By Walter Broeckx
So what can we expect from the referee in our cup game when the Blackburn Rovers come to the Emirates? I try to give you an answer to that later.
First I want to start by saying that since last Monday my head has been spinning and turning and my brains have been cooking. I have thought about different angles, how to write it and at the end of the day I decided to just do it like any other ref preview I did so far over the last weeks.
Our referee for the FA cup game is Mike Dean. From Wirral. Now if you want to say to me: just make it short then the question what we can expect from this ref would be: expect the worst.
I will show you his grim statistics and add a few remarkable facts later on but I expect the worst. To loosen the tension a bit let me just point out that for some bizarre reason I suddenly see that the English word ‘worst’ also exists in Dutch, my mother language. Translated it means sausage. So I could say that Dean is the sausage ref for Arsenal. I prefer bratwurst.
That’s it for the funny part of this preview. And even then I don’t think it is that funny. When Dean is around nothing is funny any more for the Arsenal fan in the know.
So here is the record of Arsenal in general in the PL
And this is the record of Arsenal under Dean in his career
And to make things frightening I now show you the record of Dean since 2009
So from an average win % of 57% we go to now only 7% when Dean is around.
Found this depressing? Wait till I point at this…
Our opponents PL career record looks like this
And when Dean was in charge we get this for Blackburn Rovers
So the frightening part is that his record is very much in line with the overall statistics from Blackburn but that the Arsenal record is completely out of line with the rest of the Arsenal statistics.
From now on I could give you more details of bizarre decisions he gave against us over the last years. But I think I have covered them enough. If you are interested take a quick look around the site. Fill in the search word Dean and I think you will see a few articles appearing. If you are in the mood for depressing (but well written of course) articles feel free.
But what other remarks can I make about this game and this ref. Strange things that will be coincidences of course. But never the less I think worth mentioning.
1. We have our bogey ref from the north west and we play against a team from the north west. Could you imagine the PGMOL appointing a London ref for this game? Oops, forgot people from London or from the south are not fit to referee. Well according to the PGMOL. No, the head of the PGMOL who is from Leeds up North, wants to sent a ref from up North for a game between Arsenal and a team from up North. Well by the lack of refs from the south he had no other options one could say. How convenient.
2. A few weeks ago the PGMOL appointed a new chairman. A certain John Williams. For those who want to know he was the chairman of ….Blackburn Rovers until 2011. He then went to Manchester City up North. And then to the PGMOL. Where he sits next to Mike Riley. And look then we get our bogey ref when we play against the former team of Mr. Williams. How convenient.
3. This will be the 5th game this season we have under Dean. So our bogey ref will be back on his almost monthly routine of screwing us over, and over, and over. The good news might be that we now are almost certain that Dean will not be the ref at Tottenham in 3 weeks time. I think even for the PGMOL that would be a bridge too far. But then again…
So he will be back to screw us against Manchester United. Another one from up north. I think Dean will break the all time record of any ref doing the same team the most this year.
Last season he did us over 6 times and if the PGMOL keeps their record up we will have him 7 times. And if we should reach the FA cup final I bet a lot of money it will be Dean that we will see appearing. How convenient.
This point is something that I discussed about with other referees this week and they all said that this is a very, very unhealthy situation.
To send a ref with such a record to a team over and over again is a sign that something is wrong. Completely wrong. In a way I don’t blame Dean for disliking us. But then he has to inform the PGMOL and they have to take him away from Arsenal games. A
And the PGMOL has to look at his statistics and ask Dean: what is the matter with you and Arsenal? And then have to make sure that he is only doing games when there is no other option left. But the last thing you do if you are a bit responsible is sending a ref with such a record completely out of line with the rest of the referees to that team over and over again.
So what are my tips and tricks for this game and what you can expect? (You can of course use this information if you are intending to place a bet on the match).
- A penalty against Arsenal is very much on the cards.
- A sending off from an Arsenal player is very much on the cards.
- If Vermaelen plays he will get at least a yellow card (Vermaelen knows him and knows what he is up to – I can see it in his eyes).
- No penalty for Arsenal no matter the foul unless a player saves the ball with his hands like a goalkeeper full stretched making a real save.
- Arsenal playing with 11 at the start against 12. Later it might even change to 10 against 12.
- Arsenal defenders can be fouled and the ref will let it go hoping that the opposition will win the ball close to the Arsenal penalty area and score from such a not given foul.
- When he is screwing us over he will produce the biggest smile when the Arsenal player turn to him in despair.
- The smile on his face (it is visible on TV Mr. Dean) is like a big middle finger sticking up to the players and supporters.
- A little dance when the opposition scores.
- A little jump at the end of the game if we would lose this game.
When the draw was announced I felt very confident. Since Monday I feel not that confident any more. We know what we face. We face the worst anti-ref we can face and we know that we will have to not only beat Blackburn Rovers but also we will have to neutralise his poisonous way of refereeing Arsenal games.
So a win would feel better. But I think that there is one person out there who will do his best to not let us win this game. After all pleasing the other people from up north is what he is good at.
But then again, this is the FA cup. Anything can happen. Hell even an unbiased performance…but don’t put money on that.
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