After the Tottenham and Chelsea debacle, is he ever capable of taking a backseat?

Mike Dean

Let’s be humorous about this. Mike Dean put in a Man of the Match performance in the game between Tottenham and Chelsea. We went away talking about Fernando Torres, Jan Vertonghen, a little of the friendship, or lack therefore, between Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas, but referee Mike Dean stole the show.

Now let’s be serious. This isn’t the first time that many would have been discussing Dean’s performance, and not in the way you normally debate a decision made by a referee. It gets a little bit sickening when those on the front line try to defend and even justify the performances of referees – and it’s made even more infuriating by the protection offered to match officials. No interviews whatsoever is far more damning than may be intended.

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But what can we take from this? It’s yet another trigger-happy performance by a referee who couldn’t wait to make a decisive decision in a big game. Anyone could have seen that Torres didn’t actually touch Vertonghen, but rather the sending off was the culmination of previous altercations and was viewed by the official as the opportune moment to leave his mark on a game.

Some have said that Mike Dean managed the whole game well, but again that just smacks of justification for bias match officiating and an outcome that isn’t always in the hands of players or managers.

Torres may have been walking that fine line and could have eventually got himself sent off. Or he could have just kept poking and dancing dangerously around the fire without actually burning himself. Is that against the laws of the game?

But Dean is a figure who has previous. His actions towards Arsene Wenger at Old Trafford were despicable at best. What if that had been Alex Ferguson? Not a chance; Dean would have been hounded out of the Premier League for good. The striking image of that game of course is Wenger being sent to the non-existent stands at Old Trafford, and for what? Kicking a water bottle?

Andy Dunn has been one of the writers to defend Dean and refs in general. Yes, referees do get a lot of stick after games, but not because everyone is bored and in desperate search of an easy target. It’s largely because the majority are incompetent. And if they manage to stray away from the boundaries of incompetence, they fail to mask their unquestionable bias. It’s fortunate that corruption is so alien to the modern game in England.

Is Mike Dean capable of not making it all about him?

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