On Arsenal, England and Mike Bloody Dean

The North London Derby is firmly in view with the last of our internationals played last night.

Laurent Koscielny – the major concern for the weekend according to the press – was on the bench so was his injury that bad? Giroud was absent but the concern with him is more for Cologne or if anything happens to Alexandre Lacazette, scorer of a brace for the French in the 2 – 2 draw with Germany.

Mesut Özil grabbed an assist, no doubt impressing the watching Atletico Madrid scouts. I assume they watched the game since the papers tell us Diego Simeone wants the German at the Wanda Metropolitano. That would be an interesting pairing and maybe we can persuade the Argentinean to throw in Saul. That’s Niguez but knowing our luck we’ll end up with Goodman.

England held Brazil to a goalless draw in what was another pleasant game to watch. ‘Pleasant’ is a damningly nice term; we had 30% possession but stifled a much better Brazilian team whose attitude was pure Harlem Globetrotters; they were here to entertain, and dammit, they were going to entertain. Almost worked.

Positives for England this week youngsters gaining experience and two clean sheets. Southgate got carried away and told those who dropped out of his squad there was no guarantee they would win their places back. I was going to make a joke about his nose getting bigger but his gene pool got there first.

Bringing in a back three provided a solid base to build on. Watching the game last night, it was apparent that the players took on board his defensive instruction in a disciplined display. Amazing what happens when the defence does what it’s told.

Was anyone at Arsenal taking note? I doubt it; too busy whinging about Mike Dean refereeing on Saturday.

It Was Bad The First Time

Regular readers know I’m no fan of Dean; the politest I’ve referred to him is as a “preening peacock” but usually, it’s just a resigned Mike ‘bloody’ Dean. He’s had some stinkers as an official in Arsenal matches but I am struggling to think of one game we’ve lost because of him. Chelsea, when Costa conned his assistant, is the closest I can come.

Generally, we lose when Dean is in charge because it is a big game and our record in those matches – with or without him – is crap. I’m all for calling out bad refereeing but never at the expense of using it as a distraction from our own failings. And we have plenty of them in the past decade.

The irony is that it’s made out he is a bane of our life yet he’s only officiated nine games in the past three seasons, with the record being P9 W3 D3 L3. So, he’s a bit of a talisman to be honest. We’re unbeaten in 66.67% of the games although I’m sure his detractors – mainly the uber-positive element of our support – will tell you we’ve only won 33.33% of games. As our cousins from across the pond say, go figure.

Anyway, we’ll worry about his performance if its an issue on Saturday. I’m more concerned with Arsenal and there are less than 80 hours to kick-off, or just three sleeps if you want to get excited.

So I’m getting in the mood…

20th November 1968

3rd May 1971

30th August 1980

Finally, over at Dad’s Jukebox, there’s a new post: Unsung Bands #3: The Armoury Show.

’til Tomorrow.


55 thoughts on “On Arsenal, England and Mike Bloody Dean

  1. Good morning Yogi, Mike “bloody” Dean eh? Still it could be worse, at least he’s never given a penalty when the ball has hit the defender between the shoulder blades, refs have a tough job and sometimes they deserve a bit of credit.

    But Mike “bloody” Dean!

  2. A little bit of respect, please, Yogi, for;

    —- Dynamic Daring Dean

    I will not tolerate anything like; Doggone Dopey Dean

  3. Of course those who are familiar Mr Dean can call him by his more familiar name;

    —- Mingy Moronic Mike

    or his fellow officials have been known to refer to him as Dastardly Duplicitous Dean not that I can think why — and seems a bit hurtful.

  4. Morning, JonnyG,

    And thank you by the way for weighing a smile for me — but did you know the intrinsic value of a smile depends on who you are with — and it does not cost anything. 😀

  5. Jonnygunner,

    Quick post based on you comment……

    Not now nor ever have I compared Ozil and Ramsey as number 10’s but I have compared their goals which is fair given goals are said to be a part of his better attributes with his late runs. To where as goals were never a major part of Ozil’s game but he is constantly being marked for it.

  6. Ian

    Most of the statistical evidence against Dean covers 2009 – 2013. It also tries to cover up how crap we’ve been in the past decade…

  7. Have to say, kind of funny that Giroud scored and was getting praised for it, then:

    Lacazette said, “Wait a min, anything you can do I can do greater, I can do anything greater than”

    And goes and bags a brace.

  8. Not sure if I’m totally behind the curve here and teaching my granny to suck egss, but…

    If anyone likes the idea of the comedy of Bob Mortimer mixed with a bit of football, I recommend that you check out the podcast – Athletico Mince.

    It’s been going about two years and I’ve only just discovered it. You need to stick with it, as it takes them a good dozen or more episodes for it to fall into place. As a commuter on public transport I’ve spent the last fortnight getting some very odd looks as I randomly burst into hysterical laughter.

    Choice moment being stood at a line or urinals (total silence, as etiquette requires) only for me to start howling with laughter mid flow. I do hope the other chaps just off their long train journey didn’t think it was directed at them!

  9. Quite right, C, and good afternoon (morning) to you. 🙂

    This whole refereeing conspiracy stuff is in the minds of those who want to believe it, and you will never change the way they think.

    In the Middle Ages they used to burn witches. How did they know the women accused were witches, (a) they were usually old; (b) they tried to ‘cure’ people with magic – also known as herbs; and (c) they were within half a mile of a sheep miscarrying – so obviously it was an evil spirit sent by them to do it; et seq.

    With referees the evidence is usually damning. The evidence? (a) they were refereeing a game when team (x) lost; (b) the fans of said team were not happy; (c) Someone on a blog said the referee was told by his ‘coven’ to make sure they lost; and away we go.

    I think both are bollix. Referees are human (believe it or not) and make mistakes — sometimes they are accused of making mistakes – when in fact they did not; It generates endless Posts for the site to gee up gullible bloggers regarding the iniquitous and wicked PGMOL.

    As for modern day witches – they are probably ageing female doctors who are trying to cure patients with potions (medication) and they know bugger all about sheep. 😀

  10. C,

    Given enough of a run in Ozils position I think Ramsey could do a job….but Jack would be my favourite…if he can stay out of the medic’s room.

  11. Good afternoon all,

    another fine read. Thanks YW.

    Isn’t Mike Dean a Spurs fan? Seen a few youtube clips of him celebrating Spurs goals when officiating the game. Are they fake?

    A creditable performance from the youngsters in the 0-0 draw last night, but the midfield was pony. The number of times a Brazilian player romped through the middle of the park without any resistance until the edge of the England penalty area just wasn’t funny. Reminded me of the Xhaka/Ramsey pairing.

  12. Didn’t Dean send off, was it Adebayor, in one of those 5-2 wins?

    Great vid of League Cup S/F, I didn’t go but I recall Wilson getting some tough treatment from Gilzean and England. I tend to forget about the final that year.

    Phil Beal own goal match would be good.

  13. Buckagh,

    Welbeck is back in training, so I guess he’s ok.
    Holding is out so if Kozzer is unfit then Mustafi is an option, probably after a late fitness test.

  14. HenryB,

    Morning (afternoon) Henry,

    You never cease to amaze me when it comes to post, one day we will find ourselves in close proximity and the first round is on me!

    Your spot on though, the other thing to add to the refs is that there was probably a 50/50 call that went against the losing team (see Sterling’s penalty even though Ramsey was afforded a similar soft penalty earlier in the season against West Brom, but shhhh that goes against the narrative) and thus it was game-changing and the main reason we lost.

    As far as witches and modern day female doctors, not sure what female doctor you have but my current female dentist is absolutely gorgeous!

  15. Jonnygunner,

    You have more faith in Ramsey than I do but my thing is, no matter were Ramsey is playing, finishing is finishing and if goals are supposed to be his thing, you would think the player that is leading the team in shots would have more than 1 goal. Well, Jack’s problem is he can’t stay fit, until then and this is just my opinion, he proves himself in the Cups and once he does that he can stay fit we can consider him for the PL and moving forward. Other thing is, Jack’s out of contract and there is no guarantee he signs a new deal.

  16. I love some of the stuff my mates send me from their twitter accounts. Apparently Griezman tweeted a pick of he and Ozil and some caption where is was Griezman + Ozil = futbol or something and now Gooners are saying on twitter are going crazy saying that Griezmann to Arsenal is a done deal. What is really funny is that Ozil could be a done deal and headed to Atheltico to join Griezmann where I think he would actually flourish because the way Athletico play, Griezman and generally Carrasco stand at the halfway like and everybody else defends, replace Carrasco with Ozil and they could have something.

    But let it be known, I would swap Griezmann for Sanchez right now or in January.

  17. Great post Yogi

    If I remember, our record with Mike Dean during his early years was very good. As he became more senior he started to be chosen as ref for a lot of the bigger games between the top of the table teams around the league including ours and the other non-Arsenal big games . As we know our record against the top of the table teams during that era was absolutely abysmal and we lost the vast majority of those games no matter who was the ref. That is why our record with Mike Dean as ref was so bad during that era.

  18. Ozil has been strongly linked with Athletico – they are said to be the one team that ARE genuinely interested but what they really want is to take him on a free at season’s end (no shit).

  19. The whole ref conspiracy thing has become the go to excuse for those who want to rationalize why none of what has happened over the years is Arsene’s fault. You can’t blame Arsene if the problem is something out of his control. We do the same things with players we like sometimes. We look for excuses to explain their poor performances. Hector Bellerin playing on the left was used to explain his struggles on the defensive end of the pitch early in the season but he has not improved on that end of the pitch when he moved back to the right and in reality his defense has never been his strong suit.

  20. I have followed sports all my life and I don’t ever remember a manager who has such a devoted following among a segment of the fan base. There are whole blogs dedicated to Arsène and there is a cottage industry whose whole objective is to find excuses for Arsène.

  21. Jonny,

    Yes and make no mistake, if he went there he would help give them exactly what they need in a league he is familiar with a world class finisher. The problem that Athletico have is that they can’t create enough chances and I think that will be quite interesting especially come January when Costa joins Griezman. Getting Ozil on a free when Saul looks likely to leave in the summer isn’t that bad of a trade off.

  22. This was disastrous management from AW. Good to hear it was as bad as it looked in the dressing room.

    Players ‘shook their heads’ when Arsenal made Gallas captain

    ‘In the dressing room, Gallas came to blows with Gilberto, who accused him of seeking attention in a daft manner – the row dragged on for the remainder of the season. Finally, it contributed to us finishing only third, four points behind Manchester United, despite having been six points ahead in March.’


  23. I´m bored, really bored like nothing before. Interlull is like death by 1000 cuts. Only they are a 1000 paper cuts that will just irritate the shit out of you and cause immense silly pain rather than fatal action.

    Thank God it´s finaly drawing to an end and I say that as a Swedish fan who saw us beat Italy in play offs and qualify to WC for the first time since 2006.

    Really should be over the moon but interlull is such a tedious thing. They seem to be more frequent too or is it just that they are a bloody nuisance 🙁

  24. Hiya, Bill,

    I have never seen a blog wholly dedicated to AW, but there are one or two who are inclined to give him credit for what he has achieved and the financial problems he has experienced in his time as manager. There is nothing wrong with that, as far as that goes.

    Where the line is drawn, for many other bloggers, is that Arsenal have stagnated in recent years, and pursuing the self funding model has inevitably led to us buying players whom the other big clubs did not challenge us for, or, like Ox, Őzil and Sanchez after they arrive at the Emirates and see they are unlikely to win any major trophy when pitted against the other clubs with the best players, which makes them want to leave.

    Being paid a king’s ransom is one thing – they can get that elsewhere – but retiring with a sackful of trophies is another – and recent times show that is unlikely to happen playing for Arsenal.

    And then there is AW. I make no secret of the fact that I admire the Prof for what he did in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. I also like him for his intellect, and as a fundamentally decent person – especially when compared to other managers like Ferguson, Mourhino, Fat Sam and that ilk.

    The above cannot ignore or stop the ravages of time — and neither can anyone ignore the simple fact that part of the issue with AW is that as the years go by, he is now at an age where most people look to retirement, especially in such a stressful, public job, because otherwise everything becomes stale and samey.

    I wish that AW had accepted, some years ago, that he is not super – human able to go on forever – no one can – and had gracefully retired, with all due honours, or at least moved onto something different – like perhaps intentional football – which he has has acknowledged recently he might do.

    His reluctance to do so has led to stasis — and it needs something or someone else to give him the shove that is needed, to free up the way for a new future for the club, under the hands of another young manager – like he was all those years ago.

  25. Seems Arsene has changed his tune about Ozil and Sanchez and the possibility of them leaving in January:

    “No decision has been made on that front,” Wenger said.

    “Do we let anyone go in January? We’ll have to think about that to see where we stand with them at the end of December.”

  26. Welsh Corgi,

    If I was Welsh, I think I would go support Sweden too — another boring footballing country, but hell, they won!! 😀

  27. I would be surprised if Atletico is willing to meet Ozils wage demands even if they can get him on the free. Ozils value in terms of the wages he can hope for is not what it used to be but it’s his last chance to get a big contract so just like any of us I suspect he is going to hold out for as much as he can get

  28. Bill,

    You do realize that we aren’t the only club in the world that has money and pays players big wages? Not only that but Athletico have been known to spend cash when they want (see Griezman, Carrasco, etc.) , the difference is they probably don’t have their lesser players on big wages like Arsene, Silent Stan and Ivan the clueless and Arsenal do.

  29. Henry.

    That choice of words was a bit over the top and saying that there are blogs dedicated totally to Arsène is probably heavy on hyperbole. However, In all my years of following professional sports I don’t think I have ever seen a manager or head coach in any sport that has such a dedicated segment of his teams fan base. Like him or not as or manager I think he has a charisma which attracts a level of emotional attachment for some fans which is unprecedented

  30. We are a very wealthy club compared to Atletico. Özil is no longer an impact player and it would be incredibly dumb for them to take the risk that would come with committing to a long term high dollar contract to a player who will be going into his age 30 season and is already showing significant evidence of slowing down. I think Özil is more likely to get a bigger contact from Arsenal so if Atletico is the only other option then I suspect Özil will stay.

  31. So these are Deschamps comments after the match about Lacazette’s performance for France:

    Alex knows he can do better. He has had a little more playing time lately,” reports Tribal Football.

    “It’s up to him to do the maximum, like every player. The international level demands even higher requirements but if I select him, it is because I have confidence in him. I know he can do good things. He can do better, he knows it.”

    Yup, I guess when a striker grabs a brace he isn’t doing enough, welp guess that’s why Giroud keeps getting picked ahead of him.

  32. The thing is Bill, if/when Özil leaves on a free at the end of the season, or for a very reduced fee in January, then the math changes substantially.

    Let’s speculate: If arsenal sold him in the ‘normal’ way they would command a fee payable by the other club, and not involving the player directly. Agreed?

    So, if Mesut was under contract and left in the summer – he may be valued at (say) £40m + the players wages (say) £350K per week (£18.2m per annum) * (say) 4 years = £72.8m.

    Total cost – if sold ‘normally’ = Tfr fee (£40m) + 4 year contract (£72.8m) = £112.8m

    If sold on a free = Tfr fee (£0) + 4 year contract @ £350 per week (as above) £72.8m

    Özil gets the whacking great weekly increase in salary he has been asking for – and the buying club gets him £40m cheaper.

    I know it’s obvious, but it reinforces how much Arsenal will lose on this deal, and on Sanchez’ contract too – and yet a new club gets a bargain, even after the players are paid a huge increase in their salaries over what they are paid at Arsenal.

    That is why they should both be sold in January — if they agree to go — and they might not, for all that Wenger implies the decision is his.

  33. Bill,

    I wasn’t bothered about your wording @ 3:49 – I know you were just using poetic licence to prove a point. Relaxez-vous. 🙂

  34. Jonny,

    There were stories that Toure despised Gallas and had decided he would leave rather than play with Gallas. I don’t think there was any formal ultimatum from Toure, but the story was that Wenger knew and had to make a decision. He decided to let Kolo go and keep Gallas.

  35. In the funny news of the day, the USA Soccer Federation is SERIOUSLY and I repeat SERIOUSLY considering trying to put a tournament together for teams that didn’t qualify for the World Cup prior to the World Cup here in the States.

    So let me get this right, you want to create a loser’s bracket tournament, things like this honestly make me not only want to leave this country so my daughter can get a proper futboling education elsewhere but again shows just how far US futbol is from the rest of the world in their thinking.

  36. I see Mad Jens is spilling the beans in his new book. Today’s targets are Gallas and Almunia.

    “Gallas’ juvenile tantrum cost us the championship”.

    Special introductory offer £10. Wait a month and you’ll be able to buy it on the bargain table for a fiver.

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