Newcastle United must break a torrid Premier League record that predates the arrival of Steve Bruce if the Magpies are to achieve our first win of the season, as Mike Dean has been appointed as the referee for our trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Heswall-born official has overseen action in each of the opening two rounds of the campaign, having been in charge of Manchester City’s inaugural weekend riot over West Ham United and held the whistle as Arsenal beat Burnley 2-1 on Saturday.
In the two top-flight encounters, the 51-year-old has already issued seven yellow cards and awarded a penalty, having led the league last season for cautions with 129 yellows and ten red cards shown during his 29 games.
Three of Dean’s Premier League fixtures last term involved Newcastle, but Rafa Benitez was only able to secure to draws in them, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth keeping a point on home soil after we lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James’ Park.
Benitez was unable to orchestrate a win while Dean was in charge of our trip to Burnley the campaign prior, either, with United last putting three points on the board with the 2000-league debutant in charge in April 2016 when Crystal Palace fell to a 1-0 defeat in the North East.
Dean has overseen three Premier League ties between Newcastle and Tottenham during his career as an official, with United winning twice – although the last encounter came in April 2006, when strikes by Lee Bowyer, Shola Ameobi and Alan Shearer ensured we beat Martin Jol’s side.
While Dean’s appointment spells bad news for Newcastle, it also offers reason for Tottenham to be pessimistic, as the Wirral resident oversaw five of Spurs’ Premier League fixtures last season and Pochettino’s side only won twice.
The Argentine’s three defeats – against Arsenal, Manchester United and Burnley – also came consecutively following victories over Cardiff City and Wolves, while the North London outfit’s shock dropped points at Turf Moor led to Pochettino storming the field at the final whistle to confront Dean over his decisions during the game.