[dropcap type=”circle”]I[/dropcap]t can’t be easy being Heswall’s Mike Dean right now. The man often described as the Premier League’s most controversial referee has been urged to hang up his whistle following his performance during the clash between West Ham and Manchester United on Monday evening.
That said, his incorrect decision to send off the Hammers’ Sofiane Feghouli wasn’t helped by the behaviour of United centre back, Phil Jones, who rolled around on the ground back and forth like a man being repeatedly Tasered.
Replays, a luxury referees are currently not afforded, revealed that both men went in hard for a 50-50 ball and, if anything, it was Jones who made violent contact with Feghouli and not the other way around.
After the game West Ham manager Slavan Bilic said Mike Dean had ruined the match. The sending off occurred after only 15 minutes when the score was 0-0. Bilic stated that the referee was guilty of ‘killing’ his team.
“You don’t like to say it but it’s almost like he wants to be the centre of attention,” opined Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith during post-match chat. Fellow pundit Niall Quinn had similar thoughts: “Time and time again I look at this guy Mike Dean and his arrogance alone, and I suppose running the show and looking the part – it puts me off.”
But Sky commentator Gary Neville was more conciliatory. He tweeted: “I was critical of Mike Dean’s performance in the game. He was poor. But I think the reaction towards him since is disgraceful.”
Writing in the Daily Mail former top-flight ref Graham Poll came to Mike Dean’s defence: “Replays showed that both players were equally culpable as Jones wrapped his legs around Feghouli’s. Such decisions are crucial and Dean, one of the select group’s most experienced referees, knows that.
“Referees aren’t on the field to be popular, they are there to show the courage of their convictions and give what they see. They are also not supposed to guess or appear to seek the limelight. Dean is the referee happiest to take the biggest decisions and this was no exception. He will have believed he was right but when he watches this back he will know and accept that he was wrong.”
48 year old Mike Dean is scheduled to officiate the F.A. Cup clash between Tottenham and Aston Villa on Sunday.
Many eyes will be upon him but he doesn’t appear to be the sort of man who will shirk from his responsibilities no matter how intense the gaze.
When Mike Dean does decide to retire from refereeing, we’ve been thinking about things in Heswall in urgent need of his red card.
- The cones that appear at inconvenient times and block the entrance to the Shell service station on the Devon Doorway roundabout.
- Pay and display car park machines that take ridiculous amounts of money like £1.05p.
- Anyone indulging in anti-social behaviour.
- Anyone waiting longer than a minute on Telegraph Road to get into the Marks and Spencer car park.
Mike could be a sort of superhero for Heswall. Imagine some miscreant late at night dropping litter on Pensby Road – when out of the shadows steps…