The highly-anticipated north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham is upon us, but supporters of the former have not reacted well to the referee appointed for the game on Saturday.
The man in question is none other than Mike Dean, and it’s fair to say that Arsenal fans don’t have fond memories of their games with the official involved.
In turn, that has led to a heated response on Twitter, with Tottenham supporters refusing to miss out on the opportunity to make the most of the misery of their rivals, and so the pressure will certainly be on Dean amid all the scrutiny that he seems to be facing.
Referee aside, it’s a crucial encounter for both sides. Much has been made of the ‘power shift’ in north London with Tottenham finishing above Arsenal last season and seemingly going places under Mauricio Pochettino.
While that hasn’t yet translated into trophies, Arsenal seem to be stuck in a rut with Arsene Wenger at the helm as they now seem destined for another battle to make the top four after failing to do so last year which has resulted in Europa League football this season.
As a result, there’s a lot riding on the game at the Emirates even this early in the season from a fan point of view as it will give bragging rights to them for the time being at least, and so with so much at stake, appointing Dean as referee hasn’t been the FA’s most popular decision judging on the reaction below…
Mike Dean is the referee in charge of the NLD. How much more proof do you need that the FA hates us?
— 1886 (@1886_blog) November 13, 2017
North London Derby is gonna be a nother Mike Dean show. A red card and a controversial penalty against Arsenal loading.
Tears in Mike Dean's eyes.
— Danny Welbeck (@WelBeast) November 13, 2017
When Poch hears Mike Dean is the referee for the NLD pic.twitter.com/oy4hERlAhe
— P™ (@Cechque) November 13, 2017
My last memory of Mike Dean refereeing one of our games was at Stamford Bridge in 2015. After the game, over 50,000 fans signed a petition for him to never referee another Arsenal game. Doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence ahead of Saturday
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) November 13, 2017
Mike Dean to award Spurs a penalty after Dele Alli dives in the box and Cech fails to save it (from Kane)… plus a Koscielny red card. Can't wait.
— Mohamed ElNneny (@ElNnenyM) November 13, 2017
Mike Dean has been given this weekend's north London derby…
Remember the time he celebrated Spurs scoring at White Hart Lane?https://t.co/r83Mp1xKTK
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) November 13, 2017
Mike Dean preparing for the North London Derby this weekend… pic.twitter.com/2aPfD71rhJ
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) November 13, 2017
Mike Dean refereeing the NLD, which basically means we are playing against 12 men. Dele Alli is going to dive like crazy and get away with it.
This must be the FA's way of punishing Arsene Wenger for his words on the referees!
— Lets Talk Arsenal (@ltarsenal) November 13, 2017
The @FA have just confirmed that Mike Dean will be the referee for our match against Spurs on Saturday, is this some sort of sick joke? ?
— MR DT © (@MrDtAFC) November 13, 2017
Mike Dean appointed to referee Arsenal x Tottenham this week. Here he is celebrating a Tottenham goal against Arsenal… ? https://t.co/LfY3qVnZIE
— Ahmed (@Ahmed91Gooner) November 13, 2017