion is that Dean is bias against the Gunners whenever he takes charge of their games.
Every fan of every club will think that a referee is against them when decision go their way. That’s just a part of game, and in most cases, there’s no factual basis for it.
However, it’s noticeable that Arsenal’s results with Mike Dean as referee are much worse. The 49-year-old has overseen 53 Arsenal games since the start of the 2004/05 season.
Arsenal have won 17 of those games, drawn 21 and lost 15. In that amount of time, Dean has awarded Arsenal a grand total of two penalties. If we go back to the start of his refereeing career, that total goes up to three.
While he’s shy to give Arsenal penalties, he has less problem giving them to the opposition. He’s awarded seven penalties to opponents. You would expect that, over such a long period of time, the numbers would even out.
Given the amount of play Arsenal tend to have in the opposition penalty area, you’d expect more than three penalties to have been awarded, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Arsenal have enjoyed some good results with him as ref. He was in charge of the 2-0 win over Spurs and 4-3 win over Leicester this season. He also oversaw the 4-1 win at Stoke last season and the 2-0 win at City – a game where he did give Arsenal a penalty – in 2015.
Those wins, though, end up buried under the numerous draws and losses. For example, before that Stoke win last season, Arsenal went five games without a win with Dean as a referee.
Arsene Wenger had every right to be furious with him on Sunday. The penalty decision was the wrong call, and came at the worst time.
The numbers don’t quite back-up the assertion that he’s 100% against Arsenal, but it is true that he loves to give penalties against us. Evidently, Wenger hasn’t forgotten that fact.