Stoke City v Arsenal


GB at 2017-05-13 19:48:06

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Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-05-13 19:45:32


The main points in this game from the officials perspective were:

  • A generally very sound performance from the referee will be remembered for him and his team missing a clear act of cheating which resulted in a goal.
  • No doubt the actions of Peter Crouch (SC 25) will stimulate the debate for Vide Referees once again
  • Excellent experience displayed by Mike Dean to raise his profile when required in the second half without becoming the centre of attention!

That was a tale of two half from the Referee’s perspective. He seemed to waltz through the first half with hardly anything to adjudicate on, then the second half suddenly came to light for about 10 minutes in the second period. It was during this period that the intensity of the challenges increased and the goal was scored by Peter Crouch (SC 25) by deliberately using his hand. It is at times like this, where the experience of referees like Mike Dean can be seen. He did not panic, or run around like a rabbit in a car’s head-lights, he simple portrayed a calm body language and dealt with what was in front of him.

Of course it was a pity that none of the officials saw the deliberate hand ball, but it can been seen from the pictures how the actions of the player was masked from both the AR and the Referee.

So the referee could not afford to stay in cruise control for the second half, as there was always a feeling that it would not take much to really ignite this game for that frenetic period of 10 minutes or so.

The icing on the cake for me would have been for Erik Pieters (SC 3) to have been cautioned for his reckless challenge with literally the last kick of the game. I know people would have said that was the “old” mike Dean if he had done that, but mu point is that if young referees looking in are left with the impression that it is better to blow the final whistle then take the appropriate disciplinary action, that is the wrong message for one of our top Premier League referees to be delivering.

My final comment comes back to AR2’s VERY BAD HABBIT of looking along his arm at his flag every time he gives a throw-in signal. NOT best practice at all Mt Hussin, and I am amazed no one has pointed this out to you before. Keep your eyes infield, or at least on the referee, not on checking how neat and straight your signal is!

More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-05-13 19:25:10


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend.

Its head down all the way now until the end of the EPL season as we bring you the games which will decide the ECL places, along with numerous Cup Finals, as well as our regular sojourns to the MLS so provide more insightful commentary from the referee’s perspective.

Here is a list of RefCam coverage for the next 5 days:

14.05.17 Crystal Palace v Hull City KO 12 noon

14.05.17 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United KO 16.30 pm

15.05.17 Chelsea v Watford KO 20.00 pm

16.05.17 Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion KO 20.00 pm

17.05.17 Southampton v Manchester United KO 19.45 pm

18.05.17 Leicester City v Totenham Hotspur KO 19.45 pm

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2017-05-13 19:24:30

Full Time

Stoke 1 v 4 Arsenal


GB at 2017-05-13 19:23:28

Erik Pieters (SC 3) was very fortunate not to be cautioned for that blatant reckless challenge with only 2 seconds left on the clock. The learning point for referees aiming for that top is that that was still worthy of a caution for that tackle from behind, regardless of it being right at the end of the game. Start strong and see the job through to the end is the best practice.


GB at 2017-05-13 19:17:57

Minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-05-13 19:16:49


Peter Crouch (SC 25) picks up a yellow card Yellow Card for that reckless “scissors” challenge with the referee very alert to get in between the players and take the card out early. Good refereeing there.


GB at 2017-05-13 19:14:15


AR2 could be seen starring at his flag again there as he signalled for a throw-in. I just cannot believe that someone can raise to the FIFA List and still consistently display this rookie mistake. Someone needs to tell him that the crowd will soon let him know if his flag falls off – his job is to keep his eye facing into the field of play!


GB at 2017-05-13 19:10:21

Unusual to see a substitute get on the field of play without the 4th Official doing his duty and the referee giving the signal at this level as we saw then as Marko Arnautovic (SC 10) left the field of play and Ramadan Sobhi (SC 32) ran on. To be fair to both officials they quickly sorted it out, but it still looked untidy for a second or two.


GB at 2017-05-13 19:06:39

GOAL! Olivier Giroud (A 12)

Stoke 1 v 4 Arsenal

That should be game over now


GB at 2017-05-13 19:05:15

Yellow Card for Rob Holding (A 16) following that clear reckless challenge. Not much doubt about that one.


GB at 2017-05-13 19:03:49

GOAL! Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

Stoke 1 v 3 Arsenal

That might at least take the attention away from the controversy surrounding Stoke’s first goal.


GB at 2017-05-13 19:02:05

Mike Dean will be devastated when he sees what Crouch did after the game. No referee likes to be duped – but when the act leads to a goal it really hurts!


GB at 2017-05-13 18:59:23


With 20 minutes to go, this has suddenly gone from heating up to about to go over the boil. Mike Dean will need all his experience now to keep the lid on this with so many things going on “off the ball”.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:56:27

GOAL! Peter Crouch (SC 25)

Stoke 1 v 2 Arsenal

Crouch clearly got away with cheating then as he deliberately handled to ball into the Arsenal goal. What a massive decision that could turn out to be if Arsenal fail to qualify for the ECL as a result of this game ……..


GB at 2017-05-13 18:53:43

All of a sudden the temperature has gone up considerably and the referee may need to raise his profile soon as these challenges start flying in.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:51:08

This referee’s body language and focus on the players at set pieces has been first class in this game.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:48:52


That was interesting to see the first signs of any physical contact at a corner happens in the first corner since Peter Crouch (SC 25) joins the proceedings.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:47:03

Mike Dean was blind-sided to the contact by the Stoke player’s elbow into the Arsenal player’s head then, but even f he had seen it, I still think there was no malice in that. It was definitely careless though, as a straight arm at that height can be as dangerous as a deliberate bent elbow swing. Sensible reading of the event by the referee and excellent conduct from all the players involved ensured that the incident was managed effectively.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:41:54

GOAL! Mesut Özil (A 11)

Stoke 0 v 2 Arsenal

Arsenal showing their class now.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:37:42

Mike Dean right on the spot to sell his decision with that foul near the half way line. Proximity is so important.

Then comes another heavy challenge by a Stoke player in the same minute. The referee will be assessing what is going on here and will soon step in with a yellow card “for the team” if necessary to stop this persistent foul challenging.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:33:55

Couple of “safe” free kicks to start the second half demonstrates this referee’s experience. No need to take chances in this game having controlled it and kept the lid on it so effortlessly in the first half.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:31:36

Arsenal get second half underway

Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-05-13 18:27:01


There is no other way to describe that first half, but to say that Mike Dean just waltzed through it.

Total respect from the players to his “low key”, matter of fact approach to a game which rarely needed him to intervene.

Just 7 free kicks awarded, although there could have been a couple more for me, and one act of unsporting behaviour resulting in just one yellow card.

The other aspect of this referee’s style cannot go un-mentioned at half time, in respect to the lack of even the slightest hold and/or pushing at any of the 6 corners in the game so far – this has to be due to the referee’s reputation for zero tolerance for grappling in these situations.

One last point to mention at half time, AR2 Ian Hussin did well to judge that Alexis Sánchez  (A 7) had not committed an offence, even though he was clearly returning from an off side position for the Arsenal goal.

GB at 2017-05-13 18:17:37

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GB at 2017-05-13 18:16:54

Half Time

Stoke 0 v 1 Arsenal


GB at 2017-05-13 18:15:42

minimum of 1 added minute to be played


GB at 2017-05-13 18:13:52

GOAL! Olivier Giroud (A 12)

Stoke 0 v 1 Arsenal


GB at 2017-05-13 18:12:41

I know these Arsenal players are going down easily as soon as they are touched in the back, but that looked like the second clear case of a foul not given for a challenge from behind. Even if the player is going for the ball and not the man, it is still a foul if he makes contact with the oponent before the ball.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:08:57

Good safe off side signal then by Simon Long AR1. With the ball going straight into the centre in-front of the goalkeeper with only one player likely to get involved, it is better to raise the flag and then let the referee decide if there is no need to stop play if it is cleared quickly.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:05:12

Great little shot then of a thumbs up from the referee to AR2 then, when the ball was very close to going out over the touchline. Even though these officials can talk to each other, it is still good to see them using positive signals between themselves, as they never really know if the other official is actually hearing what they are saying.


GB at 2017-05-13 18:02:27


Reckless challenge by Shkodran Mustafi (A 20) brings out the first yellow card Yellow Card of the game. That was not a good challenge but not worthy of any more than a yellow. Mike Dean’s open palmed gesture and shrug of the shoulders is not something I encourage referees to do. No need to “apologise” for doing your job.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:59:20

Poor teamwork that time as Mike Dean decides to change his mind on the direction for a throw-in in half of the field of play. He was correct, but went with the AR who was further away ending with the wrong call.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:57:22

Mike Dean was very close to wave away the Arsenal appeals for a push then. He needed to be that close to sell his decision some how, as that looked like a clear foul on the camera


GB at 2017-05-13 17:55:12


With just 4 fouls in the opening 25 minutes, this game is showing why it was not filed in the “difficult” box. The officials need to stay on their toes though, as these are the type of fixtures which can suddenly turn on one bad call from the officials


GB at 2017-05-13 17:51:15

For those referees watching this who have been told in an Observer’s report to “keep out of the centre” – watch how this referees is always moving when he enters the centre circle and gets out of it as quickly as possible.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:47:28


I have seen this trait of referee’s showing the advantage signal as a player comes away with the ball a lot in the Premier League this season. The problem is that younger referee’s are copying this action and getting caught out for not signalling early enough. It is important to show the players what you are DOING when you signal for ADVANTAGE – not show the cameras what you have DONE, after you have played an advantage.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:41:27

Moving ball at that free kick noticed and indicated by the referee – good alertness at this stage.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:40:11


I know it is still early in the game, but you just can’t help notice how little grappling there is going on at these corners. It just makes it a better game IMO.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:37:29

Not /a hint of any holding in the penalty area at that corner kick – I wonder why


GB at 2017-05-13 17:36:07

Followed by another excellent call from Mr Hussin as he picks out a very important off side in the build up to the last Arsenal attempt on goal.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:34:51

Credit for the first off side correct decision goes to the AR2 though!


GB at 2017-05-13 17:32:57


Not a good start for AR Ian Hussin in my eyes in the first minute – two throw-in signals and each time he is looking at his flag when he signals! Poor practice at ANY level. The time he misses an act of violent conduct whilst checking if his arm is straight, he will wish he didn’t do that!

Kick Off

GB at 2017-05-13 17:30:19

Arsenal won the toss so it will be Stoke City to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at

GB at 2017-05-13 17:26:54

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2017-05-13 17:23:59


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GB at 2017-05-13 17:20:43


Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Mike Dean

AR1: Simon Long (Technical Area)

AR2: Ian Hussin

4th Official: Graham Scott

This is just the type of game which Mike Dean relishes! Just enough on it to keep the eyes of the world on him, but at the same time, not a game which screams a great deal of difficulty before a ball is kicked. Not that any of that would both him, as Mr reliable has just taken everything in his stride again this season.

I have no doubt there will be a big fixture for this referee on the last day of the season, but in the meantime, this could be his last live TV opportunity to end this campaign as he started, with a strong stance on grappling in the penalty area, which I for one was disappointed was not universally repeated amongst his colleagues.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-05-13 17:18:09

Stoke City

1       Jack Butland (SC 1)

3       Erik Pieters (SC 3)

4       Joe Allen (SC 4)

6       Glenn Whelan (SC 6)

8       Glen Johnson (SC 8)

10     Marko Arnautovic (SC 10)

15     Bruno Martins Indi (SC 15)

17     Ryan Shawcross (SC 17)

18     Mame Biram Diouf (SC 18)

20     Geoff Cameron (SC 20)

22     Xherdan Shaqiri (SC 22)


5       Marc Muniesa (SC 5)

9       Saido Berahino (SC 9)

16     Charlie Adam (SC 16)

19     Jonathan Walters (SC 19)

25     Peter Crouch (SC 25)

32     Ramadan Sobhi (SC 32)

33     Lee Grant (SC 33)


33     Petr Cech (A 33)

6       Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

7       Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

11     Mesut Özil (A 11)

12     Olivier Giroud (A 12)

16     Rob Holding (A 16)

18     Nacho Monreal (A 18)

20     Shkodran Mustafi (A 20)

24     Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

29     Granit Xhaka (A 29)

34     Francis Coquelin (A 34)


5       Gabriel Paulista (A 5)

8       Aaron Ramsey (A 8)

13     David Ospina (A 13)

14     Theo Walcott (A 14)

17     Alex Iwobi (A 17)

23     Danny Welbeck (A 23)

35     Mohamed Elneny (A 35)


GB at 2017-05-13 17:14:08


Stoke City literally tripped over the safety line in the last two weeks with two draws providing the necessary points to take them up to 41. There is still money to play for today though, as each step on the Premier League ladder is worth more than the one below, and today’s professional players have their pride and reputation to play for as well, so no one will be rolling over for the Gunners in this one.

Arsenal need a perfect 9pts from their final 3 games over the next 8 days, to give themselves a chance of continuing their record consecutive qualifying for the Champions League achievements, so they should be first out of the blocks today.

The Gunners revived their top-four hopes by beating Manchester United and Southampton and now face another stern test against Mark Hughes’ team.

We should spare a though for the Arsene Wenger factor in this one as well of course, as Champions League qualification would surely effect his final decision on if he wants to be around next season. Yet ironically, some Arsenal fans are actually hoping for a year out of Europe’s most prestigious shop window, in the hope that will force the decision which leads to a new man at the helm in August.

Getting that off the schedule for a year might actually help them domestically. The Europa League, of course, is no easier in terms of fixture pile-up but Arsenal would have the squad depth to rotate their team for that competition rather than having to send their best XI out to cope with the continent’s top sides. Those who think this way may well get their wish – the Gunners have a lot of work to do first though, and will need some help from either Manchester City or Liverpool, too – to make the top four. A lost for Arsenal today, and a win for Liverpool tomorrow, and it all becomes academic anyway.


GB at 2017-05-13 17:09:30


Welcome to this early evening RefCam coverage of the Premier League game between Stoke City and Arsenal. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at