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August 2021

Arsenal v Wigan. Now the foreign media is starting to pick up on strange refereeing in the Prem League. Dean

By Walter Broeckx

So what do I know?  I wrote about bad omens and bad signs. And there the Arsenal proved me wrong. Thanks guys. Don’t mind feeling a bit stupid with my predictions being so wrong.

In fact the most important thing I tried to do was try to make us all aware that the game wasn’t going to be an easy game at all. And that was right and proved to be right. Well for the first hour or so.

Now I will not go in to detail about how it was to be there. Because I should have been there but because of Wigan reaching the FA cup final the game was put to yesterday and removed from the weekend. If Wigan hadn’t reached the cup final I would have been there. But midweek games are not really something I can afford to go to, what with living in Flanders. Mind you I was tempted.

But let me start with a few things that struck me in this game that was televised in my country on our sports channel. Even before the game started the commentator was pointing at the strange statistics we have under Dean.

So even the foreign media is starting to pick up on what we have been saying for a while now. Saying that they don’t know what or why but that there is something strange around Dean in Arsenal games.   Since no other media outlet is doing this sort of analyses except ourselves and Referee Decisions I guess they are reading us.

Welcome to the Untold world, guys.

It was also rather strange that for the first time in PL history one ref did two games so close together.  Unless someone can find some time when it did happen before… but here we have a ref doing a game from matchweek 37 between Sunderland and Southampton and now the game Arsenal – Wigan was also from matchweek 37. Oh well you know….

So what about Dean? I think he tried to stay unnoticed for a long while. But then when the fatigue stepped in he began to make a few mistakes. Minor mistakes, of course. Missing fouls in midfield. Giving advantage when there was none. Calling back for a foul when there was a clear advantage. An assistant giving an offside against Walcott that wasn’t even close to being offside.

I have told you before that when Dean is fatigued (and just for the sake of fantasy let us assume that it was all just coincidence) and starts making mistakes it is usually in midfield. Stopping the game when a slight contact is made in favour of one team and not doing it for the other, is a standard way of working for a ref who is trying to …sorry for a ref who is fatigued. I have written about this way of working before and the goal for Wigan was a perfect example. Not giving a foul against Wigan and then giving a foul against Arsenal in a very dangerous position.

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But we have educated the crowd a bit I believe – and I  say this with a bit of pride in my voice. And I noticed that the crowd was making its view clear as  Dean approached the tunnel to walk off the field.  Our work on this site and on Referees’ Decisions have been read and noted. People saw it and responded to it. And even Wenger made a little hint at his press conference. Not about this blog. But about the ref.  Very short and mild – and all the more powerful for that. He is too much a gentleman these days to make too much fuss about it.

Meanwhile the totally random appointing of referees is once again being totally random done.   Here we are on Wednesday and we still don’t know who will be the ref for next Sunday. Now of course if the referee appointments are totally random then why does Riley have to wait up to now to make the appointments? Or did he have to wait to see the results of our game yesterday to try to stop us at the last hurdle? So don’t give me the totally random appointment stuff any more. It’s a nonsense.

On other Mondays the appointments were always made public even when there were Monday evening games to be played. Only last week when there was a public holiday on Monday the appointments were delayed a bit.  Oh well… for so far the random refereeing appointments…

Back to the game. Or better said to the league table. We are 2 points behind Chelsea and one point in front of the ones down the lane. If we win at Newcastle we are 4th at least.

Now you might say: it is our last game of the season. Well there is a theoretical chance it might not be our last game. Because as things stand now this is the table we have:

3 Chelsea 37 21 9 7 73 38 35 72
4 Arsenal 37 20 10 7 71 37 34 70
5 Tottenham 37 20 9 8 65 46 19 69

But if we win 1-2  and Chelsea has a 0-0 draw it could be like this

3 Chelsea 38 21 10 7 73 38 35 73
4 Arsenal 38 21 10 7 73 38 35 73
5 Tottenham 37 20 9 8 65 46 19 69

I didn’t change the Tottenham score because when we win it doesn’t matter what they do for at least 4th place.

But then you see that we and Chelsea would come in with exactly the same number of points, games won, lost, draw, goals scored and goals conceded. And I have been told that in that case there would be another test match between Arsenal and Chelsea on a neutral ground.  So it might not be our last game after all.

This scenario also could be happening if at the same time we win 2-3 and Chelsea has a 1-1 draw. Or a 3-4 win for us and a 2-2 Chelsea draw. Of course if we win with a bigger difference and Chelsea draw or lose this will not happen and we would take 3rd place.

So the only thing we have to do is to make sure we win at Newcastle. Then we would be in 4th place at least.


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52 comments to Arsenal v Wigan. Now the foreign media is starting to pick up on strange refereeing in the Prem League. Dean

  • Double98

    This season Mike Dean has refd 39 first class matches 10 home wins, 10 draws, 19 (nineteen) away wins.

    That’s a pattern

  • Clown shoes

    Top work as ever.

    the stats speak volumes – but it is intresting to know why Dean was apointed after working the weekend.

    If these details come up please share.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Clown, Simple answer to this is that there are not many (enough) premier league class referees in England. Last time someone here posted the details of referees in England and their grade (link please any one)..

    OffTopic: Yesterday Poldi dint jump to defend the free kick. Well, I think if he had Szczesny would have even a slightest of a chance to save it. But the point that he dint jump has to point towards his ankle……

  • jax

    Sky (UK) commentators also picked up on Dean’s record in Arsenal games, so it looks like it could become more of an issue than just on a few campaigning blogs. I’d noticed the goal difference between us and Chelsea decreasing, but didn’t realise how close all the other stats were. Has this particular play off situation ever occurred before?

  • Shard

    Arsenal 13

    Or it points to the possibility that Podolski didn’t jump because the earlier free kick Wigan tried to account for the wall jumping and put it under the wall.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice work ,Walter good to see all you guys’ efforts being used constructively by the foreign media to open up others eyes to crooked EPL .
    Now that SAF has left , maybe now the English media will remove their blinkers !Not holding my breath by the way !

  • Shard


    Yesterday when I put the comment about the crowd chanting “Cheat!” at Mike Dean, I had the same thought as you. That it wouldn’t have happened a few years ago, and it is in no small part, due to the work Untold has done over the years. Well done, and thank you.

  • Florian

    So, Moyes might do us a favor even before starting his work at ManU! We should think about sending him a congrats letter, in case he manages, nice guys that we are:)

  • Nice write-up. I have never liked Dean as a person. His officiatings are always a source of concern 2 me, especially when its Arsenal that is involved.
    Last nite I was telling my elder brother about it, and how Arsenal players should learn 2 play against him by playing only 2 d whistle.
    As 4 d last game, we have our destiny in our own hands. Win and UCL here we come and just maybe d massacre signings we have all been dreaming about would show.
    There is also d permutation of we winning Newcastle by 1-0 and Chelsea drawing Everton 0-0. when or if this happens, then we would finish 3rd by reason of conceding fewer (34 as against Chelsea’s 35) goals.
    Gunners 4 life

  • bjtgooner

    Excellent article Walter and it is good to see the excellent work which UA has carried out for quite some time starting to have a real impact. Keep it going!

    There was an interesting remark from a SKY commentator (probably made in anticipation) that Arsenal had lost all four of their previous matches when Dean was the ref. Thankfully not this time!!

  • ARSENAL 13


    It does.
    But as a goalkeeper, I wouldnt mind if the ball comes in from under the wall. I will have it covered unless there is a deflection ( a nasty one). So I expect the wall to jump. And we are trained in a similar way……I dont know if this is the case for professional football also.
    I felt Poldis jumps (overall) are pathetic. And there has to be some reason.

  • The font

    Great information as always

  • Dean refereed the game because the person who allocates refs to prem’ matches is non other than that morn Mike Riley. For those who are unfamiliar with that name, you tube Riley and witness his shabby, pathetic and thieving performance of Man Utd v Arsenal 2004/2005. This maggot should not be allowed to even watch a kids game never mind having this type of involvement @ the highest level. The fact that he occupies his position raises the question of corruption @ the highest levels in the EPL.

    Mike Dean plus Howard Webb times ten equals Mike Riley.

  • Shard

    Arsenal 13

    He did say he has a problem with it. So you might be correct. I’m not sure that’s the reason he didn’t jump, but it could be as well. Hopefully we’ll see a fitter, better Podolski next season (not that he’s not good now)

  • Shard


    Also, I think the Dean influence might have been lessened because of the 60 thousand fans being right on his case. It would definitely have changed how far he was willing to go. For the more charitable, it would have made him more determined to get the calls right.

    Either way, the importance of having a rabid home support is clear. Dean invited it upon himself though, with the award of two free kicks against Arteta, while letting similar incidents go when Arsenal were on the receiving end. Double standards which the crowd saw through (thanks to Untold as well) and hence put pressure on Dean to at least limit his bias.

  • Pat

    Glad to hear the commentators in Belgium have noticed the Dean factor. And that Sky actually mentioned it. Congratulations Untold and Referee Decisions.

    The BBC Breakfast channel didn’t mention the match in their sports reporting this morning at all, even on the London news section. Interesting!

  • ARSENAL 13

    At half time we did hear (on TV) the crowd shout CHEAT or was it CHEAP (it was two in the morning my brain was half shut). And also heard commentators say that the linesman was the one who uttered the “Pound 62” thing after the ManCity game.

    A deserved goal for Ramsey. How pleased I am to see his name on the score sheet. Theo and Poldi as well…..

  • AL

    The crowd certainly made dean know how they viewed his first half performance, and as others have already pointed out, UA played a huge part in this. Thanks guys. Even the Sky pundits yesterday said the crowd is unhappy with dean for his strange decisions, and they also pointed out that the free kick leading to Wigan’s goal should never have been given. It didn’t sound like Sky at all, but it was!

  • Tasos

    Mike Dean tried to influence the game, he gave Wigan some cheap free kicks around Arsenal’s penalty area and eventually Wigan took full advantage of one of those opportunities to equalise just before half-time.

    After that I believe two factors had a major impact during the second-half that took the game out of Mike Dean’s conniving hands.

    a) Arsenal have gained the durability and confidence to win these type of games thanks to our impressive run of form.

    b) Wigan’s energy levels dropped after Arsenal’s second goal. They’ve played two hugely important games since Arsenal last played and that began to take a physical effect on their performance.


    Mike Dean remains a conniving git but it would appear many more Arsenal fans are now aware of his antics/bias and last night they let him know it.

    For your part in this process, thank you Walter and UA.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Shard, one Arteta foul was a foul. The one that led to the goal not. Of course this is easy to tell on tv, maybe not so for Dean.

    Personally I saw little wrong in the first half with the officiating. More uneven in the second half. As you say the crowd chanting “cheat” might have had some influence on the ref.

    Of course if that free kick hadn’t gone in nobody would be making a fuss. Man on the post, that would have probably stopped that.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I said it yesterday that Dean was rather fair till the last 10 minutes of the first half. Of course doing it in the last 10 mins of the first half was what got the crowd on their feet I think

  • AL

    In response to your suggestion that my tv was a little awry yesterday regarding the wrong offside call on Theo(which most likely would have led to a goal), I accept your error (and apology?). And thank goodness I don’t have to replace my telly, you almost had me worried there for a second there:) But as a suggestion why don’t you try and pull your head out from dean’s rear end, where it seems to be firmly stuck? You might find the air smells fresher & better on the outside, and perhaps the view is better too.

  • AL

    As Walter pointed out, this weekend’s appointments have still not been released yet, and today’s Wednesday! Weird that. Perhaps someone is rescheduling certain appointments, perhaps cancelling hotel stays under certain people’s names and re-booking under certain names? Unlikely, but a possibility still…

  • Mick

    No teams set up with a man on the post from direct free kicks within shooting range. It would simply invite opponents behind the wall because they would all be played onside by the man on the post.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I think our players were aware of the likelihood of getting a red card for anything last night and were very careful for the most part not to give the slightest excuse for Dean to send them off. As such his ability to influence the outcome wal limited, clearly even he has limits beyond which he is unwilling to go.

    I commented to my neighbours in the stadium after 25 minutes that I was worried that, at that time, he was being unusually even handed. He reverted to type shortly after that though with his usual petty mindedness in ignoring fouls on our players and calling fouls against them for little or nothing. He is not to be trusted in our games.

    Key moments for me were the Koscielny clearance from Kone when I was certain we would concede, Szcz’s save early in the second half, our second goal which really deflated Wigan and the number of times Theo was making important blocks, tackles etc in defence.

    One more game to go this year. Another similar performance required. Still no referee announced. COYG

  • marcus

    If the player stood slightly behind the goal-line until after the ball was struck, would that counter the onside problem?

    What price Dowd for the last game?

  • AL

    Think Dowd too Marcus. or Friend?

    Walter, I think more people read UA than we thought. The DM has an article on the link below which was posted after yours, talking about the third place play off too. Just wish they would acknowledge their sources though….

  • Shard


    No it wouldn’t. They would still be playing the attackers onside.

  • Mick

    I think not, as far as I know offside would still apply if the defender deliberately stood behind the line. Walter can confirm I am sure.
    Re Dowd for last game I hope not but Probert would be worse.

  • Norm

    I think Probert would be the worst too. He is another ‘hollywood’ ref who seems to loath us. It is fairly obvious, as Walter says, that collusions are happening right now, to allocate the ‘right’ refs for the ‘right’ games. Btw wasn’t the sky commentator just awful, churning out every last Arsenal misery result from years ago, whilst constantly slathering over Wigan. I am making the journey to St James on sunday – cmon you Gunners!

  • WalterBroeckx

    A defender who steps over the line to put an attacker offside still keeps on counting as being onside. The same when a player/defender is lying on the ground in his own penalty area injured he still counts as a defender for the offside rules.

    So putting a defender on the line with a free kick can be done but then you invite the strikers to position themselves between the wall and the goal line and they can do what they want over there. By a way of speaking of course..

  • WalterBroeckx


    I think Riley is trying to find a way to send Probert. But Probert did QPR-Newcastle last Sunday so he is out of the picture

  • menace

    @AL – I like your response to @Rupert. I have been watching refs cheat for many years now, including a level of racist bias that is not noticed by the public.

    Many times you will see the ref in a epl game call a player over and converse rather than show a card. This usually is a ‘local’ player or a famous player. He will not converse with a foreign player but will just show a card. Arsenal are effectively all foreign apart from Jack.

    Last night I called Dean a ‘specialist’. He is appointed by Riley to ensure a loss for Arsenal (this has to be within a safe margin of cheating). I noticed that he very often allowed play to continue without signalling advantage before calling the game back for a foul. This allows ‘the cheat’ an opening for success. His evasion of clear fouls on Arsenal players – especially on Cazorla – was so blatant. He reminded me of the ‘parent referees’ in schoolboy games, where daddy lets his little boys team win.

    The corruption in officiating will remain whilst there is no independant supporters body responsible for over seeing allocation and appointment of officials. The other aspect that also needs to be addressed is the microphones and radios used by officials. These should be broadcast as in Rugby Union. It will ensure all foul language used by players or officials will be witnessed and any discussions kept within the Laws of the Game.

    I am nervous about the last matches as Riley and his corrupt cronies have an unaccountable control over the appointment of the match officials.

    Arsenal will yet again have to win in spite of biased officiating.

    PS I wonder if Robin Van Persie realises how many offside goals he was allowed to score in a Man United shirt compared to in an Arsenal one.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dowd did Arsenal – MU just a few weeks ago so he also is not really in the picture. But you’re never certain with Riley of course…

  • menace

    This is just with regard to the strange system of officials in the epl.

    The use of cards becomes ‘live’ in the second half. In the first half players are free to kick the life out of an opponent. Only on rare occasions will one see a player carded in the first half by many of the PGMOL officials.

  • bjtgooner

    @AL @ 11.18 am

    Well put, lets hope Dean breaks wind at the appropriate moment.

  • Gunz

    The other important question. Who officiates the Tottenham game? COYG

  • Stuart

    Looks like Chelsea didn’t spend enough money!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Off topic: We better not go for Remy I would say. A NO GO!

  • Adam

    With the late release of “officials appointments” for this Sunday’s fixtures, I think that Riley is not giving us any time to prepare a backlash, as seen last night.

    Sad, but no matter what they do, most of us won’t trust them/him anymore.

  • Adam

    My money’s on Swarbrick for the Newcastle Vs Arsenal game.

    Dowd for the Spuds Vs Sunderland.

    Just a guess though.

  • menace

    The sad thing is in this day and age whoever Riley appoints for the Newcastle – Arsenal game will probably be wearing a Spurs top or at least have an Alan Sugar apprentice qualification!!!

    WTF Arsenal are bigger than the cheats and we will win in spite of all the bias.

  • bob

    Verily! Fans are to be commended for speaking their minds. Ah, red-carding The Dubious Dean. I hope Untold is indeed part of this needed education process. I also wish that Untold had used its relative powers of persuasion to have advocated for the ruder awakening that RVP so roundly deserved. And perhaps Untold will one day very soon actually advocate for splashing, yes splashing for one or two world class players that will put us over the top. But that would be going further out in front of Management than this (on this point, cautious) website has been willing to show.

  • Jambug

    I saw Mike Riley on SKY explaining about Referees preperation for a game. He was going on about ‘Knowing’ the players you are about to ref. About knowing the ‘team’ you are about to ref. About knowing the context of the ‘game’ you are about to ref. Now I know some of you might think thats a good proffessional aproach but I beg to differ. Surely the job of the referee is to apply the laws of the game. Thats it. Apply the laws of the game. Therefore his sole requirements are to have an impecable understanding of said laws and to be fit enough. Why does he need to know all that other crap? So he can make allowances for when the Nevile brothers are on a mission to kick someone off the park? So he can make allowences for Scholes inability to tackle? So he can make allowences for Gerrards God like status? Why should bookable fouls go unpunished just because it’s Utd V Chelsea or a media darling such as Gerrard, when on another day Song gets a booking for blowing a West Ham player over. It is not the referees job to ‘make allowances’ It’s not the referees job ‘to keep 22 players on the pitch’. It’s his job to APPLY THE RULES. I’ve always said the best way to referee the PL would be to use foriegn referees. Fly them in the day before, ref the game, go home. In that way they are not influenced by the media (and ours are) and they avoid the media post match slaughtering just because they gave a pen at Old Trafford (Something ours are shit scared to do). Preperation my arse…Just referee the bloody game, properly !!!!

  • Gf60

    Someone wanted a guide to refs…my link is for Arsenal but it does all clubs.

    We complain about Dean (Got the name right…so many times I confuse him with Mike Reed. Maybe thinking “Dean” puts my remaining brain cells into rigor!) but look at the record that Graham Poll (based in Tring) had with us. He must have been a closet spud.

  • Norm

    Jambug, Spot on. How many games have we seen Kos booked for next to nothing and then, as you say, one of the untouchables – Scholes, Rooney, Evra, or perpetual fouling types such as, Fellaini, Lucas, Whitehead, Tiote, get away with vicious fouls, because ‘they are that sort of player’. Kos takes his punishment without spitting and swearing back – an easy target for refs under orders.

    Walter, I just wondered if you ever considered approaching the excellent investigative sports journalist Andrew Jennings? Maybe he would like a change from stalking corrupt FIFA officials.

  • Shard


    About 3 or 4 years ago, ESPN-Star (that’s who shows the games here in Asia) did an interview with Martin Atkinson. He comes across as a very serious man. Humour seems to have no place in his world. Seriously. But I digress. The point is, he too said the same thing. That as a referee, part of their preparation is to study the players and what can be expected of them, and how they should deal with it.

    Now it was shocking to me at the time (even the guys in the studio felt it was weird), and is perhaps something that should be looked at as one of the causes of referees carrying prejudices against players. Maybe based on what they see in the papers.

    But oddly enough, this seems to be a practice common to officials in other sports as well. I’ve heard cricket umpires mention it, but then cricket is a bit more informal, and they don’t talk of it in terms of decisions as much, but in ways of how to maybe control conflicts or calm someone down etc. However, 2 days ago I was watching an NBA playoff game, and one of the commentators said that he was amazed that officials say they look at players and how they behave throughout the series/season, instead of refereeing based just on what they see.

    I’m confused, and like you I think this should not be. But it seems to be a practice which isn’t limited to just the EPL.

  • Stuart

    nice link, the Man Utd stats look interesting.

  • Doublegooner


    Poll is a closet chav, certainly his son is.

  • none

    We got Webb, Sp*rs got Probert. Chelski got Taylor

  • none

    Sorry Sp*rs got Marriner

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