The Analyst: Mike Dean tops cards table but Bankes averaging over six a game this season

When betting on Premier League booking points, it pays to check out the referee in charge. Do they enjoy dishing out the yellows like Dean, or are they everyone's friend like, er, Kevin Friend?

It's part and parcel of being a soccer fan to blame a referee, but whether it's a missed tackle, denied penalty or rash red card - they often don't help themselves.

While some are keen to let play flow, others - and yes, we're looking at you Mike Dean - have become well recognised for their tendency to hog the headlines.

And with booking points becoming an integral part of build-a-bets, their every decision (or lack of one) has the potential to make or break an acca.

So, with that in mind, let Planet Sport be your guide as we look at which Premier League referees like to proceed with caution and which prefer to deal in cautions.

Mike Dean

Cards per match: 4.03

Over 2.5 cards: 76%

It comes as no surprise to find that Mike Dean claims the crown as the most card-happy referee in the Premier League.

The 53-year-old has made a name for himself as an official not scared to leave his mark on a game.

Controversy is the one thing referees should really avoid when officiating a match, but Mike Dean can't seem to avoid it, and the stats show why.

In terms of cards per match, Dean leads the way - and fairly comfortably too - with a resounding 4.04 cards per match.

He was also the first referee to brandish 100 red cards in the Premier League, although we're not quite sure whether that's a record to be proud of.

To add to his claim of being the most card-happy referee, Dean also leads the way in terms of how many matches of his involve over 2.5 cards - 76% of them to be exact.

In particular, it's the two Manchester clubs who should be most worried about seeing Dean in charge. The 106 yellow cards handed out to the Red Devils makes them Dean's most carded club, while rivals Manchester City are close behind with 96.

Last match: Arsenal vs Crystal Palace (20 booking points)

Next match: Not assigned this weekend

Anthony Taylor

Cards per match: 3.8

Over 2.5 cards: 67%

Following closely behind is Anthony Taylor, who has handed out 40 red cards throughout his 11-year career as a Premier League official.

In terms of cards per match, Taylor sits second in the standings with 3.8 per match, with over 2.5 cards being shown in 67% of his matches.

In the seven matches he has officiated in 2021/22, Taylor has awarded 19 yellow cards in addition to the dismissal of Reece James against Liverpool.

The Gunners have suffered more than any under Taylor's watch - the six red cards he has handed to Arsenal is three more than any other club, with Everton in second place with three.

Last match: Brentford vs Chelsea (20 booking points)

Next match: Manchester United vs Liverpool (October 24, 4.30pm kick-off)

Peter Bankes

Peter Bankes, Premier League, Referee

Cards per match: 3.8

Over 2.5 cards: 68%

Having officiated over 100 matches in the Championship, Bankes is now starting to make his way in the Premier League, and he's not been timid when it comes to cards.

Bankes' record of 3.8 cards per match places him right among the card-crazy referees, and he's been even quicker to his pocket this season. In his four Premier League appearances, he's brandished 25 yellow cards, an average of more than six per game.

Additionally, Bankes' sole Championship game this season included six yellows and a red. If he carries on at his current rate then Mike Dean may have some serious competition for top spot.

His growing responsibilities in the Premier League is especially good news for fans of Arsenal and Leicester. Bankes has taken charge of both sides three times, and both boast a 100% win rate.

However, we recommend Aston Villa fans watch games through their fingers when officiated by Bankes. The Villans are the side Bankes has taken charge of most (16 times), yet they have just a 25% win rate under the Liverpool-born referee, and have also seen two players sent off during that time.

Last match: Norwich vs Brighton (80 booking points)

Next match: VAR official for Leeds United vs Wolves (October 23, 3pm kick-off)

Martin Atkinson

Cards per match: 3.69

Over 2.5 cards: 70%

Martin Atkinson is going on 16 years as a Premier League referee, and is never far from the action.

The 50-year-old official has brandished 15 yellow cards in seven games this season, alongside two red cards for Granit Xhaka vs Manchester City, and James Ward-Prowse vs Chelsea.

Atkinson's 3.69 cards per match means he narrowly misses out on the bronze medal in the Premier League standings, but with 70% of his matches featuring over 2.5 cards, he's up there with Mike Dean for consistent card showing.

Last match: Manchester City vs Burnley (10 booking points)

Next match: VAR official for Everton vs Watford (October 23, 3pm kick-off)

Stuart Atwell

Cards per match: 3.67

Over 2.5 cards: 68%

Atwell follows closely behind in terms of cards handed out. But interestingly, Atwell is more prone than any other referee to handing out cards to the away side.

His rate of 3.67 cards per match places him fourth in the list of current referees. However, the average is skewed in favour of the away sides, with 2.02 cards handed out to the visitors, as opposed to 1.66 for the home team.

Perhaps swayed more than most by the roar of a home crowd, Atwell clearly isn't afraid to appease the fans and punish an aggressive away side.

Manchester City appear to be extremely hard done by under Atwell. In just 10 games in charge of the Citizens, he's shown their players three red cards.

Last match: Everton vs West Ham (20 booking points)

Next match: VAR official for Manchester United vs Liverpool (October 24, 4.30pm kick-off)

Craig Pawson

Cards per match: 3.64

Over 2.5 cards: 64%

Rounding off the top five card-crazy referees is Craig Pawson, who averages 3.61 cards per match, with 64% of his games involving over 2.5 cards.

The 42-year-old has enjoyed an eight-year career as a referee in the Premier League, officiating 187 games and brandishing 31 red cards.

However, while Pawson joins our list of referees not afraid to wave the cards, Liverpool fans can rest easily when he's assigned to their matches.

Despite refereeing Liverpool the most in his career (25 appearances), Pawson has never shown a red card to one of their players, and only shown 1.36 yellows per game too.

Manchester United have enjoyed similar fortunes under Pawson, and have never had a player dismissed in his 22 games in charge of the Red Devils.

Without directly accusing Pawson of big-team bias, it does seem a little off that he's yet to reach for his back pocket for both Liverpool and United, and it's well worth keeping in mind as the season progresses.

Last match: Leicester City vs Manchester United (30 booking points)

Next match: Arsenal vs Aston Villa (October 22, 8pm kick-off)

Paul Tierney

Paul Tierney, Premier League, referee, Arsenal, Southampton

Cards per match: 3.43

Over 2.5 cards: 69%

Tierney is one of the newer additions to Premier League refereeing after taking charge of his first top-flight game in the 2014/15 season.

However, with 107 Premier League games now under his belt, Tierney has plenty of experience behind him when it comes to decision-making. In terms of cards, he has a fairly average record of 3.34 per game.

To add to his record, 69% of Tierney's matches have over 2.5 cards, while 13% have red cards and 20% have seen penalties awarded.

Manchester City fans in particular should look forward to Tierney taking charge - in 14 appearances the 40-year-old has averaged only 1.43 cards and has never sent off a player in sky blue. Additionally, City boast a 85.7% win rate under Tierney.

In contrast, Arsenal fans will have less favourable memories of Tierney. During his nine games in charge of the Gunnres, he has brandished two red cards to Arsenal players, and the north London side only have a 44% win rate.

Last match: VAR official for Brentford vs Chelsea (20 booking points)

Next match: West Ham vs Spurs (October 24, 2pm kick-off)

David Coote

David Coote, Premier League referee

Cards per match: 3.45

Over 2.5 cards: 66%

Coote hit his 50-game milestone this season as a top-flight referee, and has done so in dramatic style, averaging five cards per match during his five appearances.

That, though, is far over his usual average of 3.42 per match, and with 66% of all his matches consisting of over 2.5 cards, we expect his disciplinary record will ease up.

However, while his card record lacks consistency, Coote is a referee not afraid of giving penalties.

His all-time Premier League record states that 36% of his matches have seen a penalty awarded, and already this campaign he's pointed to the spot twice in five matches.

Last match: Southampton vs Leeds (50 booking points)

Next match: VAR official for Southampton vs Burnley (October 23, 3pm kick-off)

Jonathan Moss

Cards per match: 3.35

Over 2.5 cards: 66%

Sitting in the middle of the pack is likely where referees would like to be in this list. Not too card happy but not too soft is Jon Moss, who has just entered his 10th year as a Premier League official.

His 3.37 cards per match is nothing to shout about, while his 66% rate of having over 2.5 cards put him firmly mid-table. However, the 50-year-old has not been a stranger to the headlines this season.

Moss has handed out just 12 yellow cards this season in his six games - well below his average - but did send off Tottenham's Japhet Tanganga vs Crystal Palace. It's not the first time Moss has been particularly harsh on Spurs. Three red cards in 25 appearances for the north London side is his highest average for any team he's refereed.

However, Moss keeps his cards in his pockets across town with West Ham. In the 27 matches he has officiated with the Hammers, he has sent off four opposing players and given the London side a penalty in 20% of the games.

Born in Sunderland, it's a stretch to suggest that Moss has any allegiances to West Ham, but we've got our eye on you Jon.

Last match: Watford vs Liverpool (0 booking points)

Next match: Not assigned this weekend

Michael Oliver

Cards per match: 3.33

Over 2.5 cards: 62%

One short of his 300th game as a Premier League referee, Oliver is also one red card away from reaching a milestone of 40.

His average of 3.32 cards per match places him on the lower end of this refereeing scale, with 23 cards from seven games this season around par for the course.

Additionally, with just 62% of his matches containing over 2.5 cards, Oliver seems a safe bet for a referee willing to let play go more than others.

Last match: Aston Villa vs Wolves (40 booking points)

Next match: VAR official for Arsenal vs Aston Villa (October 22, 8pm kick-off), Chelsea vs Norwich (October 23, 12.30pm kick-off)



Andre Marriner

Cards per match: 3.1

Over 2.5 cards: 57%

While the previous referees offer great opportunities for card-crazy matches, Andre Marriner tends to keep his cards in his pocket.

The 50-year-old has the lowest percentage of games with over 2.5 cards among all current Premier League referees - just 57%.

Similarly, his rate of 3.17 cards per match ranks second lowest in the list.

However, while Marriner's record from years gone by suggests he leans toward the lenient side of refereeing, his 2021/22 record says otherwise.

In four Premier League fixtures, Marriner has shown 21 yellow cards. The derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton was a particular hot-spot for cards, with seven dished out among the two sides. His two Spurs matches this season have both featured six cards, while the official had no alternative but to send Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey off last weekend for two bookable offences.

Last match: Newcastle United vs Tottenham (75 booking points)

Next match: Not assigned this weekend

Kevin Friend

Cards per match: 3.3

Over 2.5 cards: 59%

Kevin Friend is another keen on keeping his cards in his pocket.

The 50-year-old has taken charge of 258 Premier League matches and handed out 30 red cards and 873 yellows. While that may sound a lot, Friend's rate of 3.3 per match makes him one of the more forgiving officials.

Additionally, just 59% of his games have featured over 2.5 cards.

However, despite his lenient record, a seven-card frenzy took place this season when Friend oversaw Burnley vs Norwich, so it's certainly not a given.

Last match: Burnley vs Norwich City (70 booking points)

Next match: Brighton vs Manchester City (October 23, 5.30pm kick-off)

Simon Hooper

Cards per match: 2.96

Over 2.5 cards: 60%

Apparently the Mr Nice Guy of Premier League refereeing, Simon Hooper has shown just 91 yellow cards and two reds during his 34-match career.

His record leaves him bottom of the list of card-crazy referees, with his games averaging only 2.96 cards per match.

Just 60% of his matches have included over 2.5 cards, so when Hooper is given charge of a game, it certainly pays to go low when it comes to the card markets.

Last match: Leeds United vs Watford (30 booking points)

Next match: Brentford vs Leicester (October 24, 2pm kick-off)

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