Arsenal v Middlesbrough, 22 October 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Our match officials are :-

  • Referee – Mike Dean – 48 years old from Mersyside
  • First Assistant – Simon Long – from Suffolk
  • Second Assistant – Ian Hussin – from Mersyside
  • Fourth Official – Tim Robinson – from West Sussex

Well Mr Dean needs no introductions – disliked by the entirety of the Arsenal Support it should make for a united crowd on Saturday afternoon if nothing else.

Sean Long has been partnered with Mike Dean in each of his 8 games this year, Ian Hussin has done four.  Ian was also on show in our game away at Watford when I have a flag against him for failing to flag Theo offside in Min 49.

Tim Robinson is one of the referees who normally looks after Championship matches, one suspects he has been invited to see ‘how it’s done’.  He was on hand as fourth official last week in the Bournemouth v Hull game.

How has Mr Dean performed so far this season?  Here are the figures up to Matchweek 7, they are sorted in decreasing order by the average number of wrong decisions per game :-

Incorrect Decisions Season to Date Total correct decisions Correct – incorrect decisions
Referee Games 2nd Yell Red Pens Goals Total Avg
Robert Madley 5 2 7 3 1 13 2.6 7 -6
Jon Moss 6 6 2 4 2 14 2.33 7 -7
Graham Scott 1 0 1 1 0 2 2 2 0
Mark Clattenburg 4 3 0 4 1 8 2 12 4
Mike Dean 6 2 4 4 2 12 2 9 -3
Kevin Friend 3 1 3 1 0 5 1.67 1 -4
Michael Oliver 6 4 2 2 2 10 1.67 7 -3
Craig Pawson 5 0 3 5 0 8 1.6 4 -4
Anthony Taylor 7 3 1 5 2 11 1.57 4 -7
Roger East 3 0 1 2 1 4 1.33 6 2
Neil Swarbrick 4 1 1 2 1 5 1.25 6 1
Andre Marriner 5 2 2 1 1 6 1.2 8 2
Lee Mason 3 1 0 0 2 3 1 2 -1
Stuart Attwell 2 1 1 0 0 2 1 4 2
Martin Atkinson 6 1 3 0 0 4 0.67 5 1
Mike Jones 3 0 0 0 1 1 0.33 2 1
Paul Tierney 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3

So on one hand we can say that Mr Dean hasn’t had a very good season, averaging 2 wrong Important Decisions per game, on the other hand he is actually getting quite a lot of the same decisions right.  I’m sure that Gord will confirm that statistically none of these figures are terribly significant (the scores for Jon Moss and Anthony Taylor are below the mean less 1* standard deviation and that for Mark Clattenberg  is higher than the mean plus 1* Standard deviation) .  I’ll have a closer look at them when I do the first quarter referee analysis following the analysis of all of this week’s games

Historically Mr Dean has done a plethora of Arsenal games – in order to keep this report reasonably brief I will only include those from the last two years.  If you want any more just enter his name in the search pane on the site and you will find as many as you wish.  If you have time I would suggest that you have a look at the full report of the Chelsea v Arsenal game to get a true flavour of Mr Dean’s machinations.

Last Season 2015-16 we only had him twice

Chelsea v Arsenal (2 – 0) 19 Sept 2015

Ref Review : Chelsea – Arsenal. How Mike Dean & Co screwed an entire game

In many ways this was a typical Mike Dean performance.  41% overall weighted score, bias against the team of 5/95 and nine wrong Important Decisions (Second Yellow or Red cards, penalties and goals).  Taking them in time order

  • Min 33 Costa should have had a second yellow card for dissent,
  • Min 43 Costa should have a straight red for an assault on Kos,
  • Min 43 – 23 seconds later he should have another red card for a second assault on Kos barging him to the ground in an off the ball incident,
  • Min 45 Fabregas should have a second yellow card for dissent angrily urging Mr Dean to send off Gabriel,
  • Min 45 Gabriel wrongly red carded for seeming to hit Costa (this one was rescinded by the FA so there can’t be ant doubt about it),
  • Min 45+1 in the aftermath of the Gabriel incident Zouma should have a red card for hands around Gabriel’s throat,
  • Min 52 Chelsea wrongly awarded a free kick from which they scored – goal shouldn’t have counted and
  • Min 63 Oscar was given a yellow card for a foul on Kos but he should have had a first in Min 11 for an earlier foul on Kos.

As I said a typical selection of all of Mr Dean’s tricks.  Allowing our opponents free range to assault our players, awarding ‘phantom’ fouls in dangerous areas, using his own bizarre interpretations of the rules and generally screwing Arsenal from the first whistle to the last.  Had the rules been correctly interpreted Chelsea should have ended with 7 men and Arsenal would certainly have won the game.

Sunderland v Arsenal (0 – 0) 24 April 2016

66% weighted score this time but the bias was even worse than the Chelsea game at 0/100.  There was only one wrong Important Decision when in Min 79 Kaboul should have been dismissed for denying Wellbeck a clear goal scoring opportunity.  This incident came so late in the game that I felt it unlikely that it cost us any points.

In 2014-15 we had him for three games (but only two have reviews)

Arsenal v Man United (1 – 2) 22 November 2014

Imagine a ref who only gets half his decisions right: Arsenal – MU ref review

53% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 80/20 and four wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 15 Shaw first used his arms then tripped Wilshere in the penalty area,
  • Min 50 McNair should have a straight red card for the tackle that put Wilshere out for months (it wasn’t even called a foul),
  • Min 55 an offside Fellaini clearly interfering with play pushes Gibbs into Szcz allowing a United goal.  All incidents except the goal ignored by Dean.
  • Min 90+7 Di Maria collapses, is helped to his feet by Chambers who is elbowed in the face right in front of Dean should have been a straight red card.  Another game where Arsenal were denied justice by a referee.

Man City v Arsenal (0 – 2) 18 January 2015

Ref Review : Manchester City – Arsenal: A master class performance!

63% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 27/73 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 40 Kompany should have a second yellow card for a foul and dissent, Min 55 he should have had another yellow card for a two footed challenge on Alexis.  This game is a rarity – a win with Mike Dean in Charge.  He even awarded us a penalty which is virtually unheard of!


As I have said before, Mr Dean knows the rules – Forwards, Backwards and Sideways.  The trouble is he is highly selective when he comes to interpreting them.  He is generally known for the strictest possible interpretations of the rules for Arsenal players and the most lax interpretations for our opponents.

The penalty against Man City in January 2015 was remarkable as it was the first in something like 8 years, he normally finds a reason not to give them so don’t expect one on Saturday.

Of all of the referees in the current PGMO roster, Mr Dean is the one I least like to see appointed for an Arsenal game.  I know he is going to screw us at some point in the game, it is just difficult to predict exactly how.

He is a master of the ‘phantom foul’ allowing opponents a cheap shot at goal.

He nearly always turns a blind eye to serious foul play against our players and his bias in decisions against Arsenal is legendary (93 and 100% in the two games last season).

I will be glad when the game is over and hope that we still have 11 players fully mobile.

If ever there is a case where we need to start brightly and score goals in the first 15 minutes of the game this is it.  That is about the only way we can take Mr Dean out of the game.


Recent tales from Untold and the Arsenal History Society

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Özil responsible for a new word in the English dictionary

Ref review: Arsenal – Swansea, lots of decisions to make

Arsenal in the 30s – February 1935. Despite one slip, Arsenal remain top.

How football has its meaning stripped away, leaving us supporters to sort it out for ourselves

Why the predictions of Arsenal’s season have thus far been soooo wrong

Arsenal in the 30s – February 1935. Despite one slip, Arsenal remain top.

CL Arsenal – Ludogorets: 6-0 with an Özil hattrick

Former Arsenal player John Barnwell talks about his years at Highbury

22 Replies to “Arsenal v Middlesbrough, 22 October 2016 – The Match Officials”

  1. And don’t forget Dean is the ref under whom we have been suffering most horrendous injuries (Eduardo) and a few other leg breaks (Sagna at the Tiny totts game)…
    Just as Andrew I hope we come out with all players still having all their bones as they should be

  2. ‘……..score goals within d first 15 minutes ,….that is the only way we can take mr Dean out of d game’….. Am distraught; if d bias of dis Dean of a ref is so apparent why can’t Arsenal ,d. Fan base, or manager complain about him formerly wit all d evidence UT has bin publishing? Sori I live outside England nd not too conversant wit ur laws nd rules but I believe sometin can be done about these refs who are sworn detractors of Arsenal nd make undisguised efforts to ruin d club in every match. However, I hope AW nd his boyz will take ur admonition seriously bcos I agree intoto its d only way to deal wit refs of Dean’s specie. For me its time sometin critical is done to arrest d excesses of d PGMOL mob in d EPL, a joint effort by d Clubs to demand for beta officiating from d refs. Shallom!!!

  3. Dean? Oh no!

    We need to do a Chelsea on Middlesborough to avoid ‘him’ messing the game up.

  4. Andrew, it’s interesting that you say SEAN Long has been partnered with Blind Mike Dean. I’ve always though that he gets the benefit from all the officials and now you tell us he’s in a relationship with Dean then it all makes sense.

  5. I gather Blind Mike Dean has been quite strong over the wrestling at corner kicks. Hopefully he can continue that theme for both teams (rather than just calling them against us).
    That’s the only possible up-side to this spuddie supporting official.

  6. It’s nice to see that you are at least considering whether numbers are the same or different. 🙂 It can be frustrating to see something that looks like a significant difference become insignificant when one tries to calculate a variance (or standard deviation).

    And we see this almost every year in the league standings. After all teams have played 37 games, properly considered league position can have multiple ties. Ties based on overlapping probability distributions.

    But then at the conclusion of the 38th game, all the probability distributions morph into delta functions and all these microscopic details that have no statistical relevence suddenly lead to differences in finishing position. Sort of like the league is played inside Schrodinger’s box (along with that dumb cat), and then at the conclusion of the season the box is opened and the league standings are observed (and the cat is either alive or dead).

    Sorry, I don’t like cats as pets. Especially not where they are not native.

  7. The Gunners need not be told of the anti-Arsenal referring antics which Mike Dean has been doing against Arsenal as they are fully aware of it. And the new Gunners recently brought in into the Arsenal team by Le Prof this summer would have already been told of Mike Dean’s past anti-Arsenal referring which he’s been doing against Arsenal in their matches to carry out the bidding of the Pgmol who are his employers.

    The Gunners MUST deal decisively with Mike Dean’s agent of the evil referring at the Ems tomorrow in their match against Middlesborough so that he won’t be allowed to constitute an impediment to Arsenal mulling Middlesborough by 5 goals to nil to climb to the top of the PL table and sit there.

    The Gunners SHOULD score the 5 goals in an undisputed ways that will leave Mike Dean perplexed and thus become unable to implement the Pgmol orders given to him against Arsenal.

    I am expecting a hat-trick of goals either by Sanchez or Walcott from this match. And another audacious goal too from Ozil.

  8. Scoring goals is something that puts a player at risk of an injury. Between that, and Wenger’s appreciation for efficiency, I will suggest a score of 1-0 or 2-0 might be a much better score to look for.

    This has nothing to do with how many goals Arsenal are capable of scoring. You seldom “get paid” for scoring lots of goals. Even if goal difference, goals for or goals against come into play, you only need one more than the next team (or one less, as the case may be).

  9. Whatever happens under Dean, good or bad, he will never be forgiven in my book for the appalling GBH he allowed on the Night of Infamy when the career of Reyes was so cruelly ruined, right under his eyes.
    As a PGMO, sworn to uphold the rules and conduct of football, he should be ashamed of continuing to officiate in the game. 😉

  10. Always a worry, but hope that this time, Mr Dean bucks the trend and has an excellent game, but should,he stray, tour supporters which will include my good self must let him have it.
    Either that, or the team are so excellent from the off, they make any agenda against the, impossible to enforce.

  11. nicky – Dean was the bar steward at Chelsea & his boss Riley was the one that allowed the ugly Neville sisters to kick Reyes out of English football. Both evil to the core with no shame or guilt.

  12. Gord, if we’re winning by just a goal or two then Dean can easily create a couple of penalties to even things up.

  13. Screw Dean and the PIGMOB , and just concentrate on repeatedly pounding Boro’s goal . Lets see how many good goals he could disallow .

  14. PGMOB Rules Footy variant game management techniques on display yet again during the Tottenham game.

    Allowing such cloggers to clog whilst carding opponents has retarded the English football team as much as anything else, and that we can lay at Riley’s feet not that he cares *ching ching*

  15. Clear clean elbow by Tottenham player. No red.

    One rule for AFC.
    One rule for teams with players signed to special agents and friends of the pgMOB.

    This league’s reputation and integrity is struggling here.

  16. Please bear in mind that Tottenham are the away team here, and last week Xhaka was sent off playing for the home team.

    Uncredible conduct from the pgMOB actors.

  17. Ten minutes since the two penalty shouts for bournmouth.

    Zero replays from the broadcaster.


  18. < full game for Wilshere. He still needs to regain his burst and acceleration and that will only come with moe starts and matches.

    An incremental increase in minutes match by match until today his first full performance in a year and a half. Looks like someone somewhere has some kind of a plan for the player who will return and eventually, when the time is right, take the Saint Cazorla's hallowed spot in the squad (we hope).

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