Arsenal will travel to Bournemouth on Monday night for a match refereed, again, by Martin Atkinson, while Mike Dean will run the VAR.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Referee Mike Dean gestures as he referees his 500th Premier League match during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: Referee Mike Dean gestures as he referees his 500th Premier League match during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

One week ago, as I write this, Arsenal were getting ready to face Sheffield United. I described the refereeing team that day as a ‘horror’ – Mike Dean in charge, Lee Mason as fourth official and Martin Atkinson in charge of the VAR.

They lived up to their billing to rob Arsenal of a win against Sheffield United.

Now, for the fourth round of the FA Cup, we have Martin Atkinson in charge and Mike Dean on VAR. We have Adam Nunn running the line. He also did that for our FA Cup game against Leeds in the last round. It will be the sixth time Nunn has been involved in an Arsenal game.

This is a point I’ve been banging on about all season. For some reason, there seems to be a more limited rotation of officials for Arsenal matches than other teams. It’s also part of the reason we see Arsenal consistently treated more harshly than all other sides in the division.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur speaks with referee Martin Atkinson during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 01, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 01: Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur speaks with referee Martin Atkinson during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 01, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

This season, in the league and FA Cup, Arsenal have played 25 games with Monday night’s match their 26th.

Martin Atkinson will have been involved as referee, fourth official or lead VAR operator in seven games Arsenal games this season by the end of Monday’s match. That’s more than a quarter of our games.

He’s not the only one.

Chris Kavanagh and Paul Tierney have also been involved in seven Arsenal games each this season while linesman Constantine Hatzidakis has done that job in eight games – over 30%.

I looked at every official involved in every Arsenal game this season. Here are the results with the number representing the number of times the official acted as referee, assistant referee, fourth official, VAR or assistant VAR for an Arsenal game.

You know yourselves which ones are mostly assists refs…

Official Arsenal involvement
Constantine Hatzidakis 8
Paul Tierney 7
Martin Atkinson 7
Chris Kavanagh 7
Andy Halliday 7
Peter Bankes 6
Mike Dean 6
Adam Nunn 6
Stuart Attwell 5
Neil Davies 5
Lee Betts 5
Anthony Taylor 5
Stephen Child 4
Sian Massey-Ellis 4
Richard West 4
Marc Perry 4
Lee Mason 4
Kevin Friend 4
Ian Hussin 4
Harry Lennard 4
Dan Robathan 4
Simon Hooper 3
Peter Bankes 3
Michael Oliver 3
Jon Moss 3
Gary Beswick 3
Craig Pawson 3
Andre Marriner 3
Tim Robinson 2
Simon Bennett 2
Graham Scott 2
Gavin Ward 2
Eddie Smart 2
David Coote 2
Darren Cann 2
Daniel Cook 2
Stuart Burt 1
Scott Ledger 1
Peter Kirkup 1
Nick Hopton 1
Matthew Wilkes 1
Matt Donohue 1
Mark Scholes 1
Keith Shroud 1
Jarre Gillett 1
Darren England 1
Andy Maley 1
Andy Garratt 1
Andy Davies 1
Adrian Holmes 1
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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.