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August 2021

Arsenal v Man C 29/314 – It’s Dean. Again. Expect cards and phantom fouls

Arsenal v Manchester City 29 March 2014 – The Match Officials

  • Referee – Mike Dean
  • Assistants – J Collin & J Brooks
  • Fourth Official – K Friend

Second time in a fortnight and fourth time this year for Mr Dean – That’s too many and far too soon.  How have other teams fared with over-exposure to particular referees this year?


Total Games

5 Games

4 Games

Andre Marriner


Newcastle (1H, 4A) Southampton (3H, 1A)
Anthony Taylor


Everton (1H, 3A)
Chris Foy


Aston Villa (2H, 2A)
Craig Pawson


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Howard Webb


Chelsea (3H, 1A)Hull (1H, 3A)Southampton (2H, 2A)

W Ham (3H, 1A)

Jonathan Moss


Norwich (3H, 1A
Kevin Friend


Lee Mason


West Ham (2H, 2A)
Lee Probert


Arsenal (3H, 1A)
Mark Clattenberg


A Villa (3H, 1A)Spurs (1H, 3A)
Martin Atkinson


Michael Jones


Michael Oliver


Man United (3H, 2A) West Brom (3H, 1A)
Mike Dean


Arsenal (3H, 1A)Swansea (1H, 3A
Neil Swarbrick


Phil Dowd


Newcastle (3H, 1A)
Robert Madley


Roger East


So from this table we can see that referees have had very different workloads this year.  Of the 18 used, Roger East and Robert Madley have each done five games and Craig Pawson 8.  If these individuals aren’t trusted to do games on a regular basis, what on earth are they doing on the Elite list?

For heaven’s sake either use them or sack them and replace them with someone else.  Stop sending the same faces to clubs over and over again.

I reckon that there have been 317 games this year and each referee should be on 17 or 18 games so Webb (25), Marriner and Oliver (23 each), Atkinson and Foy (21 each)  and Dowd (20) are all over-used.  With 18 referees available there is no excuse for there to be any entries in the above table at all other than the incompetence or bias of the PGMOL.

OK Rant over – Dean this weekend – I covered his history quite thoroughly before the Spurs game but in checking the table of his games against Arsenal’s overall record, I got things very wrong – here is the corrected table.

Total Games




AFC PL Games pre 2013/4


426 (53.4%)

212 (26.6%)

159 (20.0%)

AFC PL Games 2013/4


19 (61.3%)

6 (19.35%)

6 (19.35%%)

All PL Games to date


445 (53.8%)

218 (26.2%)

165 (20.0%)

Non-Dean Refereed


427 (54.3%)

205 (26.0%)

155 (19.7%)

Dean Refereed


18 (43.9%)

13 (31.7%)

10 (24.4%)

Arsenal under-perform under Mr Dean which is, I’m afraid, “stating the bleeding obvious” (does that statement qualify me to be a pundit I wonder?).

Everybody who has watched him referee an Arsenal game over the past few years will view his appointment to another vital “must win” game with alarm.  To be fair to him though, his last few games have been significantly better than they were the year before last.  I’m still not entirely convinced that he is a reformed character though.  He knows the rules – of that there is no doubt – but sometimes choses to interpret them in imaginative ways (usually to the detriment of Arsenal).

It will be the third time Mr Dean has refereed City this year, so far he has been in charge of their one nil loss at home to Chelsea and their one nil loss away at Sunderland.  A third loss “TO THE ARSENAL ONE NIL” has a nice ring to it (if only).

What is his historical record with City and what is their record since the effective arrival of Sheikh Mansour’s money for the start of the 2009/10 season ( I know the takeover actually happened on 1 September 2008 but I really don’t think it had a lot of impact that season).

Total Games




PL Games pre 2009/10


136 (29.9%)

124 (27.3%)

195 (42.9%)



18 (47.4%)

13 (34.2%)

7 (18.4%)



21 (55.3%)

8 (21.0%)

9 (23.7%)



28 (73.7%)

5 (13.15%)

5 (13.15%)



23 (60.5%)

9 (23.7%)

6 (15.8%)



21 (72.4%)

3 (10.3%)

5 (17.2%)

2009 to date


111 (61.3%)

38 (21.0%)

32 (17.7%)

All PL Games to date


247 (38.8%)

162 (25.5%)

227 (35.7%)

Non-Dean Refereed


229 (38.5%)

154 (25.9%)

212 (35.6%)

Dean Refereed


18 (43.9%)

8 (19.5%)

15 (36.6%)


So two things to note from this table :-

  1. The massive impact that the Billion pounds plus that has been poured into the playing staff has had.  It is difficult to remember how ordinary City were before they became rich but a win ratio of under 30% and a losing ratio of nearly 43% tells the story.  Cash does buy results – they are now at over 70% wins and less than 18% losses.  It costs an awful lot of money though and I really can’t see this model being repeated.
  2. The City percentages under Dean are almost exactly the same as their overall figures

To summarise

  • Arsenal under-perform with Dean as referee
  • City perform to their average league results with Dean as referee
  • It is now 35 games and counting since Mr Dean gave a penalty in favour of Arsenal
  • Typically Mr Dean allows Arsenal’s opponents far more leeway in challenges then Arsenal
  • Expect a number of cards for Arsenal (I wouldn’t be surprised at either Vermaelen or Giroud getting a red card)
  • I wouldn’t bet against a penalty being awarded to City
  • Also look out for unequal application of the advantage rule and ‘phantom’ fouls giving City time to regroup if in trouble
  • A very difficult game for an Arsenal team short of many of our best players through injury, likely to be made worse by the referee
  • City have lost their two previous games under Mr Dean this year One-Nil, that would be a great result if it happens a third time.


34 comments to Arsenal v Man C 29/314 – It’s Dean. Again. Expect cards and phantom fouls

  • JOEL

    Arsenal’s current League form has little to do with the nominated referee and his decisions and far more to do with a lack of leadership both on and off the pitch….”Grasping At Straws” once again!

  • BG

    exactly and our squad is not good enough qualitywise!! Yaya f.cking Sanogo to lead the attack what a joke!!!
    Hopefully we win the FA Cup and Wenger decides to bow on a “high”!!

  • jambug


    True, we are not in great form. THE STATISTICS SHOW THAT.

    It is also true that we get, by and large, a rum deal from Dean when he officiates in our matches. THE STATISTICS SHOW THAT.

    But hey, you just pick and choose the statistics that suit you.

  • jambug

    I must admit I’m a bit pessimistic about this.

    Our confidence must be low. Cities must be soring !!

    But you never know.

    I must admit I like City. (Okay I’m pissed off they nicked our players but given the realities of the ‘oil money’ I’d much rather they went to City than Chelsea).

    I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they had ‘Franny’ Lee who gazumped both Klinsman and Pires as the first ever player to dive ? Maybe it’s the lady with the bell ? Maybe it’s the saga with ‘hole in the Heart’ man Asa ? Maybe it’s the stoic way the fans stuck with them through thick and thin ? Or maybe it’s just I feel a bit sorry for them for having to live for so long in the shadow of there soon to be ‘noisy neighbours’ ? Either way I have a soft spot for them.

    I think the best compliment I can give to City is that when they are flowing they remind me of us in the halcyon days of Henry Pires and Berkamp. They are good to watch.

    But lets not forget that this side, this squad, has cost close to a Billion pounds to assemble. Wenger put a team together equal to this on pennies in comparison.

    It’s the lack of appreciation for the reality of what we are seeing before us that pisses me off. Not the fact that City are so good.

    So Dean or no Dean, I really hope it’s a great game. I hope we turn up with the game I know we can and give City a real run for there money. Either way, if we cant win the league, which seems unlikely now, if it has to be someone else I hope it’s City.

  • Wolfgang

    When Arsenal lost in the past,the ref was to be blamed.No more .It shd be pointed at the fm,an overrated coach and arrogant guy who thinks he can do no wrong.He dismissed the idea of a defence coach condescendingly.Even if one was appointed,the latter would not be able to improve it due to the FM’s penchant for a hdl ie put the other team under pressure only to fail spectacularly against the top sides.
    I do not share his bullishness and while Arsenal are expected to lose,soccer,not Arsenal, could
    surprise us.
    If the fm is pragamatic albeit more down to earth he could start with a team designed not to lose ie play anti soccer ,no matter how odius it is to him.
    Hit on the break like most teams .Then we shall see.

  • Wolfgang

    I forgot to add that Liverpool have won 7 games in a row and having not lost for some time. I know they are expected to win but by the law of averages ,a loss/defeat is overdue.
    This is where Wenger could take advantage if there is a slip up.

  • Espen

    We have a good home record. Even against top four teams. The team need our support against city. To boost their confidense. To fight. To get a result. A negative home crowd can kill the game. We need them to fight. To dig in. So please support them. No matter what.

  • Ugandan Goon

    There is an interpretation of Wenger’s “life is movement, life is change” comment in the presser earlier being used to spin a yarn about bowing out after the FA cup win, this should hit the Dailies tomorrow after the internet has chewed and spat it out. The insult is amplified by the implication that the FA cup will be a sufficient sop for Wenger to bow out on.
    Look out for “Bow out” and the idea faustian that Wenger will do a Fergie and walk after this milestone, as they’ll be many loyal arsenal supporters on here claiming this as an original thought.
    Here’s a germ of an idea,

  • pete

    As I have been asked to ignore the trolls I will instead applaud Espen’s comment. I will be there tomorrow and I will support.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Dean again….even more important that the Ems crowd get behind the team

  • Jim Harbaugh

    I tell you what’s worse than Mike Dean????????

    Darren Gough and Adrian Durham this late afternoon on TALKSHITE. Listen to it on a podcast if you missed it.

    Seriously angersome radio.

    Please can Tony Atwood phone in and challenge these pair of twits. PLEASE.

  • pete

    Now Adrian Durham really is a troll of the most extreme kind. Somehow he appears to have acquired a public platform. No idea how!

  • andy1886

    Agree with Jambug (I think that’s twice in one day – wow! 😉 ) I hope we win but if we don’t win it (and we probably wont) I’m hoping that City do. As already mentioned they have suffered more than most over the years, and had it rubbed in by their neighbours over in Surrey – sorry, I meant the other side of Manchester. If anyone deserved a bit of pay back then City making United’s season even worse is truly justice. But for tomorrow, it’s come on you reds!!

  • Gord

    I wouldn’t know TalkShite from a whole in the ground. But, the other day for a lark I looked up their heritage. They are basically Ulster TV, and I suspect the only sports they know are Gaelic Football and Hurling.


  • Jim Harbaugh

    Sorry if I was not clear enuff’ Durham and Gough were really keen on sticking and twisting the knife with salt into Arsene Wenger and Arsenal on TALKSHITE today.

    It was humiliating.

    I was desperate to speak to them but they did not put me on air.e

  • bjtgooner


    I don’t know anything about Durham, but is Gough not the former Yorkshire & England cricketer or is it someone else with the same name?

  • AL

    I’m hoping for a win tomorrow too, but if we’re not going to win the title I’d rather it goes to city. Pellegrini is a decent human being, I just can’t stomach the idea of a long summer of the media queuing up to lick the strange one’s backside should he win and showering him with praise.

    Having said that the title’s still up for grabs, city were 8 points behind utd two seasons ago with a handful of games to go but still nicked it. One advantage is after tomorrow our rivals will still have to play each other which could play into our hands nicely.

  • Jim Harbaugh


    Gough is the ex engalnd quickie. SLAG.

    Mindless horrible attacks on our club and manager.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    If Mike Dean is a Liverpool supporter, which is a rumor that I have heard on occasion, then he may not favor $hitty at all.

  • Sav from Australia

    Thanks for the referee preview. It seems these days that the referee preview is more interesting than the match preview, simply because of the effect they will have on the upcoming matches.

    Referees who cheat cause Arsenal problems on the day.

    Referees who cheat cause Arsenal injuries and fatigue which affect later games.

    Referees who cheat basically rig the league so Arsenal cannot win.

    If Arsenal were treated fairly – I would not wish for the advantage that Manchester United once had, or that Man City and Chelsea now share – then I seriously doubt there would be any talk of a waning Wenger or any other rubbish spouted by the media and the AAA agents.

    The English league is a blood farce. Its a bloody farcical state of affairs. Its amazing that the ordinary supporters cannot see the wood from the trees – discounting the mainstream media and the paid AAA blog supremos, those cut and paste maestros.

    Isn’t it all a bit boring now? I’m bored. I’ll just go watch rugby thanks. But as a believer in karma, I shall anticipate that Mike Riley, Mike Dean, and the rest of those little shits will get their just rewards – be it in this life or the next.

  • para

    City is as weak today as they ever will be, sad is, that we are also in that position, still the lads can do it if they concentrate and are sharp.
    Dean ? Well if he is really a Livpool fan, then he is going to have a somewhat strange game, trying to advantage them.
    This either will be a day of change and we start our run to end of season or we do that next week.
    Just wish they would all leave Arsenal alone to play football.

  • pete

    The fact that I have so little faith in Dean’s integrity means that I am instinctively very encouraged by the fact he is a Liverpool fan – today at least. Is that wrong? Does that make me a bad person?

    A win today would be transformative for us – but I have to confess I am not feeling terribly confident. MC might be short of a couple of key players, but we are short of at least four.

  • pete

    Just seen this. Look at the bar on the right hand side for the detail – and compare us with the teams around us in the League. Utterly depressing. This is 90% of the reason our championship challenge has faltered.

    This is why I get irritated regarding all the other unfounded abuse of Wenger.

  • gouresh

    Lets keep the 1st 20 / 30 mins very tight. That will frustrate them. Play flamini & Kim as holding MF allow corzola to do his thing either play ox on the wing, that’s left as zabaleta is not fast or behind the striker. I would not mind even if we play defensive the whole game. Lets at least get a point.

  • Blacksheep63

    I will be there shouting my support as ever but I have to admit I travel in trepidation…but COYG!

  • Tasos

    Difficult to see anything other than a Man City win today.

    We look shot, confidence wise, and there’s hardly any changes we can make from the bench to majorly improve things.

    But football is rarely so easy to predict. No top team wins forever just as no top team fails to win forever. Form is temporary.


  • WalterBroeckx

    Arsenal players read this:
    When you are being fouled and the ref not giving the foul might leave the defence wide open make sure that you fall and take the ball in your hands. that way the ref has to blow. And even if he would give then a handball play cannot restart until you have released the ball.
    A bit like if Arteta would have done this the third goal for Chelsea would not have happened and it would have forced to blow ‘a foul’.

    This (letting a foul go on a defender or defensive player) is one of the favourite things Dean likes to do. I have seen him given the advantage signal even on some of these occasions. An advantage signal that means that he has seen the gap that has opened. And which is the wrong signal to use. Because when you want to indicate that there is no foul on the defensive player you have to give the negative signal.

    A difference in signal that most people miss of course but which makes clear what the intention from the ref is.

  • finsbury

    Great preview, thanks as always, and great comments too 🙂

    You wait for months with the hope of never seeing a Dean again, but with some tricky fixtures lined up here he is twice within a few games. Who could have guessed such a thing! Not me. Nope.
    Could be worse I suppose, we could have Taylor! Though after last weeks inept and revealing cheating (“it’s not how Deano would do it!” said Mike) in front of the watching world I think it is an accurate guess that we won’t see Taylor for a little while after two stints as 4th close together (two pens against!). And that too is banal in it’s predictability.

    I’m looking forward to going and watching the Football. Seeing friends. Hopefully the PGMOB will not reduce another PL game of football to something less credible then a fake WWF bout with further inept bungling this week.

  • Yassin

    So, when are we going to get Friend as a ref?
    The reason we are not going to win is not the refs, its the team and players are average, see if u do a little math, and add the points we lost in other games (aston villa, chelsea, wba,…….) And take off the free points other teams got through diving or wrong offside goals we would still be far away from winning the league! DONT KNOW WHAT THEY DRINK OUT THERE, BUT THOSE COMING TO SAY ITS NOT THE REF FAULT ARE BETRAYING THEIR TEAM, AND NOT DOING THERE PART BY SUPPORTING THE TEAM!

  • Norm

    I can hardly believe we have to endure Mike Shit Dean yet again. This is the odious man who only last weekend sent off the Hull keeper to a hospital bed. Wasn’t this another incidence of a ‘secret voice’ giving instructions from the touchline? I believe that Marriner wasn’t suspended, in order to protect Taylor, the true heir to the rotten Riley empire. Arsenal, and matey boy, Dean, are due a big hit of karmic justice, please may it be today. COYG!

  • John

    Refs cost us at least 1 point against Villa at home, 2 points against Chelsea at home (also plus 1 for them), 1 point at Man City (also plus 2 for them) and 2 points at West Brom.

    Those 6 points would make us top of the league at present (without considering the points that the other top 3 teams have been gifted through doubtful penalties.)

  • Quincy

    There’s only 6 points between the top four teams. Even if there has only been a few errors that have affected the results of the top four’s games, it’s easy to see this could have a big affect even on the league table when it is so tight.

    Also, the fact that we are only 6 points off the top despite having so many injuries is, I think, not pointed out enough, Wenger needs to be given credit for doing such a fine job while missing key players for so long.

    Just think of this, the only key player Man $ity have out is Aguero, we are missing Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Koscielny, Diaby, all important players. I expect the senior players to put in a big game, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Arteta, Rosicky.


  • Quincy

    Picking up from my last comment, there’s only 6 points between us and Chel$ea at the top, ie the difference between two losses and two wins, which could be as little as two referee errors, considering only the points, of course, there’s goal difference as well.

  • The so called chosen one looked like an ogre, i wonder why he did not run the tunnel to tell her bitch that they where losing to crystal palace?? Moron