Thursday, 12 January 2017
THE spotlight fell on referee Mike Dean following this month's Premier League match between West Ham and Manchester Utd.
He showed the red card - subsequently rescinded - to the home team's Sofiane Feghouli after a challenge (deemed to be reckless) on Phil Jones.
Commenting on the incident in his column in The Daily Telegraph, former referee Keith Hackett said Dean - whom he admires - made a "wrong" decision because he was too quick and gave himself insufficient thinking time.
"Referees need the ability almost to stand aside from normal speed," he wrote.
"Dismissing a player incorrectly is the worst thing a referee can do."
But, despite the incident, Hackett reckons Dean is one of the country's top referee, highlighting his consistency and his courage in not "shirking" difficult decisions.
"If I have a criticism, it is Mike's tendency to put thing boxes and not manage the grey areas in between - he needs to appreciate nuance a bit more."
The columnist also made another comment - that tiredness can be a factor in the performance of match officials, particularly given that they have to drive to grounds all over the country.
"Fatigue is a serious issue,"he said.
According to Hackett, Dean, who is 48, might benefit from a break, even if just for a week, but this is unlikely given his ability and experience, plus the respect he enjoys from his employers, the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.
The evening after the match at West Ham, he was on duty as Fourth Official for the match between Crystal Palace and Swansea. The following Sunday, he was in the middle for the FA Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa where his performance was excellent.
In the same edition, the Telegraph's chief football writer, Sam Wallace, claimed there was "a mentality among certain referees that they would rather risk a red card that turns out to be wrong than fail to give one when it would have been justified".
He added: "Dean's on-pitch demeanour of absolute certainty and what appears to be a loftiness most likely contributes to the ferocity of the backlash against him."
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Monday, 2 January 2017
FORMER referee Keith Hackett has controversially called for Lee Mason to be axed as a Premier League referee.
He makes the call in today's edition of his weekly column for The Daily Telegraph.
He says: "Lee Mason is past his sell-by-date and should be removed from the Premier League on a permanent basis.
"His performances have been on the slide for some time and the 45-year-old should be demoted to Football League duties as soon as possible."
Hackett says it was wrong of the Bolton-based referee to disallow for dangerous play Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal for Manchester United v Middlesbrough on Saturday.
However, Hackett's call is likely to go unheeded - he retains the support of the refereeing hierarchy and is scheduled to take charge of today's Manchester City's home match with Burnley.
|Bolton official Lee Mason - in the firing line|