Thursday, 12 January 2017
DID MIKE DEAN GIVE HIMSELF INSUFFICIENT THINKING TIME OVER RED CARD INCIDENT?
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He showed the red card - subsequently rescinded - to the home team's Sofiane Feghouli after a challenge (deemed to be reckless) on Phil Jones.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