XtraTime Web Desk: England’s referee Mike Dean is on the verge of brandishing the 100th red card of his Premier League career, which could come at the Etihad on Super Sunday.
The official made his debut Leicester City’s home clash with Southampton back in 2000.
It took Dean until April 14 of his debut campaign to issue his first red when dismissing Newcastle’s Nolberto Solano for a handball on the line in their match with Ipswich.
In the intervening period, the 50-year-old has reached to his back pocket for a red on average every 4.7 matches, far more frequently than any of his current colleagues.
This campaign has been no different, with Dean having red carded nine players in just 19 games – the most recent of which was Huddersfield’s Christopher Schindler against Burnley – four more than any other top-flight referee, while some such as Anthony Taylor has not sent off anyone.
However, Dean’s career – the highlight of which was refereeing the 2008 FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium – has not been without controversy or two.
This season has been no different with the official caught mouthing “off you pop” after sending off Brighton defender Lewis Dunk at the Vitality in December!
The only problem was it later turned out the player should not have been dismissed in the first place!
However, when it comes to being dismissed on more than one occasion by the official, only five players have that honour – Andrew Cole, Richard Dunne, Fernando Torres, Mike Williamson and of those still currently playing, Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny.
The man in the middle will officiate his 473rd contest when champions Manchester City host Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, although both teams may be a little wary of that news.
That is because Dean has sent off more players from these two clubs – nine each – than any other Premier League team.
So, the players will need to be on their best behaviour this weekend otherwise, Dean may very well be bringing up his century of dismissals.