Arsenal must treat the remaining treat matches (Premier League and FA Cup) left this season as cup finals but they face some herculean matches until the end of the season. Some of the tough matches include the North London derby. But the derby just got tougher with the news that Mike Dean has been appointed as the centre referee for the all important clash.
Arsenal haven’t boasted a good record with Dean in charge. Since November 2004, Arsenal have played thirty eight matches with Dean as the officiating referee, winning nine and losing a whooping fourteen.
Of the last thirty four matches that Dean has officiated, some have been North London derbies and the Gunners have failed to win any of the last three. This certainly speaks volume of the bad omen Dean brings whenever he officiates a match involving Arsenal.
Are we now going to give up before even making an attempt because the odds stacked against us are enormous? If my memory serves me well, Dean officiated a North London derby and celebrated Saha’s opening goal but that didn’t stop Arsenal from winning the match because the Gunners stormed back from two goals down to put five past their North London neighbours. That means Dean might be biased but he cannot stop the Gunners when they are at full throttle.
Now that we aren’t oblivious of Dean’s partisanship against Arsenal, we should go into the game preparing to beat even the antics of the linesman. We should score unquestionable goals, defend cleanly and not give away cheap penalties. We should also make sure we don’t make careless lunge (especially Flamini) so that we don’t end get a key player sent off.
All Arsenal need to do to beat Spurs is to be at their best. The Gunners at their best is like a moving tank, not even Dean can stop. As for Dean, I doubt if he would want to stir up a huge controversy with the World Cup fast approaching. A poor performance in a top match like the North London derby could see him get a snub for the World Cup. Hopefully, with that at the back of his mind, the Englishman won’t be erratic with his whistle.
Here is a video of Dean celebrating Spurs’ goal against Arsenal