Mike Dean will take charge of our trip to West Ham on Monday night as we move back into our rotation of regular refs with just three taking charge of 60% of Arsenal’s games this season.
This season, Arsenal were given little variety in the refs appointed to take charge of their games until the Wolves match recently when Michael Oliver broke up the Martin Atkinson/Mike Dean/Anthony Taylor monopoly on Arsenal games.
Monday night will be Mike Dean’s third Arsenal game of the season meaning he will have taken charge of 20% of Arsenal’s league games so far by the time Arsenal have reached 10 games without a win.
Given that Martin Atkinson has refereed four himself and Monday will be our 15th game, that’s 47% of Arsenal’s matches run by just two officials.
Add in Anthony Taylor, who has had 13% of our games, and that’s 60% of Arsenal’s Premier League matches this season officiated by just three men.
How can that be right?
Don’t believe me?
|home||Aston Villa||win||3-2||Jon Moss|
|away||Man United||draw||1-1||Kevin Friend|
|away||Sheffield United||defeat||0-1||Mike Dean|
|home||Crystal Palace||draw||2-2||Martin Atkinson|
|away||West Ham||Mike Dean|
There are 18 Premier League referees this season, enough for Arsenal to have a different one per-game and still not have seen used them all.
It is impossible for referees not to form biases, conscious or unconscious, when they are in charge of the same players so often. It simply cannot be fair. I don’t know if the same thing happens with other teams and referees, but it shouldn’t.
It is perhaps, then, no coincidence that Arsenal sit at the top of the yellow card table, and have done all season, receiving more per game than any other side. They also need fewer fouls to pick up a yellow than everyone else, too.
It’s worth noting that before we got a better mix of referees, Arsenal were some distance clear at the top in both categories but that gap has narrowed over recent weeks with new faces put in charge.
Of course, Arsenal’s woes are not down to the officials, no matter who they are, but as I mentioned post-Brighton, Arsenal being are crap doesn’t mean we have to stop discussing other things, too.
Monday night’s officials vs West Ham
- Referee: Mike Dean
- Assistant: Ian Hussin
- Assistant: Dan Robathan
- Fourth official: Lee Mason
- VAR: Kevin Friend
- VAR Assistant: Andy Halliday