Will the appointment of Merseyside born Mike Dean have an effect on the outcome of tomorrow’s game?

The past few weeks haven’t exactly been the best in his career so it’s hard to understand why he has been given such a crucial game to referee.

February 20th 2010 – Porstmouth 1 – 2 Stoke
The Daily Mail: Andy Wilkinson received the third and most undeserved red card of his career after a second yellow for a tussle with Aruna Dindane as they battled for the ball.

March 20th 2010 – Stoke 1 – 2 Spurs
Dean Whitehead sent off after 49 minutes.
Tony Pullis: “I rang Mike Riley on Wednesday and told him my concerns about Mike Dean. I was just seeing if we could change the referee because we weren’t happy. He made a bad decision down at Portsmouth and I wanted to see if we could at least avoid him until the end of the season. We sent a letter and followed it up in the right and proper manner. I just thought it (the sending off) was a very, very poor decision. We’ve had him earlier in the season and he’s made poor decisions and we compiled stats on him.”
Rory Delap: “I don’t know if he’s judging us on our reputation rather than actions, you’d have to ask him that. Hopefully he can leave us alone from now until the end of the season.”

March 28th 2010 – Burnley 0 – 1 Blackburn
Martin Olsson: “I thought that I was going to get a yellow (card for diving). I saw that he (Jensen) stuck his foot out, but I might have overacted a little. When the referee blew I thought he was going to give me a yellow card, but it’s up to the referee in that situation. I knew this referee had given more than double the amount of penalties compared to his colleagues, so I took a chance.”
Brian Laws: “Olsson’s took a dive, he’s conned the referee, the referee’s not in a great position and he’s given the penalty which was very harsh and left us with a mountain to climb. If the referee thought it was a penalty by the goalkeeper then you either send him off or book him. I’m not blaming the player, he’s done everything possible to try and get a goal against us through a penalty or his own work but I’m disappointed because we want to see honesty and we want to see the referee get the correct decisions.”

April 2nd 2010 – Dean confirmed as referee for United vs Chelsea
Brian Laws: “It’s mad that he has been rewarded with this magnificent game. I have spoken to the Premier League and the Referees’ Association and given them my marks and remarks about his performance. Maybe I gave him too good a reference! I’m disappointed that a football club had targeted this referee as being one of the worst for giving penalties away and I’m sure it will pain him [Dean] to see what has happened. I don’t think Sam Allardyce will have appreciated that coming out, but it certainly hasn’t been kept quiet. It has been aired now and he [Dean] will obviously have to respond to it. But maybe, psychologically, he will be going into games now thinking he can’t give any penalties. It might be a stonewall penalty and he doesn’t give it. Who knows? I think it is going too far if you’re going to target a referee on what you believe he’s going to give. I don’t think it’s right to go down that path.”

Anything else this season?

19.1.2010 – City 2 – 1 United
BBC: City were back in the derby when Tevez equalised in controversial fashion three minutes before half-time. Rafael da Silva clearly fouled Craig Bellamy outside the area, but referee Mike Dean waited until the pair were inside the box before pointing to the spot.