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About bad signs and omens but what do I know

By Walter Broeckx

Most of the time I am of the more optimistic kind of Gooners one could say. But there are a few reasons why I want to warn you that our game against Wigan will not be an easy ride.

If we look at the omens, the calendar and, well, you know, the guy who supposed to stand in the middle and be fair…. it doesn’t look good.

Let us start with the day: Tuesday.

CL 18/9/2012 Montpellier – Arsenal 1-2

CC 30/10/2012 Reading – Arsenal 5-7

CL 06/11/2012 Schalke – Arsenal 2-2

CL  04/12/2012 Olympiacos – Arsenal 2-1

CC 11/12/2012 Bradford – Arsenal 1-1

PL 01/01/2013 Southampton – Arsenal 1-1

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

CL 19/02/2013 Arsenal – Bayern Munich 1-3

PL 16/04/2013 Arsenal – Everton 0-0

So in total we played on 8 Tuesdays this season. The total record is 2 wins, 2 games lost and  4 draws. In percentages this gives us a 25% win chance, a 50% draw chance and a 25 % losing chance.  Compare this to the around 54% win chance in general you see we dislike Tuesdays as the Boomtown Rats disliked  Mondays.

If we look at the home games it starts to get very  worrying. We played 2 games at home of those 8 and we couldn’t win one of them. We lost to Bayern Munich and only managed a draw against Everton.  So no win yet on a Tuesday in a home game for Arsenal this season.

Whereas Wednesday is a day of the week that is far better for Arsenal. This season we had 6 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.  In percentages this is 66,67% wins, 22,22% draws and 11,11% lost games. I somehow would have preferred playing this game on a Wednesday.

Let us look at Wigan. Master survivors in the PL. Last season they seemed doomed half way through the season and managed to climb up to 15th place in the last months of the season thanks to a few surprise wins. We all remember one of them I think.

The season before, again they escaped rather narrowly from being in the bottom 3 and finished in 16th place just 3 points above the team going down.  The season before that again in 16th place and this time a bigger gap of 6 points but they were into the relegation debate for a long while.  In fact you have to go back to the season 2008/2009 to see them finish in mid table and rather far away from the relegation battle. But since then they had to dig themselves out of what seemed a deep hole each season. And they did it. So can they reproduce it again? We will know shortly.

And last of the bad signs for this game is the ref: Mike Dean. What more can we say that hasn’t been said before on this blog? Together with Probert the ref with the most clear bias against Arsenal. When I see their names in an Arsenal game I start to fear for the result. And when the name Dean is linked to a game such asArsenal – Wigan I just feel like giving up.

I can point at the win percentage we have under Dean of late. 9%. Not even the crappiest team in the PL has such a low win percentage. We have when Dean is the ref.  We have the amazing win percentage that Wigan has when Dean is the ref: 50% win chance for Wigan. If Dean were their ref for each game they would be fighting for CL qualification and not fighting against relegation.

And as pointed before out Dean has his “favourite” assistants with him. Always easy and fine when you have build up a good relation with the assistants. Certainly in case when…well you might see some strange decisions.

So the omens point at Wigan surviving in the PL for a few seasons with a Houdini-like escape trick.  The week-calendar suggest that we haven’t won a PL game on a Tuesday at home all season. And we have our Dean-bogey-ref and Wigan have their lucky charm ref.

When you look at all this it seems that we might need a miracle to beat Wigan.  I don’t know what the odds are in the betting world as we don’t have a real betting world where I live but if I were to be a bookmaker I would have Wigan as the favourite team.

All the odds are against Arsenal. So we might need the boys to perform at a heroic level. A height like when we beat Tottenham 5-2 last and this season.  And we will need the fans to be up to it from the first second of the game and stay behind the team till the ultimate second of the game.

Or maybe we could pretend that it is Wednesday?  We could pretend that Dean is a fair ref. And we could think that Wigan is Tottenham. Or we just could get out there, get the win and show that all what I have written was bollocks.

Recent posts

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The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.

———————

The books…

The sites from the same team…

 

78 comments to About bad signs and omens but what do I know

  • WalterBroeckx

    on the other hand… when we went to Bayern Munich we faced the battering of our season (according to all and everyone). We not only were one of the 2 teams that won at their ground, we also were the only team that kept them from scoring in their own stadion in this season.
    Talking about winning against the odds….

  • Arsenal1

    We all know we’ll beat Wigan tonight!!!! 5.0. Wigan haven’t got a hope in hell in staying in the premiership.

  • americangooner

    I think the primary objective tomorrow should be for Arsenal to score as early as possible. the last few matches have shown that an early goal is very important. if we see some stats we haven’t lost a match in which we have led in the first half. this is true of Bayern Munich match. on the contrary arsenal are also the ones scoring the most goals during the last 15 minutes (18). given that our omen – dean – is officiating the match it is imperative that arsenal score as early as possible to minimize the influence he will have on the game. The early goal also will force wigan to open the game a bit thus limiting the parking the bus strategy.

  • americangooner

    I think the primary objective tomorrow should be for Arsenal to score as early as possible. the last few matches have shown that an early goal is very important. if we see some stats we haven’t lost a match in which we have led in the first half. this is true of Bayern Munich match. on the contrary arsenal are also the ones scoring the most goals during the last 15 minutes (18). given that our omen – dean – is officiating the match it is imperative that arsenal score as early as possible to minimize the influence he will have on the game. The early goal also will force wigan to open the game a bit thus limiting the parking the bus strategy.

  • Clown shoes

    Mike Dean…. I feel sick.

    Odds at present for the game:-

    Arsenal $1.36
    Wigan $8.00

    I for one will be having a bet on Wigan, to soften any potential blow. Still feeling sick.

    Mike f#ckin Dean. you couldn’t make it up.

  • naked goon

    with all the rumpus that goes on about match fixing, why is there no investigation into this gross anomaly of a win % when Mike Dean is on the whistle? 9 % ?, I think its time to turn it to our advantage and start betting AGAINST an Arsenal win whenever Dean is in charge.
    We might get a few squeaky bums then….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anyone got a million to spare? Put it on Wigan and maybe the alarm bells will start ringing 😉

  • chris

    Do us a favour if all you have to write about is doom and gloom then don’t, sick of reading about all you so called anti arsenal supporters who say they love the club , by the way the sky’s falling in theres a bit more doom and gloom for you

  • naked goon

    Mass betting on Wigan in North London. Come on everyone, lets get this Dean fellow finished. If we lose our money Arsenal get the points, not so bad. A draw is useless to Wigan.
    Personally, despite the ref, I think Wigan will be knackered and AFC will get the win. 3-1.

  • @babakrdaemi

    Funny walter but next year I think we should as a gtoup use the ref stats to back teams and make it clear on social media. It will soon get picked up. Cant bring myself to back against arsenal. Couldnt collect the winnings even if it did come in.

    Come on the gunners

  • jim stewart

    It’s the 4th official we should be worried about……He trains with Wigan, he was the one upstairs taken the fairs when the boy from Newcastle had that horror tackle which he claimed he never saw and the hand ball that proved to be the winning goal which he also never saw, so I think Mike Dean is the leased of our worries.

  • naked goon

    just spread the word from now, “Mike Dean is the 9% man”. it will soon get around then all eyes will be on him.

  • Chris, I don’t think you’ve quite got the hang of this site.

  • Amani Tangalo

    If the ref is proved to have bias against Arsenal,why should the FA let him be the ref for such a crucial game? strange!

  • ozed

    We will rip them to shreds!!! it wont matter if the ref were Martinez himself.
    Wigan’s fairytale run of great escapes is over.

    Say, I said so.

  • Tej

    Good post to bring the ref bias forward. I follow all posts of untold without fail. By the I doing research in mental toughness. So may be I will try to write a post in untold. How can I do that?

  • ChrisN

    We score lots of goals we win. If it’s very close, then Wigan will get the benefit of the doubt. Simple. Don’t settle for a 1-0, boys!!!!!

  • Pete

    As noted on another thread, bet on an Arsenal red card. That way the suspicious betting pattern will be much more obvious. It is also the easiest way Dean can decisively swing the match in Wigan’s favour.

  • nicky

    Arsenal are at home. Playing a team fighting to avoid relegation.
    The outcome (on paper) must be a home win.
    But football is funny old game….a bit like golf, when, just when things are going well, they suddenly go wrong.
    The main thing tonight for the fans is NOT to heap pressure on the team by sounds of frustration when our game is not going right (as will happen).
    Bags of support for 90 minutes and whoever is refereeing will have no effect on the result.

  • Gf60

    Only one simple way 🙂 Score 3 in the first 10 minutes that even Dean can’t disallow. Then another 2 in the final 10.
    Happiness is and Dean’s score will up to about 11%. That’s progress.

  • marcus

    Have to agree with Walter_PPK, the vibes are bad.

    We need to win 4-0 in real terms so that in the alternate universe called the EPL we actually win about 3-2.

    Cannot see 4-0 in the team right now.

  • marcus

    The betting idea is fantastic. Someone needs to go to every Arsenal Blog and spread the idea. £10 on a Wigan Win, £5 on a Wigan penalty, £5 on an Arsenal red.

    This will unify all Arsenal supporters, AAA and AKB alike.

    Ideally, place the bets in the hour before the match….

    This has to go viral…Texts, Facebook, Twitter. I’d even Tweet Piers Morgan, that’s how far I’d go on this.

  • Shard

    lol @ marcus for Walter_PPK.. How’s that for a smoking gun? 🙂

  • marcus

    UA can adopt a motto:

    “Unusual refereeing patterns deserve unusual betting patterns”

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter, who takes over if Dean pulls a muscle or something, a not impossible situation with him starting his third game in a week and only having had one day rest.

    We need to start at and maintain as high a tempo as possible in order to pressurise both Wigan and Dean.

    With almost any other official I would be confident, as it is I am fearful of the outcome but will be there shouting for all I’m worth.

    COYG

  • marcus

    Jeepers, Wigan are 7-1 (16%?) but they have had 43% of the bets on this match..according to the pie chart.

    http://www.oddschecker.com/football/english/premier-league/arsenal-v-wigan/winner

  • Tasos

    Arsenal red card tonight can be backed @ 10-1 with Paddy P.

    Laurent Koscielny has played 11 games for Arsenal with Mike Dean in charge and received 4 yellows and 2 reds during that period. He looks the most likely victim.

    BTW Anyone listen to last nights Arsenal fans forum?

    Tom Watt made special reference to Arsenal’s particularly poor record with Mike Dean in charge.

  • bob

    Adam, Jim Stewart,
    What’s the name of the 4th guy Jim?
    Gooners should come in knowing that name, be ready to chant “Fix,” blow whistles, and showing them A4 red cards. An ocean of nay-saying to these fixers.

  • marcus

    Ladies and Gentlemen , place your bets.

    Red or Black.

  • Stroller

    What with bad omens, Mike Dean and Wigan’s cup success it’s starting to feel like the odds are stacked against us tonight. The media are more pro-Wigan than pro-Arsenal and have probably drafted their stories in readiness of Wigan survival and Arsenal failure.

    BUT…come on! We are playing for a successive Champion’s League place. They are playing to avoid the drop. The league table tells us that we are a much, much better side than them. They will play with spirit and no little skill, but we should still prevail, Dean or no Dean.

    The risk is that our players don’t turn up like City, or freeze, lose their heads, or make stupid mistakes. We’ve done all of these things at some stage this season, and also lost to inferior sides. I don’t fear an injustice more than an aberration, but trust the team not to let us down again.

  • GoonerPete

    When we lost in the cup to Blackburn (Dean was ref), I placed a bet on Blackburn in Ladbrokes down Holloway road. When I went back to claim my winnings the cashier said she remembered me and that the staff there were having a chuckle at as I was the only punter all days that had bet for the away team.

    I said it was Mike Dean, He’s bent as a curly fry and always ensures we lose.

    I’ll be doing the same tonight.

    In fact make it more obvious. All place your bets through Ladbrokes and anyone going to the game tonight, do it in the same shop. Down Holloway road, near to the station across the road.

    That’ll be bound to get investigated, surely?!

  • zdzis

    “If Dean were their ref for each game they would be fighting for CL qualification and not fighting against relegation.”

    Honestly, I’m 100% with you as far as professionalism among refs is concerned. English refs are typically thoroughly unprofessional, committing error after error and getting into shady business with clubs and sponsors on a far too regular basis. But this sentence takes it a bit too far.
    One very clear argument which, I think, elucidates the whole Dean quandary is that since 2009 almost the only Arsenal games he refereed were against the top 4 or 6. You can check that with ease, before 2009 (when he suddenly ceased to give us any favours) most of his Arsenal games were against the leser sides. That’s the key difference. As for Wigan, since 2009/10, Dean refereed only 2 of their games against top 4 (Chelsea), the rest being against the likes of West Ham, Bolton, etc., with the odd Newcastle game along the way (generally only sides below 8th). The record is very much even, 5-2-5, but both Chelsea games were sound beatings (0:6 (H) in 2010 and 1:4 (A) in 2013).
    Or, to put it differently, I am not questioning the possibility of a bias against Arsenal, but rather suggesting that Dean is an at best acceptable referee who commits many horrible errors. I’m not questioning our record in his games, but I really wish you took other factors into account as well. It seems much more likely that a change in the refereeing standard can happen if we cease fighting against what we perceive as bias and focus on the unprofessional side of the refereeing business – or, perhaps, the business side of refereeing.

    (That’s where you can invoke the relations between PGMOL and ManU or the shady sponsorship deals, as well as those weird rules that somehow don’t bind.)

    PS. As for the so-called “Dean’s jig,” doesn’t it strike you as weird for the ref to supposedly enjoy having us lose, and then allow us to win so convincingly? If he really wanted, he could make the game very, very miserable for us – penalties on demand, unjustified red cards, etc. The more English refs I see, the more inclined I am to think they are generally undereducated, self-loving morons – with a few surprising exceptions. From where I stand, Dean strikes me as an unexceptional figure in that regard.

  • Adam

    @bob.

    19:45 Arsenal v Wigan Mike Dean J Collin J Brooks P Dowd

    Phil Dowd is a Stoke fan. So we just need to send Steve Bould to have a word in his ear.

    If you have a look at Dean’s appointments this season, he has a good away win rate.

  • Adam

    Odd occurrence, the premier league/PGMOL usually release their “officials appointments” by now for the weekend, But no, maybe they are waiting on tonight’s results?

  • AL

    Our record under dean is appalling, one win in about what, 18 or 19 games? Its only matched by chelsea’s record under atkinson, which mirrors our inversely; about 18 wins and one loss.
    And to suggest dean has only been involved when we play big teams in the last 4 or 5 years is slightly inaccurate. I know we have lost or drawn against Birmingham, lost against Blackburn, Bradford, just from the top of my head.

    One thing that’s clear is everyone is against us tonight; the media, top four rivals, the ‘neutrals’, so I am expecting a tough encounter. I think an early goal might settle nerves, but it may also allow an unscruplous official to start manipulating the game in wigan’s favor. These refs usually blatantly aid their team when it is losing, so perhaps scoring two goals around the 70 minute mark might not be such a bad idea. If we do get a red card then it may not be enough to change the outcome. But I’m expecting wigan being left to get away with fouls throughout the match while the slightest nudge from our players get penalized. Hoping for a good result tonight though.

  • AL

    Of course you cant plan to score two goals at a certain time in any game, impossible. But just saying if we are to get them in quick succession, I’d rather they come midway through the second half, rather than in the first 20 minutes…. Obviously the ideal is not always what happens, and 2 or more goals at any time would be most welcome:)

  • nicky

    Too many fans are getting paranoid about Dean.
    We simply must concentrate on OUR performance and play so well that the match officials are merely bit players and have no effect on the result (as indeed they should).
    In my view, if Dean DOES perform corruptly, with all the publicity, there will such an outcry that action will need to be taken.

  • Adam

    English FA Cup Sa 16Feb 2013 Arsenal 0 – 1 Blackburn
    English Premier Su 13Jan 2013 Arsenal 0 – 2 Man City
    Capital One Cup Tu 11Dec 2012 Bradford 1 – 1 Arsenal
    English Premier Sa 03Nov 2012 Man Utd 2 – 1 Arsenal
    English Premier Su 23Sep 2012 Man City 1 – 1 Arsenal

    English Premier Sa 21Apr 2012 Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea
    English Premier Sa 31Mar 2012 QPR 2 – 1 Arsenal
    English Premier Su 26Feb 2012 Arsenal 5 – 2 Tottenham
    English Premier Su 22Jan 2012 Arsenal 1 – 2 Man Utd
    English Premier Sa 26Nov 2011 Arsenal 1 – 1 Fulham
    English Premier Su 02Oct 2011 Tottenham 2 – 1 Arsenal

    Carling Cup Su 27Feb 2011 N Arsenal 1 – 2 Birmingham
    English FA Cup We 19Jan 2011 Leeds 1 – 3 Arsenal
    Premier League Su 07Nov 2010 Arsenal 0 – 1 Newcastle
    Premier League Su 03Oct 2010 Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal

    Last 2 seasons under Dean.

  • Adam

    Played 15
    won 2
    drawn 4
    lost 9

  • Rupert Cook

    Not worried about the ref. Four of those defeats were to better teams. Another away to Spuds, not an easy place to win. The other four were to weaker teams but we played poorly against Birmingham. The two questionable results would be the Newcastle and Blackburn games, the latter which we dominated. The Newcastle game was another poor performance if I remember correctly but I maybe wrong.

  • Adam

    Its amazing. in the posts above I just give information. Yet some (yes you Rupert) give opinion.

    How are you, by the way Rupert?

  • Al

    “In my view, if Dean DOES perform corruptly, with all the publicity, there will such an outcry that action will need to be taken.”
    Apologies for continuing with the negativity but I dont remember any action being taken when we were mugged at OT in 2004. Afraid the only outcry will be on sites like this one, and you will only hear plaudits for Wigan in the mainstream media.

    Adam,
    Thanks for that list, I can see straight away about 5 or 6 games we should have won in that list, but didn’t. Anyway, enough with the negavity, COYG!!!!

  • Arun

    Marcus
    I think that we do have strange betting patterns here. The odds are heavily in favor of Arsenal but the site tells us that more bets (45.14% v 44.36%) are on a Wigan win rather than the Arsenal one. So, a lot of people do know about Dean and his record against Arsenal.

  • Adam

    Certain things people don’t know about Dean and some other referee’s.

    And that is their route up the football officials pyramid. The time it takes them to get certain teams. For instance, it took Dean over 100 professional games to get a Premiership game Leicester Vs Southampton back in September 2000 (I think) the next game he gets is an Arsenal home game. OK, not a problem on its own but then if we compare when Dean and other officials get their first Old Trafford game, then a pattern is starting to emerge.

    Deans first Old Trafford game was in December 2002. He had to wait another 2 years before being trusted up there?

    To put it another way Dean can do Arsenal games after 100 games of experience, for him to get a United game he needed 200 games of experience.

    Is it any wonder that a certain bias exists?

  • Adam

    Nice to hear the crowd giving Mike Dean what for.

    Cannot believe that was a free-kick for their goal, they seem to look for a free-kick in that area.

    I wonder if Dean knows that?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dean started surprisingly well (in an attempt to show he is not biased at all?)
    Then with some 10 minutes to go in the first half he began his ‘show’ that we all know.
    Not calling fouls against Wigan when there is something going on but punishing Arsenal and certainly close to their goal for any contact that can be seen.
    What is the chance of Arsenal getting such a free kick from which Wigan scored?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe the “poor soul” tries to be unbiased but after half an hour his hate against Arsenal takes over….

  • Gooner Murphy

    any one got a good link for the game please

  • Shard

    The fans at the stadium were chanting ‘Cheat. cheat. cheat’ at Dean. We all know what is going on. Come on Arsenal. Don’t get distracted. Let’s just blow Dean and Wigan away and score 2 quick goals in the second half.

  • AL

    Even the Sky commentators agree that it was never a free kick. This is playing v 12 men, for real.

  • John

    How can the commentators overlook the repeated and obvius reality about Dean. The man is a disgrace and the PGMOL and the FA who must be complicit in his biased behaviour equally so.

    What can it t ake for a formal investigation into such corruption to be demanded?

  • AL

    Theo was onside, ffs, whats wrong with these officials????

  • Adam

    Wigan have figured it out; fall over, get a free-kick.

  • Shard

    Mike Dean looks forlorn with his body language 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    We’ve beaten the Dean!
    sorry Wigan don’t take it personal.

  • Persian gunner

    I couldn’t watch the game, just reading the stream line from sky
    The only thing that helped me to stay calm was that I knew that you are also fallowing the game beside me
    Thank you friends!
    So proud of all you gunners 🙂

  • Adam

    Wigan will be alright, they are a decent club. Cannot see many teams from the championship beating them next season if they can bring in a decent center back. Although there are some big clubs in the Championship.

  • Shard

    Adam

    I don’t think they’ll be able to keep their team. Nor probably their manager. Their reliance on the PL Tv money is huge. Something like 80% of their revenue or something.

    On a separate note, I thought all the matches on the final weekend are played simultaneously. Why do Spurs kick off 1 hour after us?

  • Gunz

    Did you hear the crowd at Emirates when Wenger was applauding the supporters?
    “There’s only one Arsene Wenger! one Arsene Wenger!”
    I think show there is only a minuscule section of home fans(not supporters) that want Wenger out. GOYG! Bring on the toon!

  • Shard

    Aah..ok.Just checked the BBC..We all kick off at 4. That was just Sky advertising the time for their pre match build up.

  • AL

    Shard, think Sky will start their chit chat at 3pm, but all matches will kick of same time.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, Theo was way offside. I think your tv might be a little awry.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Al, Theo was way offside. I think your tv might be a little awry.

  • Shard

    Al,

    Thanks. Yeah I figured that out finally.

    rupert
    I think Al meant the one in the second half when Theo was onside. Actually Walcott worked really hard tonight. Did well too. More of that please Theo.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Walcott was onside in the second half in the opening minutes.
    for the disallowed goal in the first half he was well offside. Was a good finish though…

    the disallowed goal from Wigan was also well offside

  • Rupert Cook

    I thought he meant the first goal so my error.

  • Rupert Cook

    Was impressed with Walcott. Actually got a full 90 minutes from him. The team played with unrivaled passion.

  • Shard

    We must beat Newcastle by 2 clear goals on Sunday. Just in case Chelsea slip up and draw with Everton, we could get 3rd place.

  • Adam

    Steve McQueen the cooler king is back this weekend.

    Shard, Never really thought about the TV money, don’t they get parachute payments to help with that.
    Oh, another thing, they have to adhere to the new ffp rules for the championship.

    Maybe I should retract my earlier statement?

  • Adam

    Was Walcott playing? I didn’t notice. And where was Santi?

  • Florian

    Well, it wasn’t Arsenal-Mike Dean 5-2, it was equivalent:)

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh well, what did I know… LOL 🙂

  • Pat

    Al, your earlier comment turned out to be amazingly true.
    You said if we get an early goal the officials will have to act in Wigan’s favour, which Dean did for the ‘free kick’ they scored from.
    Only this time we still won!
    Up the Gunners!

  • bob

    Shard,
    Omg: “cheat! cheat! cheat!” Really thrilling to hear our fans find our voice and call out The Dean like this. This isn’t that common in the EPL, wouldn’t you say? How can PGMOL and the hives of riley live this down? It’s the Arsenal spring!

  • Rupert Cook

    Thought it was fairly evenly reffed myself. We got lots of decisions in the first half hour which we wouldn’t have got in other games. The Arteta foul which led to the goal wasn’t a foul as I saw it but the ref could hardly know Wigan would score from it.

    Which leads me to this point. Why wasn’t there a man on the post? If there had been there’d have probably been no goal.

    In a way I think that goal worked for us more than Wigan as it gave us a reason to attack which we did, albeit after enduring ten minutes of sustained Wigan attack. The team had a real sense of purpose.

  • zdzis

    To tell the truth, haven’t seen the whole game, but am looking forward to grabbing as much highlights as I can – and reading all reports, especially from this site.
    From what I gather, Dean really stepped up only once – when Arteta was adjudged to have felled Maloney in front of the box. I saw a video of that situation, and of course, it was never a foul. The live text update at Goal.com (one of those ludicrously anti-Arsenal sites out there) quite openly stated that, comparing the situation to one from just a minute before, when Cazorla fell in front of the Wigan box and shouted for a free kick – didn’t get it. The commentator claimed both were the same, so why should Wigan get it and us not. As far as I could see, Dean was in behind Arteta, quite a few yards away. Perhaps in his view, Arteta was pushing the man down – if you look at a front view replay of the incident, you’ll see he was, in fact, leaning a bit on Maloney. No free kick, but I can understand an underwhelming referee such as Dean could have had doubts, and, as we know, those ought to work for the benefit of the attacking side.
    Other than that, no report suggested any other serious incident where Dean clearly mismanaged the situation. The fact that no Arsenal player got a yellow card and none of the Arsenal goals rightfully scored was disallowed for an imagined or petty offence seems to suggest Dean wasn’t, in effect, trying hard enough – that is, if he really wanted us to lose.

    As for Dean’s past: True, he only started refereeing ManU games 2 years later than Arsenal games (October, not December, though – 19/10/2002, Fulham-ManU 1:1), but he also wasn’t “their” referee at the start, judging from the results alone (he only got a big game in 2006, when they played Chelsea and lost hopelessly). My point about him getting much more top 4 games involving Arsenal after 2009 stands firmly: since 2009, he refereed 16 games with us – 3 with ManU, City and Chelsea, 2 with Spurs, and then the odds and ends: Burnley, Newcastle, Fulham, QPR, and now Wigan. That’s 11 games against our direct rivals and only 5 against the lesser sides. By comparison, between 2005 and 2009, he refereed 11 Arsenal games: 1 against ManU, 1 against Chelsea, and 2 against Spurs, and then single games against West Ham, Watford, West Brom, Bolton, Newcastle, Birmingham, and Blackburn. 4 games against the top sides, and 7 against lesser sides. QED.

    I also support any campaign aimed against Dean or any other referee who doesn’t do his job properly and yet continues to get paid for it. The refereeing system in England is in a horrible shape, and the avowedly best referees are oftentimes less impressive than the supposedly poorer ones. Dean is a prime example of this illness: a man who can’t officiate a single game without making at least one big error. Yet, I’d stop short of calling this conspiracy, merely because it is far easier to prove you’re being treated unprofessionally than that you’re being treated deliberately wrong. The PGMOL does operate like some sort of a mafia, and should be totally refashioned – hopefully, Ferguson’s departure might prompt some power shifts.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, I’m fine thanks.

    I do apologize for commenting on your statistics but they mean very little once you start examining them. A lot of those games involved some very average performances. That’s just my opinion though. You could equally make an argument for your side and it would almost certainly stand up against mine.

    It was great to see such a fine display from us last night. We found our goal scoring boots again, hope we keep them on for the final game.

  • Adam

    Rupert,

    I understand your points and they are very valid, I too hope that Dean is impartial, but cannot get past the loss rates we have lately under him.

    Last night there were a few occasions where, yes all three officials had the opportunity to allow Wigan to take an advantage through an off-side goal or the penalty shout. So agree to some extent that its not all cut and dry.

    But something just doesn’t sit right with me regarding the partnership of officials from last night, and I cannot prove, beyond reason anything untoward.

    Hope this clarifies my position?