Never keen to propagate a conspiracy theory, but last nights performance has to beg the question ‘Is Mike Dean biased against Arsenal? It may seem like an unlikely scenario for a top professional referee to demonstrate preferences, but referees are all too human, as their frequent misjudgements pay testament to. Mike Dean has been central to a lot of bad decisions given against the Gunners and the statistics bear this impression out.
Arsenal have an abysmal 6.7% win rate in games that Dean has taken charge since 2009. This compares unfavourably to Man Utd’s 67%, ten times the amount of wins under the scrutiny of Deans whistle. Man City and Chelsea can boast a 62% win rate with the same official. These figures make for alarming reading and it is clear that questions should be asked at the highest level. Can it merely be coincidence that the big decisions in a Dean game don’t seem to favour Arsenal. Up to a point possibly, but the feeling has to be that we are gone beyond that point and greater scrutiny should be given to his officiating.
Last nights game was another startling example of Dean giving the leniency to the opposition. From the offset Chelsea set out their stall and when Azipulceta went thundering into Ramsey from behind when the ball was long gone and Dean took no action, it was clear that the carte blanche was give to Chelsea muscular midfielders and defenders to be as physical as they wanted to be with little likelihood of censure. Of course the obvious flash points came in Mikel’s near career finishing tackle on Arteta and Willians transparent penalty trip on Walcott, as well as Ivanovic’s head high tackle on Ozil.
But these were only the obvious, as throughout the game there was roughhousing and late tackles from Lampard, Ramires and Mikel. Contrast the leniency offered here to Rosicky’s and Walcott’s comparatively innocuous challenges which Dean deemed to be considered worthy of stronger punishment than Mikel’s potential leg breaker. Arsenal finished the game with two yellows to Chelsea’s one. This statistic bears no relation to the events that occurred on the pitch.
The pundits take on his decisions were that he was looking to let the game flow and that he was reluctant to brandish a red card in case it would provide a flashpoint. Referring back to Deans previous performances remember this is the man who felt that Koscielny’s tackle against Manchester City was worthy of a straight red card after only eight minutes. Hardly letting the game flow and showing restraint in that instance.
Arsenal will be branded as whingers, as Jose was ironically willing to do post match yesterday, (considering it was supporters of his team that drove Anders Frisk into premature retirement in fear of his life for decisions he made against Chelsea). And there has definitely been a soft underbelly with the Gunners in recent seasons that when it was exposed had Wenger pointing fingers at decisions when he should have been looking at the shortcomings of his team.
But Dean’s consistent failure to protect Arsenal’s players and his willingness to punish any perceived sleights from the same set of players is definitely worthy of investigation from the appropriate authority. I also feel that as Gooners it is our responsibility to highlight this discrepancy so Mr. Dean and his paymasters are aware of his abysmal track record. I suggest you repost this article or your own version of it on to all social media networks at your disposal and MAKE SOME NOISE.