The 45-year-old referee from Cheshire has not proven a help on the pitch for the Gunners in recent years but he will be the man in charge to ensure discipline is maintained throughout the North London derby on Sunday.
Whilst the Red side of North London might not be ecstatic about the choice of referee for the game, Tottenham fans may be secretly confident – Spurs have won eight times the number of games as Arsenal in which Mike Dean was the referee in the last five years.
Since 2009/10 Arsenal have played 15 games refereed by Dean losing no less than nine, drawing five and winning just one solitary game. In contrast, Tottenham have played 16 matches officiated by Dean, lost four, drawn four and won eight.
Twitter and social media platforms exploded with reaction to the choice of official for the game with many fans writing the game off already as a Tottenham win but perhaps the outcry from Arsenal fans will have a positive impact on the game – either way, I’m sure Dean and FA would insist there is no bias whatsoever and the referee will simply do his job on the day.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald