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July 2021

Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 1 – Fulham 1. The M. D. Horror Show continues

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Ref Reviewer 03

What can you expect when Mike Dean comes to ref an Arsenal match? Don’t expect an Arsenal win for Arsenal had not won any of their last 9 Premier League matches that Mike Dean had reffed and Saturday’s match against Fulham would be no different.

Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment points weight
2 OFFSIDE C Arshavin – assumed correct 1 1
3 OTHER Etuhu Ramsey NC Block – not given 0 0
4 OTHER Murphy Ramsey C Trip – advantage played 1 1
4 OTHER Murphy Ramsey NC Murphy then held Ramsey to take him out of the play – not given 0 0
4 OFFSIDE C Arshavin – goal disallowed 1 1
6 OTHER Riise Walcott C Trip 1 1
10 OTHER Djourou Dempsey NC Dempsey sticks his leg out to stop Djourou from playing the ball – wrong call 0 0
12 OTHER Etuhu Vermaelen C Trip/kick – advantage played 1 1
13 OTHER Murphy Arteta C Push 1 1
15 OTHER C Good tackle by Walcott 1 1
15 OTHER Santos NC Push – not given 0 0
17 OTHER Senderos RVP C holding 1 1
20 OTHER Arteta Dembele NC Trip 0 0
22 OTHER Murphy RVP C Slid in, Trip 1 1
23 OTHER Senderos RVP NC holding 0 0
27 OTHER Santos C Handball 1 1
27 YELLOW Santos C Killed attack 1 2
28 YELLOW Zamora Dissent 1 2
28 OTHER Dembele Ramsey NC Obstruction – not given 0 0
29 OTHER Song Ruiz NC Ruiz was holding off Song by his shirt – wrong call 0 0
37 OFFSIDE C Zamora 1 1
39 OTHER Song Dembele C Trip – Dean took 50 sec. to set up wall 1 1
43 OTHER Arteta Ruiz NC Trip called – but looked a fair challenge 0 0
45 OTHER Dembele C Handball 1 1
45+1 OTHER Etuhu Arteta C Sliding tackle/trip 1 1
45+1 YELLOW Etuhu C went through Arteta 1 2
Half time 17 20
CORRECT 65,38% 68,97%
YELLOW 3 3 100,00
RED 0 0
GOAL 0 0
OTHER 3 3 100,00
6 6 100,00
OFFSIDE 3 3 100,00
Second half
49 OTHER Arteta Dembele C Trip – Dean took 20 sec. to talk to Arteta 1 1
50 OTHER Ruiz Santos NC Foul – advantage seemingly played but should have given free kick 0 0
55 OTHER Zamora Szczesny NC Interfering with keeper – not given 0 0
56 YELLOW Senderos NC Kicked ball away after it was out for Arsenal throw 0 0
57 OTHER Schwarzer NC Most keepers hold ball longer than 6 second limit but 12 seconds is too much 0 0
57 OTHER Hangeland Ramsey NC Shove – not given 0 0
57 YELLOW Hangeland NC Took Ramsey out of the scoring opportunity – should have been booked 0 0
58 OTHER Song Dembele C Attempted trip – advantage played 1 1
59 OTHER Ramsey Dembele C holding 1 1
61 PENALTY RVP C Etuhu won ball, RVP went down easily – good no-call 1 3
65 OTHER Dembele Arteta NC Trip 0 0
65 OTHER Zamora Vermaelen NC Tugged on Vermaelen’s arm as he tried to clear – not given 0 0
65 GOAL NC Vermaelen (O.G.) – goal should not have counted because of the two fouls above 0 0
67 OTHER Song Zamora C Pull 1 1
68 OTHER Dempsey Arteta NC Used elbow to make space – not given and would have scored had Zamora not been offside 0 0
68 OFFSIDE C Zamora – looked just off, goal disallowed 1 1
71 OTHER Schwarzer NC Held the ball for 11 seconds this time 0 0
72 OTHER Hangeland Arshavin NC holding 0 0
72 OFFSIDE Walcott C Was offside but Arshavin was fouled beforehand 1 1
72 YELLOW Schwarzer NC Time wasting – not given – it took 55 seconds to take free kick 0 0
76 OTHER Murphy Arteta C Foul – advantage played 1 1
76 OTHER Senderos RVP C Trip 1 1
76 YELLOW Senderos C Killed attack 1 2
78 OTHER Vermaelen Kasami C Ran into him 1 1
79 OTHER Senderos Gervinho NC Shove – not given 0 0
80 OTHER Walcott Riise NC Push – not given 0 0
81 OTHER Dembele Gervinho C Foul – advantage played 1 1
82 GOAL C Vermaelen – goal okay 1 3
83 OTHER Santos Kasami C Trip – not given 0 0
85 OFFSIDE RVP C Correctly called onside 1 1
86 OTHER Kasami Gervinho C Trip 1 1
86 PENALTY NC Dempsey slides in and blocks the shot with his arm extended a bit off his body. Arm to ball – a spot kick should have been given. 0 0
87 OTHER Riise Walcott NC Held – advantage not signaled 0 0
88 OTHER Dembele Walcott C Foul – advantage played 1 1
88 OTHER C Clean tackle by Dembele 1 1
90 OTHER Santos Johnson C Santos shouldered Johnson off the ball – not much different than the shove Senderos got away with 1 1
90 OTHER NC 4 additional minutes – should have been 5 0 0
90+4 OTHER Johnson C Handball 1 1
90+4 OTHER Dembele Arteta NC Trip – not given 0 0
90+4 OTHER NC Dean blows the whistle at 93:59 – should have played an extra 30 seconds 0 0
2nd half score
TOTAL 19 24
% CORRECT 47,50% 46,15%
YELLOW 1 4 25,00
RED 0 0
PENALTY 1 2 50,00
GOAL 1 2 50,00
OTHER 1 6 16,67
4 14 28,57
OFFSIDE 3 3 100,00
TOTAL 36 44
% CORRECT 54,55% 54,32%
YELLOW 4 7 57,14
RED 0 0
PENALTY 1 2 50,00
GOAL 1 2 50,00
OTHER 4 9 44,44
10 20 50,00
OFFSIDE 6 6 100,00
Correct calls For Home 21 58,33%
For Away 15 41,67%
Total correct calls 36
Wrong calls Against Home 26 86,67%
Against Away 4 13,33%
Total 30
Total fouls made by Home 12 28,57%
Away 30 71,43%
Total 42


It was truly a shocking performance by Dean on the day, scoring an extremely poor 54.55%, and his bias showed. 26 wrong calls went against Arsenal compared to only 4 wrong calls against Fulham. And it gets worse because several of these wrong calls were very important and weighed heavily on the result of the match.

The first half was somewhat uneventful. A few 50-50 calls went Fulham’s way, but Dean wasn’t afraid to card players if needed and Santos (handball), Zamora (dissent), and Etuhu (dangerous tackle) all went into the book.

The second half was another story. Fulham opened the scoring with an own goal by Vermaelen. A closer look at the goal and the build up to it reveals that the goal should not have stood. First of all, Zamora looked to have held off Vermaelen by his shirt, something Zamora seemed to be doing all match. Then Arteta was clearly tripped right in front of Mike Dean who did absolutely nothing. Murphy then had time to play the ball into the area where it fell off Riise across the goalmouth. As Vermaelen tried to clear the ball, Zamora gave a little tug on Vermaelen’s arm, knocking him off balance and resulting in Vermaelen kicking the ball into his own net – a goal that should not have been allowed.

Fulham goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer had been wasting time in the first half with the score at 0-0, so you can imagine how he would waste time with a 1-0 lead, and he did. He took his time on goal kicks, free kicks, and anytime he gathered the ball.

There used to be a rule that a keeper could take four steps with the ball, but everybody took six. That rule was changed that the keeper now could take as many steps as he wanted, but now he is supposed to keep the ball in his possession for only 6 seconds.

Now, you’ll notice that most keepers do hold and or bounce the ball for a few seconds longer than the six seconds allotted in the rule book. However when it came to Schwarzer, he was holding onto the ball for a full 11 or 12 seconds on several occasions. The penalty for this infraction is an indirect free kick in the penalty area, but Mike Dean didn’t seem to bothered, in fact the ref himself also seemed to take his time setting up walls.

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Throughout the second half, many little fouls against Arsenal went unnoticed by the man in black, but that still didn’t stop Vermaelen from finding the equaliser in the 82nd minute, and Arsenal might have got the winner from the spot if they had been awarded a penalty for a handball by Clint Dempsey.

After some good work by Gervinho on the left, the ball came to Santos who tried to shoot the ball into the right side of the net. However Dempsey slid in and blocked the ball with his arm. His arm was extended a bit off of his body and especially as was sliding in, this was a case of arm to ball and not ball to arm. A spot kick should have been awarded and Robin van Persie should have had the opportunity to put Arsenal in front, but it was not to be.

At 90 minutes the board went up showing that 4 extra minutes would be played. However, with the substitutions, time wasting by Schwarzer, as well as by Dean to set up walls, talk to players or his assistant, there shoudl have been at least 5 minutes played.

Also note that at 90 minutes there had been a free kick awarded to Fulham who took their sweet time to take it, about 30 seconds. So, in fact, the board went up showing 4 minutes would be played, but play didn’t start again until 30 seconds later. The ball was headed out immediately for a Fulham corner which was taken another 30 seconds later. From 90:00 to 91:00, the ball was only in play for about 2 seconds.

In the end, I would have expected the ref to play an extra 30 seconds on top of the original 4 minutes, however Dean couldn’t even wait for 94 minutes and blew his whistle a second early, ensuring there would be no last-second winner.


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77 comments to Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 1 – Fulham 1. The M. D. Horror Show continues

  • WalterBroeckx

    Or you could put it this way: if you put a really blind man in the middle of the field and ask him to make the calls there is a chance he might get the same score as this “seeing” man….
    Even the blind man his guide dog could get the same score….

  • I’ve waited to comment on the game Walter because I just could not believe what I saw at the match. Of course being Arsenal biased and sitting just to the right of the north bank goal I don’t have the ability to read everything straight, but I was left thinking “this is the most appalling, bent, and biased refereeing that I have ever seen.

    Not only was the ref bought, so it seems was at least one of the assistants.

    I felt, walking from the ground, that we now have the benchmark or a game in which the referee either is a complete dolt who does not know the rules of the game, or else he has been bought.

    If the former, why is he allowed to continue? If the latter, the answer is that the corruption has spread throughout the game.

    Of course I am not suggesting Fulham had anything to do with this – they were given a chance and they took it, as would any team. No, the corruption (if that is the explanation) comes from the handful of clubs who use the Italian system to bend matches in their favour.

    I am utterly dispirited; there are only two explanations to this performance by this referee. He is utterly incompetent, or he was bought. Neither viewpoint fills me with anything other than despair.

  • Andy Kelly

    There was one incident that Dean got right that showed how bad the assistant ref in Arsenal’s end in the first half was.

    About half way through the fast half Fulham had a throw in. Djourou was badly out of position. The Fulham player took the throw in straight down the line to one of his team mates who left Djourou behind him. The assistant ref flagged for offside! Dean waved play on. It a brief “you don’t know what you’re doing” close to where I was sat.

  • isbish

    I must commend you for that elaborate detail on the refs performance and I must also say that when I noticed the ref in charge was going to be MD, I just had my heart pumping water to my brains. Our club seem to have a kind of hoodoo with this man and I quite agree the ref played a bad role in us drawing that match especially on that penalty call, which he never gave. And as for the four minutes which he never allowed to even run through, that’s a shame and I was grossly disappointed with MD. Gunners for life.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Another point:
    “Official” fouls: Arsenal 9 – 7 Fulham
    Ref Review fouls: Arsenal 12 – 30 Fulham
    Officially Arsenal committed more fouls than Fulham. Can you believe that? However in the review, we see that Fulham committed 2½ times as many fouls as Arsenal. Some were fouls in situations where the ref played on as an advantage and thus they don’t show up in the official stats. Others were fouls that were not seen or called by the ref.

  • Marcus

    There’s the rub Tony.
    Of course the papers are full of the Man U story, where one big decision went against Man U…..some papers seem to be suggesting the linesman’s RAF career should be terminated, as well as the ‘destiny of the title’ being altered..

    “Whoever is in charge of eye tests at the RAF might be worried after a gaffe by flight-sergeant John Flynn that possibly changed the destiny of this season’s title race”. John Bernstein


    laughs insanely

    What about the 35 penalties we didn’t get last season.
    And the 100’s of non-fouls given against us and 100’s of fouls not given for us!
    What about Man U’s roll-call of freebie penalties, time added on, etc etc etc

    We cannot rewrite history. No history book will ever afford Wenger his true position, as the best manager in England since Clough, bar none.

    But what of the future?

    Will this merry-go-round of corruption go on ad infinitum, for as long as the hyper rich continue to run the game?

    Or is there a way to expose the corruption?

    I personally believe that only a player’s revolt will change anything. A lot of the lower clubs know they also get stitched. Pardew alluded to that and Hodgson too on MOTD ….

    But the only real solution is for several teams just not to turn out for their matches one saturday…

    as long the players are happy to be paid 10K multiples per week to perform in Rigged Show at the theatre of travesties, then nothing will change.

  • applepierre

    Please, can there be a way whereby these bad eggs in football can be flushed out, even in the premiership league? Why is it that when a particular team drops points others as a rule must also drop points orchestrated by these men in black? Take a look at the table for the past 6 seasons, deduct d wrong calls from the 38 matches each season and see how Arsenal fc in particular have always been cheated. This is disheartening and is killing the game. Am not surprised about the fate of english football at the global front. Euro 2012 is around the corner, and the same fate awaits you.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Dean has history, wasn’t he banned for a while for associating himself with some gambling enterprise?
    Does anyone know what he specifically has against Arsena/ I have heard plenty of rumours he is friendly away from the game with both Arry and SAF but nothing to substantiate this.
    Wonder if Arry spends as much time courting refs as he does the media?
    Whatever the truth, any search strongly suggests something between Mike Dean / Spurs. Coincidence?
    This review highlights a shocking performance, I am told none of the controversial incidents, including the handball were shown on MOTD, in contrast to the Utd pen incident, is this true?
    Gazidis should be in FA HQ monday having a word about this sort of thing

  • Sammy The Snake

    There’s too much money in football, so it will attract questionable people & money.

  • finsbury

    Maybe he was just biased and not corrupt.

    On a serious note I would suggest taking rotten fruit & veg. to home games.
    Even though the team can win against unfavourable officials (see some other recent home games) when the crowd targets a referee with wobbly knees it tends to help, like during the Everton home game last season.

  • Marcus

    I wonder if a Party running for Government put in their Manifesto,

    “We will clean up football”

    whether they would get a lot of additional votes.

    I know , I know, the corrupt can’t clean up corruption…er, well, except for the Metropolitan Police….

    But seriously, Football has to be the NO 1 leisure pursuit in this country.

    Actively supporting a club costs thousands a year, and monopoloizes one day in seven…

    There must be about a million people who actively go to matches for clubs on a regular basis….

  • Mandy Dodd

    off topic, but report in Sunday People claims Vermaelen seriously considered leaving due to events in the summer
    Very very thankful something changed his mind, hope the same will go for others, but if this is in anyway true…considering the source…it does explain what we have managed to move on from, dark days indeed….

  • novicegooner

    not only in EPL, but also in europe do the refs try make our life harder after we’re 1-0 up or down.

    what’s going on? why there’s so much hatred from the officials towards Arsenal?

  • applepierre

    Please, fcol this is killing the game!
    It is painful and extremely disheartening when you think of how Arsenal fc have always been cheated. At this point you ask yourself if it worth it. I mean football should be a sport, ideally.
    Why is it that when a particular club drops points, others as a rule orchestrated by some men in black must also drop points?
    I am not surprised by the fate of english football at the global front.
    Euro 2012 is around the corner, and the same fate awaits you. No disrespect to Theo, Jack and co.

  • Marcus

    Shit… Gary Speed found hanged

  • Mandy Dodd

    unbelievable – RIP Gary Speed

  • Arvind

    Gary Speed gone. Just like that. And you’d think everything was looking good for Wales recently. Just goes to show what pressure these guys are under. Very very sad.

  • marcus

    I suppose probably suicide…

    but could be foul play…

    we’ll have to wait and see.

  • mike collins

    The reason we failed to win had nothing to do with MIke Dean good or bad, it was down to our own lathargic and one paced display. Reasons for that may be many or few. Referees have been making good bad and indifferent calls since I starred watching AFC in the 1950s so come off it just put the blame where it really is and that is on our own display. Living in NOrth America I really like the general rule where officials are concerned and that is any display of petulence or back chatting by a player is rewarded by being told to exit the field. A draw was the result of the excellent TV scoring an unfortunate own goal and by our midfield lacking invention and bite. Mike Dean no matter how poor he may have been had nothing to do with either of those things.

  • bob

    Marcus, Tony,
    Your anger is well placed, but your solution (Marcus) misplaced.
    Agreed (w/Tony): a new benchmark low in horror reffing
    Agreed: (w/Marcus): The players will not revolt, but you suggest only this will change the bent calling.
    Reality: Unless we all start that petition somewhere, and give it a chance to catch fire, there will be exactly this review and set of comments every time that Mike Dean or his clone referees our matches.
    Perhaps: This bent man of the match will have lit the spark that starts the prairie fire that begins to turn the EPL towards fair play.
    Proposed: Only a league-wide fan petition will start to change things. Will UA (admin or readers) start that petition? Or team up with another Arsenal blog or two to do so? Or approach another blog or two that cover other sides, and do so? One person can’t do this; enough fans (not even 50 percent are needed, but fans from several teams are) can kick start that petition – and, to fix it, insist on video replay while we’re at it; because goal line technology (they’re reviewing 19 different bids/systems, they slobber!)
    is a delaying tactic to never have a fair pitch that is “out of (their) control”
    When: That, is the question – the fans’ question (not the players). Well?…

  • Notoverthehill

    I would like to point out that the club on the wrong side of town, has an unusual and unexpected amount of cash lying around as at 30th June 2011.

    As there are NO games at that stadium in June, why £17K in the Petty Cash column? AND the wording in that Note to the Accounts is most ODD. Brown envelopes and IOUs spring to mind with a certain member of the staff!

  • bob

    mike collins,
    Your so-called argument is totally out of touch with the patterns of non-calls (inept and mendacious) that demonstrably have afflicted this side; and have been shown to do so over the course of the last few seasons. You have had nothing to say except show up, right on cue, and bleat on with your heavy cleats and bullying style about how real men should take whatever shit comes their way and get on with it. This has nothing to do with reasoning and arguments. It is a philosophy of life that you insist on, right on cue, not the ongoing evidence of ref reviews by the bushels full. (Your namesake would be ashamed.)

  • dan

    cant the club do something about Dean?

  • bob

    Why? This will sound uncharitable, as I think it is a perfectly sound question to (always) raise, and it’s fair that you do, as it is THE question. But, I still must ask: Do you have a new possible answer; or do you want a long rehash here on UA of what’s been years of discussion of this very point. Rather than spark another endless rounds of why’s from others, perhaps you’ve seen enough to venture your answer and one hopes it will add to the ongoing understanding that many here have been trying to achieve and share. So, what’ve you got, please?

  • bob

    You’re right. And perhaps the Arsenal fans should level a demand in the form of a petition that the club take action in the form of a formal protest. Of course, that would risk that we get Mike Dean, or a Mike Dean in every match until the end of the season, if not the end of time. That of course, would hurt the bottom line and so, there would be little chance of the club really taking action. BUT, if there were a groundswell amongst the fanbase and a petition to AFC management to represent our feelings to the FuckAll, it would at least be the start of a process that could catch on at other clubs and perhaps across the fanbases of several clubs. The media would surely notice that and rubish it. But to paraphrase (or is it quote) my esteemed (and I do mean it) colleague Mahdain (from the other day), fuck the media. Come on you Gunners (fans)!

  • bjtgooner

    Having watched the match a second time, my impression was that while we were not quite as sharp as we would like to be, we did control the game, Fulham contributed very little, they were set up to prevent us from playing and hoping for a lucky breakaway. Fulham were also involved in a lot of pushing, pulling and some obstruction – a bit like a certain rugby team. We did however create a number of chances and some of these should have been taken. But, jaded or not, the team gave 100%.

    @ mike collins
    I take it you did not read the Ref Review above. The Fulham goal followed two fouls neither of which was called, the second foul prevented Vermaelin from clearing the ball. So at worst we should have won 1-0, perhaps 2-0 if the late penalty had been given. While we should have scored more and it is our own fault that we did not, idiotic decisions by Dean cost us 2 points.

    It is past time Riley and his dictatorship was called to answer for the continued poor standard of refereeing in the EPL, yesterday’s performance by Dean being sadly one more example of incompetence or worse.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Kenny Dalglish had a word of complaint to Mike Riley about performances of refs earlier in the season, worked wonders for him.
    Unfortunately, doubt if any one at Arsenal has that much influence with the powers that be, in fact quite the opposite.
    A lot is written about the influence of David Dein, this is a situation where he may have been of some assistance, having said that , he could not stop Vieira getting himself in the dock on an almost weekly basis

  • iniez

    I’m with you on the petition, but I think we should wait til the end of the year once UA has a full years supply of evidence (I know its been more than a year but now its a wider scope). If we want change we have to bring it about ourselves, no ones going to knock on our door and ask what we think. Do you have any experience with petitions?

  • Mahdain

    i knew dean was pathetic yesterday but after reading this review i just cant stop shaking my head full of can this guy still be a ref? he is a biased prick who really hates us and does all his best to ensure we dont win…question is why? the only thing i can think off is that he is trying to be in good books with his mate arry …i mean dogface really what a strange relationship these two share and how arry always win when its dean in charge… riley and his mugs are doing the best they can to make sure we dont reach top 4 this season but we will fight them and not let them win.. we are the Arsenal afterall

  • Mahdain

    interesting stat.. atkinson has sent 5 players off in this season so far,3 of them against liverpool..mhh smell something?

  • mike collins

    well Mr Bob
    Insults are insults but I always thought the idea was to have free expression. I have no doubt there are bad refereees and good referees that have bad games and this may have been one of them. But to think we failed to win this game because of refereing is just not true. We failed to win because we were not good enough on the day.
    I have no doubt that we got the wrong end of some decisions but do not mistake a totally biased assessment of refereeing on an Arsenal web site as a critical piece of intellectual data analysis.
    I mean was it realy Mike DEean on that grassy knoll in Dallas?

  • Mandy Dodd

    I think there are a lot of people wanting us to fail to make the top 4 this year for a number of different reasons – and some quite unlikely ones at that. Some hate us, others may want to give Arry a good send off into England management – if that actually happens, others may even want to buy us.
    It will be difficult, Spurs will sacrifice all other competitions to get in the top 4, Liverpool do not have Europe to worry about. Chelsea are not the best now but they will buy and appoint if they have to.
    This club have to pull out all stops to get there, biased refs or not. On our sustanabe model, the potential to pay wages will drop considerably if we lose our place in the CL, and that could really hit this club. Spurs are in the same boat, but worse as they want to fund a stadium, hence top 4 is their only concern.
    That said, I do not fear either Spurs or Liverpool as a threat to us finishing in a CL place, but I do fear others behind the scenes, whoever they may be

  • bjtgooner

    @Mandy Dodd

    I agree, there is still something strange going on behind the scene. Is it a coincidence that just as we start to look a threat to the top 4 we suffer the worst refereeing of the season?

    The difficulty we have is that neither Riley or Dean can be questioned about Dean’s performance. Apart from the many wrong calls, some of them result influencing, I would like to have Dean explain his own and Fulham’s permitted time wasting.

  • Mahdain

    @mandy me too i really do not worry about spuds or liverpool teamwise but its what they do behind the scenes that makes me worry..ever since that little chat dalglish had with riley liverpool have had many questionable decisions go their way..what did they discuss? why the sudden change in their fortunes? now in spuds case they are always going to get decisions go their way thanks to the media..the wankfest spurs get really make me sick at times..they get called all names like entertainers,slick passing,beautiful spuds bla bla bla which im sure one way or another influences referees view on them…. i really think we have an uphill battle to face..we need to get all our ammunition prepared if we are to get into those top 4 positions

  • bob

    mike collins,
    Alright then: now it’s conspiracy theory and grassy knolls, your view of the work of this website? (As if you know what that’s all about.) So obvious, tired and predictable, your (rightful) exercise of freedom of expression. You opine as if both of these can’t be true: that (1) we should have converted more chances AND (2) that Mike Dean severely tilted the playing field at the Emirates, this time. Imo, both are true. That means Mike Dean is utterly incompetent or utterly bent, or both. Nice try to change the subject, but your so-called type of reasoning might work at LeGrove or the Sun. Are you’re auditioning for work in the next media orgy against Arsene/AFC? Well done, then.

  • Mahdain

    there is something that really makes me balotelli`s words why always us? why do they hate us so much? is it because of our french manager? is it because we dont overpay for average english players? or is it because we dont have the supposed english spine that every epl team needs to have? why or why always us?

  • Arun

    @ mike
    If your words are considered true, then why manure is filling the media pages with that penalty appeal ???? They should’ve created more and scored more.

  • Johnny Deigh


  • Laundryender


    I can assure you the worst refereeing i have seen this season is against Wigan.

    Dean yesterday was exemplary in comparison to Mariner Wigan V Blackburn.

    There is no conspiracy, just team prepared to go to the limits of the laws and referees unable to spot what is happening.

  • bob

    Walter, Dogface,
    It may well become that Mike Dean turns into this year’s poster boy (or part of an Unholy Trinity with Messrs. Dowd and Webb, etc. etc.). How has Mad Mike done with other sides by comparison with AFC? And if it appears that he’s being our designated hatchet man, I would ask that a January article – or series here – that collects and interprets the data that may show that trend be posted here and widely publicized. This, so that at least an attempt at an intervention about him is made known at FA HQ and at the Hives of Riley: that they are put on notice that there are many eyes on them; and that we can show there has been an ongoing demonstrable pattern at work. I do not feel this should wait, like good schoolboys, until the end of the season. Not that these creatures care, or will ever publicly pretend they care; but even if it achieves more nuanced and subtle ref behavior on the pitch – unlike Mad Mike’s latest escapade – it can mean the difference between one point and no points going forward. What they can’t achieve in the media should not be allowed to return to the pitch.

  • bob

    “…just referees unable to spot what is happening.” Do you really believe this in your heart of hearts? If they can’t spot it, should they not be replaced? Do you believe that there no ref review at the PGMOL, when they themselves say there is a match-by-match in-house referee assessment report by a private (I’m sure verry private) after each match? And if there is no action taken against Mad Mike after (to be charitable) this performance (such as losing an assignment or two) would you really still trust the PGMOL? And if Mad Mike finds himself promoted to higher profile matches (a la Howard Webb), would you really still trust the PGMOL? Referees “unable to spot what is happening” need to be replaced by referees who are able to spot what is happening. That would be a welcome fix. If the problem, I submit, is that they are able, but not WILLING, to spot what is happening, then, dear Watson, we have another kettle of fish. Would you not agree, on either score?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wish I knew the answer, but the better we do, the more we suffer at the hands of certain refs. And if any ref can be bought…..
    I am sure you guys know about this, but just a reminder on the past activity of Mike Dean:

  • bob

    Well put, your logic. The problem, however, is that it is logical. Mike Collins “position” is not about logic: it’s the equation of any analysis that finds a pattern of bad refereeing with unmanly whinging, not keeping a stiff upper lip and getting on with it, being a poor sport when all the bad calls automatically even out at the end, etc. etc. It’s all ingrained, knee-jerk behavior that just keeps a real man’s match day free from anything serious to consider. Just stupid fun you see. Just, supposedly, what we all want; or are taught to want.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Despite countless examples hinting at the opposite, I find it very hard to believe that there is an EPL referee conspiracy to reduce Arsenals chances season after season, as I can’t find any reasonable or plausible explanation for why they’d want to do that. However the second premise is far more likely…sheer incompetence. Maybe MD is bent, maybe he’s bought but more likely he’s pretty 2nd rate and incompetent.
    What I do notice that supports the second premise, is that when we are officiated by European officials, we seem to get a better quality referring and end up thereby doing better overall. Maybe one of the problems is that with only 16 officials in the EPL, the same guys get the same teams too often and that familiarity leads to contempt and or indifference.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Cheers! That’s a great link you’ve unearthed on Mike “Play On” Dean. To continue to work after he well might have been terminated makes one think that he is a man who owes a favor or two, on collection days. Then again, perhaps one (me) has been watching the Godfather films a few times too many?

  • dan

    Wasn’t Dean involved in some kind of betting syndicate/scandal? How could the EPL have such shady character ref professional club football, surely something is rotten.

  • Laundryender

    My favourite all time football quote

    “There are 23 men on a football pitch, and only one is not a cheat”

    Bill Nicholson

    Fulham scrapped and pushed the laws to the limit, as all clubs do that are desperate, be it to win or lose.

    Regardless of the sport professionalism happens, in a game as fluid as football it is almost impossible to referee that professionalism. Dean is not a cheat; he is just not a very good referee.

  • bob

    With all respect, if Mad Mike is most like so “2nd rate and incompetent,” then why is he still an EPL referee? Again, how, after Mandy Dodd’s link about his 2005 suspension over wrongful “outside interests,” would you explain that he still one of only 16 EPL referees? This is the EPL, as you appreciate, not a third-rate backwater. How can a ref of this calibre – or any “2nd rate and incompetent” ref stay part of those 16?

  • bob

    p.s. sorry, meant to say, “most likely so…”

  • bob

    Have a look at Mandy Doddy’s link and you’ll have your answer.

  • bjtgooner


    If Mariner was worse than Dean then it is yet another reason why Riley should put his house in order – or be fired. Unfortunately nothing ever happens.

    If over a season ref wrong calls balance out or nearly balance out then mistakes in any individual match can be excused as errors. However, last season we were shafted by a number of refs, match after match. This certainly looked like an anti Arsenal agenda. I have not seen anything since to convince me otherwise.

    Do we know the nature of the link between the FA and the PGMOL and is the latter directly financed by the FA. I must admit I don’t know the details.

    Thanks for the link – very interesting.

  • Mandy Dodd

    You could well be right Bob, strange how he is still a ref, after all they need to be seen as whiter than white. Ok , anyone deserves a chance,but with some jobs, you should not have baggage, you would not knowingly appoint a judge who used to be say an insurance fraudster, a priest who has unhealthy desires.. sorry cross that one out,or a future England manager who ….sorry, innocent until proven guilty!

    We were not the best yesterday, but nor was Dean, we have won 1 out of 10 games with him in charge.
    Grounds for at least some suspicion

  • dan


    Still there is not excuse for the EPL to have such a crap ref.

  • bob

    I don’t know the FA/PGMOL link, except that both are private companies with boards of directors and management. Whoever currently serves in these positions is a matter of public record (wherever it is made public, which it must be). There may be directors or management that sits on both at the same time (I don’t think or know that anything legally forbids that.) But football is not that big a world, so that people in such positions surely are the usual old boys network of trusted colleagues. That doesn’t answer your question, or my curiousity, but it offers a place for anyone interested in looking into the public record (say for a college term paper?)

  • bjtgooner


    Thanks for the info. I might look into this a bit further.

  • dan


    Possibly the likes of Liverpool/Utd could pull stings to have hand chosen persons in PGMOL?

    Historically these clubs have the upper hand in such schemes, pool alway got dodgy penalties and utd have clocked up yrs if not hours with added time sham.

  • bob

    p.s. I’d also guess that there’s a contract between two private entities for PGMOL to provide FA with referees, and perhaps PGMOL has to be FIFA-approved to do so. Does anyone know how this formally works?

  • bob

    Just as a case study, say, someone could do a really interesting one on five years of “Fergie Time,” and correlate the matches with who were the refs, and who was atop PGMOL at the time. We could use a wealthy-enough backer to fund such righteous “historical research” Perhaps someone now or once at AFC, or whose team was hard done by Fergie Time. I mean this in the forhcoming blessed year of our Lord Fergus XX (the Anointment-in-waiting). Perhaps there could be an Untold Historical Research Division which could field proposals for research of this sort that could shed light on current misdoings? (If so, there’s been talent aplenty for such undertakings among UA readership.)

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    btw, I think, by complexion as well, that they are whiter than white!

  • bjtgooner


    The PGMOL is sponsored by Tune Group – formerly by Air Asia a Tune Group company. Tune group is Malaysian owned!

  • dan

    The QPR connection???

  • bob

    aka Pandora’s Box.
    curiouser and curiouser, sez Alice.

  • bob

    “What, club owners that spon$or ref associations?,” sez Alice.
    “Shocked!”, i say! “Shocked!”
    (What next, gambling in Casablanca?!)

  • dan

    So who recommended Fernandes for QPR and people like him have their hands in every pie.

  • dan

    But the refs & PGMOL have been crap way before Air Asia/Tune got involved, could clubs/governing bodies have a direct involvement and recommendations for sponsors. One hand washes the other

  • bjtgooner

    @dan & bob

    Didn’t QPR win against Chelsea recently with some controversial decisions?

  • dan

    Bang on sir (bjtgooner)

    Who was the ref? Wasn’t it our dearest friend Peter Walton?

    The guy who single handedly screwed us over in our very 1st match of the season.

  • bjtgooner


    Chris Foy officiated at QPR v Chelsea.

  • dan

    Right you are sir bjtgooner.

  • Donnyfan1

    Why does everyone get worked up about Blatter? It isn’t as though he is a suspect ref who gives 26 wrong calls to one team and only 4 to the other! It isn’t as though he does the same thing every time he refs a particular team!! Blatter may be a disgrace but he is not bringing the Premier League into disrepute. Riley– get your arse in gear and look at Dean’s last 8 Arsenal games and let us know if you want someone like that reffing your team!!!!

  • bob

    Donnyfan1, all
    You might enjoy the interesting Wikipedia entry on Mike Dean’s boss Mike Riley, the Mike of Mikes, keeper of the Hives of Riley:

  • Marcus

    @mikecollins. Corruption is corruption Mike. Your argument is to let it continue because it was ever thus. In Italy it took mothers to start the fight against the mafia.

  • bjtgooner


    Thanks for the link. Riley has had quite a colourful history! I’m surprised that with such a record he was promoted to manager of the PGMOL. It begs the rhetorical question – where there any other candidates?

  • bob

    Yes, on the other candidate: It was Mike Riley. It was 50/50 and guess who cast the deciding vote? ________ (your choice)

  • WalterBroeckx

    An interesting thing in the link to wikipedia is the fact that the link in the wikipedia article to the controversial MU-Arsenal game that stopped our unbeaten run is wrong. Or would the Mail have removed that article since then?

  • dan

    Riley and his cronies but the biggest joke is EPL.