Mike Dean reveals the most intimidating Premier League manager he dealt with

Premier League referee Mike Dean is bowing out of professional football after 22 years officiating in England’s top flight at the end of the season.

Impressively, he has officiated over 550 matches during his career. Along the way, Mike Dean has issued 114 red cards in the top division – more than any other Premier League official.

Fans both love and loathe the polarising official. His controversial decisions, funny yet bizarre behaviour and odd facial expressions no doubt contributed to his rise as a sort of cult figure.  

Mike Dean: memorable Premier League moments

When he has officiated so many matches, it is unsurprising that Mike Dean has plenty of hilarious highlights.

Who can forget when Dean appeared to celebrate a Spurs goal vs Aston Villa in 2015? As the referee played advantage, Moussa Dembele scored for Spurs. The Belgian wheeled away in celebration – as did Mike Dean as he ran back to the centre circle.

Dean claimed that he was celebrating a successful playing of advantage. However, this didn’t stop people from claiming that he was a Tottenham fan.

Mike Dean’s on-pitch actions have produced some bizarre moments. He once tapped Abou Diaby on the backside whilst running past the Arsenal midfielder in their game against Man City. He even did the same thing again – giving Man United player Adnan Januzaj a friendly tap before being substituted on in a different fixture.

A final one to add to the list is when Mike Dean hid the match ball from Sergio Aguero. Always up for a laugh, Dean decided to joke with the Argentine following his hattrick versus Chelsea.

As Aguero approached him post-match, Dean hid the match ball up the back of his shirt. This got a laugh out of the City striker and typified the showman status that Mike Dean always seemed to bring when he officiated.

Dean reveals his most intimidating manager

However, the referee did not get on with everyone. Speaking to Football Focus, Dean revealed which manager intimidated him the most when he was the man with the whistle.

Surprisingly, former Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not Dean’s answer, as you may expect.

“He [Ferguson] used to get a lot of stick saying he’d come in and bang the door down,” explained Dean. “He would come in now and then to express his views if something had gone really badly, but he wasn’t as bad as people made him out to be.”

It turns out that Arsene Wenger was the most daunting coach to deal with in Mike Dean’s long career.

“I always found it tough, not refereeing Arsenal in general but refereeing Arsenal when he [Wenger] was the manager. It was just his presence –  he wanted the best for Arsenal all the time, and if he could get any way of getting one over you, he would do.”

Fortunately, Dean has not had to contend with Arsene Wenger on the touchline for quite a few years now.

“Since he has finished football, I have seen him, and he has been great,” said the referee. “Cross the white line, and everyone is different, like referees.”

Premier League fans and players alike have different opinions on Mike Dean, but his entertaining actions will always amuse the audience.

Featured Image Credit: Getty