Nev criticises Dean but defends him against backlash

Date published: Tuesday 3rd January 2017 12:41

Referee Mike Dean is back under the spotlight following his latest red-card controversy.

The 48-year-old official caused uproar at the London Stadium when he sent off West Ham’s Sofiane Feghouli following a 50-50 challenge with Manchester United defender Phil Jones.

It was the fifth red card Dean has shown in 15 matches this season – more than any other referee – and came just five days after he came under fire for dismissing Southampton forward Nathan Redmond against Tottenham.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic claimed the 15th-minute tackle was not even worth a booking after his side slipped to a 2-0 defeat.

Gary Neville was unimpressed. He told Sky Sports: “I think it’s maybe the reaction of the Manchester United players, the reaction of Phil Jones maybe, obviously who no doubt would have taken a kick and would have been hurt by it.

“It’s a poor decision, and I actually think that the Kouyate tackle in the second half was a red card, where he goes over the top of the ball on Mkhitaryan. It’s far worse; it’s a definite leg-breaker, with his studs showing.

“His head was a mess after that Mike Dean, he’s had a really poor day, and to compound that the linesman has too, with Ibrahimovic offside for the second goal. It’s not been a good day for the officials, Manchester United have benefited from that today.

“His performance after the red card was the most disappointing thing, because he went to pieces a little bit.”

But despite criticising Dean, Neville moved to defend him on Twitter.

Television pundits also weighed in with Niall Quinn branding Dean arrogant and Alan Smith claiming he revels in being the centre of attention.

“He got it disgracefully wrong in my opinion,” former Sunderland forward Quinn said on Sky Sports.

“‘I try very hard doing this job to understand how difficult it is for referees and not just jump on the bandwagon, but time and time again I look at this guy and his arrogance alone, and I suppose running the show and looking the part, and it puts me off.

“I’m delighted to make an exception in this case and call him for this, this is rank-bad refereeing.”

Quinn’s fellow Sky Sports pundit, ex-Leicester and Arsenal striker Smith, added: “It comes off the back of his really bad mistake at Southampton when he sent off Nathan Redmond for what was not even a penalty in my book.

“So he’s got a track record for it. You don’t like to say it but it’s almost like he wants to be the centre of attention. I wouldn’t want to believe that of any referee but he seems to revel in it.”

Former England captain Alan Shearer tweeted: “Best league in the world but refereeing standards don’t match up. Sort your men out.”

And Shearer’s fellow Match of the Day pundit Martin Keown said on the show: “It’s a massive mistake from Mike Dean.”

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