Would it even be a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United if Mike Dean wasn’t the referee for Arsenal’s game?

Mike Dean
Mike Dean

That’s right, it’s time for our first trip to Manchester United this season so it must be time for Mike Dean’s first Arsenal game.

Ahead of writing this I looked through some old posts on the site. Although we started in 2008, a server move a number of years back meant we lost everything pre-2015. It was no surprise to see an article dated 13 February 2015 entitled, “Which Mike Dean will Arsenal get on Sunday?” or another dated 16 May 2015 called “Will Arsenal get old or new Mike Dean against Manchester United?” that was followed on 18 May with one called “Referee costs Arsenal points against Manchester United.”

You won’t be surprised to learn in that game Dean waved away a number of Arsenal penalty calls as Arsenal left Old Trafford with a draw.

The game saw Arsenal shout for two penalties, one of them as blatant a pull in the box as you’re ever going to see.

It was also the game Phil Jones did this:

Arsenal fans don’t need me to tell them what they’ll get with Mike ‘Are the cameras on me?’ Dean.

Will he deny Arsenal a stonewall penalty? Will he give them one for nothing?

Tune in on Sunday to find out…

From the Daily Cannon archive (26 July 2020)

Mike Dean’s Arsenal penalty face is season highlight for Arsenal fans (with goals)

Mike Dean’s face might well go down as one of the highlights of this awful Arsenal season and having to wait until the end of July for it was almost worth going through everything else.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates scoring a penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Watford FC at Emirates Stadium on July 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Rui Vieira/Pool via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 26: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates scoring a penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Watford FC at Emirates Stadium on July 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Rui Vieira/Pool via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s game against Watford was only a few minutes old when Alexandre Lacazette was bundled over in the box.

It was a clear penalty but Mike Dean, as he tends to do with Arsenal, waved play on.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal is fouled leading to a penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Watford FC at Emirates Stadium on July 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 26: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal is fouled leading to a penalty during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Watford FC at Emirates Stadium on July 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Not so fast, said Jon Moss on VAR, who then made us all wait about four minutes while he ordered Dean to give the penalty after he got back from getting a sandwich.

The man from the Wirral obliged.

But he wasn’t happy about it.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored is 27th career goal from the spot (he’s missed 9), taking him to 19 league goals for the season.

Only Martin Atkinson (7) has refereed more Arsenal games than Mike Dean (6) this season but he couldn’t overcome Jon Moss’s love for us.

That was Arsenal’s third Premier League penalty of the season. Manchester United have had 14, City 11.

It was also the earliest Arsenal have been awarded a penalty in a league game since 1999.

Dean wasn’t in frame when Kieran Tierney made it two-nil with his first goal for the club.

He also wasn’t spotted when Auba made it 3-0 with his 20th league goal, moving him to within one of the Golden Boot.

Tierney grabbed an assist for that one with his throw in.

Dean got a chance to smile again when he pointed to the spot for a foul by David Luiz on Danny Welbeck. Troy Deeny stepped up to make it 3-1 before the break.

As for Luiz, that was the fifth he’s given away this season, a Premier League record.