Mike Dean will be the referee on Saturday in the North London Derby at the Emirate Stadium between Arsenal and Tottenham.
The match will be the 7th North London Derby overseen by Mike Dean, in the previous six, he issued 2 red and 10 yellow cards. He was also in charge the last time Arsenal beat Tottenham in the league, a March 2014 clash in which Tomas Rosicky scored the only goal.
Arsenal and Mike Dean have controversial pasts, one of which resulted in Arsenal supporters launching a petition in 2015 against Mike Dean for his handling of the Match between Arsenal and Chelsea.
The petition linked above read as follow:
After many poor decisions that go against Arsenal when Mike Dean is refereeing the game, it is time that we get an inquiry to his ability to referee Arsenal games. Major incidents have occurred in recent and past games that show he is inept at refereeing at this level now. The recent events at Chelsea V Arsenal (19/09/15) highlight this where two Arsenal players were dismissed while Diego Costa the opposition player made 4 straight red card incidents and was show one yellow card only. Also the incident where Mike Dean celebrated for the opposition, when they scored a goal, this was in the Arsenal V Tottenham Hotspur fixture (26/02/2012) video attached via link:https://youtu.be/3SPb8CYF4o4
Here is the video referred to in the petition:
In what seems like a vindication for Arsenal fans, some of Dean’s decisions in that game were retrospectively rescinded by the FA such as the red card Dean issued to Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista and also handed Chelsea striker Diego Costa a retrospective three-match suspension for violent conduct.
Mike Dean has also been alleged to be a known and celebrated spurs supporter, as seen in another video making the rounds online.
Whether the video is showing him urging a “ball advantage” situation that leads to a goal or actually celebrating a Spurs goal is debatable but Arsenal fans are outraged as they feel Mike Dean is normally antagonistic in his decision making towards Arsenal.