Arsenal

Know your enemy – Mike Dean

Those of us that love slating refs as much as Premiership managers do will have noticed that Mike Dean got demoted to the Championship, for one weekend, in the last month. This comes after the Professional Game Match Officials Limited decided that his performance in the recent Manchester United-Chelsea game was poor…and it was.

Dean has a reputation for awarding penalties, and boy is that true! Every time I watch a game involving Dean there almost certainly seems to be a penalty awarded. Up until that United-Chelsea game on 3rd April, Dean had awarded 16 penalties in 24 games he officiated in. On www.refworld.com, Dean states that his aims are “to try and do the best I can which will, I hope put me in the frame for some of the more high-profile games.” Well you ain’t getting many high-profile matches if you give a penalty for fun and continue to make blunders.

Amazingly Dean has been trusted with FA Cup finals, Community Shield matches and international friendlies that usually have involved two top class countries. Having been a Premiership official since 2000 I suppose that’s to be expected but he is one of the notorious ones- his name gets mentioned far too frequently before big matches in comparison to his colleagues. You know when you talk about a ref pre-match it’s a bad thing.

Burnley boss Brian Laws said it was “mad” to assign him to the United-Chelsea game and Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that he “did worry when he saw it was Mike Dean”.

This season Dean has given out 145 yellows and 7 red cards in the Premier League matches he has taken charge of and he has actually been given ‘big game’ assignments. He’s done Man Utd-Arsenal, Man City-Man Utd (Carling Cup), Chelsea-Arsenal, Chelsea-Man City and last weekend’s Arsenal-Man City game. I can only presume the others were on holiday…

As much as blokes like Dean get all the stick possible, and some crazy verbal abuse, he is one of the few refs that have been struck on the forehead by a coin, and this happened in a Championship game he officiated in between Cardiff and Swansea. Whether he was dazed or not, Dean continued to ref the game, and in a match where the two clubs involved are fierce rivals what did Dean do later in the game? Yep, he awarded Cardiff a dubious penalty.

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