He is one of a number of solid shouts for players that look old before their time. We also have the final words on lovely D-Beck and a rejection of end of season playoffs...
That's one opinion, but others give their thanks to the man. We also have ideas for a relegation playoff, happy memories of the season and a defence of Liverpool's campaign...
Going into Sunday, much of the hype was focused on Manchester United v Liverpool. An age-old rivalry, compounded by recent antagonism between supporters and certain players on either side, it was expected to be a bit tasty, especially from a refereeing point of view.
There were contentious moments, certainly, and we will come to this game later to discuss them. But within ten minutes at The Emirates later that afternoon, you knew that this would be the game that would draw the talking points when Sunday was over.
Let me first say that I think the decision by Mike Dean to give a penalty to Manchester City and send off Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny was a superb one. I go beyond even saying it was 'correct', because Mr Dean did brilliantly to come to the right conclusion. Firstly, his positioning was top-notch. He had the prime spot on the edge of the penalty area and was looking straight at Koscielny and Edin Dzeko. He saw something that those that were following the ball might have missed. Certainly watching live on TV I saw nothing amiss and was staggered when I saw him point to the spot. I suspect that the Arsenal fans that hurled ludicrous amounts of vitriol at Mr Dean for the rest of the afternoon didn't really see what happened either, and resorted to a knee-jerk reaction of abuse.
If we look at the replay of Koscielny bear-hugging Dzeko to the ground, I don't think even the most ardent of Gooners could argue that it wasn't a foul. They might very well suggest that this kind of offence happens up and down the country without being punished, and feel hard done by. They'd have a point, but the answer is not to slate Mike Dean, for he is the one, in this case, applying the laws correctly. When analysing something like this in isolation, he was without doubt correct.
The next question is about whether or not it was worthy of a red card. As far as the current laws of the game go, I think he had to walk. Not for the last time when looking at this game, we have to look at the phrase 'in the opinion of the referee'. In Dean's opinion - and in mine, too, for that matter - had Koscielny not held on to Dzeko then he would have had a clear chance to score. The ball would have dropped very close to him, and Koscielny prevented that illegally. I fail to see how Mr Dean could have done anything else.
That being said, I've repeatedly opined that a penalty is, almost by definition, a clear goalscoring opportunity. In a manner of speaking, the defender does not prevent the opportunity, he merely shifts it to a defined spot. Right now, the law's intention is that players ought to be sent off. I find it to be a case of double jeopardy, and would advocate a softening of the law so that a red card was not called for, except in the case of when an actual goal is prevented, such as a handball on the line.
In the second half came another red card, this time for City, and for their captain Vincent Kompany. Instinctively I felt it was very harsh. On review I still think he was extremely hard done by (although the FA have since overruled Mike Dean's decision). That all said, I have some sympathy with the referee who is in a bit of a predicament.
The law is most contradictory with tackles like this. Firstly, the law says that you judge a red card based on whether a challenge is made with 'excessive force or brutality'. It then mentions endangering the safety of an opponent. The next paragraph, though, is key. It reads:
'Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.'
The addition of the clause 'one or both legs' covers basically every tackle, therefore indicating that the important aspect is how serious the tackle is, not how many legs you go in with. However, professional referees are instructed that if a player makes a tackle with both feet off the ground that they are out of control, and therefore endangering the safety of their opponent. Ergo, they must be sent off.
I believe, personally, that there is a huge difference between a tackle in which you lead with both feet, studs up and going in with excessive force, than one where one leg leads and the other, admittedly off the ground, follows through. I felt that in isolation Kompany's was a good tackle, made with the player's eye on the ball and made within the spirit of the game, without intention to hurt the opponent. I think referees ought to be allowed to look at a tackle on its own merits and not simply follow black and white guidelines.
It is, though, interesting to note that Abdoulaye Faye of Hull City was not punished for a tackle in which he leapt in with two feet, at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, taking the ball. I thought his tackle was far more dangerous and likely to hurt an opponent than Kompany's.
I do think there was a touch of Mr Dean thinking about his earlier dismissal, perhaps in the back of his mind. I don't think he is the kind of official to deliberately 'even things up', but I defy anyone to subconsciously have it in your mind when assessing a follow-up.
One last point - what does it mean when a referee is said to have 'ruined the game'? Who says such platitudes, and why? I get that if you are an Arsenal fan and you feel that something is unfair then it ruined the game for you as it contributed to your loss, but anyone else saying that is just saying things that they have heard others utter. They don't know what they are talking about.
For one, it isn't a referee's job to think about 'ruining the game' - he just has to do the right thing. And secondly, I don't think it did ruin it. I really enjoyed it. Arsenal rallied, and if they'd have nicked a goal from the chances they had even before Kompany's dismissal, it could have been an epic finale.
The most notable big decision for Howard Webb and his team in Manchester United v Liverpool was for United's second goal. Patrice Evra's header deflected off Nemanja Vidic and into the net, which people have said should not have stood due to an offside. This is one of those decisions where I just cannot apportion blame to the officials. Vidic is obscured, to the assistant, by Evra. It wasn't clear that he was offside or that he touched the ball. Harsh on Liverpool? Possibly. But entirely forgivable.
I thought the most disappointing aspect of the weekend was Jay Rodriguez's dive to 'earn' Southampton a penalty at Aston Villa. And even then, perhaps not the dive itself, but the reaction to it.
For Mark Halsey, refereeing the game, I can see why he gave the penalty. It looked a foul when Rodriguez hit the deck on TV, let alone from Mr Halsey's angle. He was conned, and conned convincingly. It's all very well blaming officials for this, or suggesting we need to use impractical video replays. The problem lies with the players doing it, and this can be partially eradicated, or at least discouraged, if managers can be consistent when it is one of their own players involved.
Nigel Adkins said that Rodriguez didn't dive. However, Rodriguez DID dive. We all saw it. I'd love to see Southampton lose 1-0 next week to a penalty in which an opponent dives. Let's see what Adkins says then. If he complains, then he'll have very little credibility on the matter. Imagine how admirable it would have been for him to step up and say: "We'll take the win, as others would take them when decisions go against us, but I'm unhappy with my player doing it in that manner. We want to win games on merit, not through cheating."
If managers don't speak up on players acting via these means, then what hope do referees have in trying to curb this cancer in the game?
Rob McNichol - follow him on Twitter