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Mike Dean now has no match next weekend after Newcastle 1 Fulham 0 VAR shambles – Suspended?

1 year ago
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Earlier today (Monday 16 January) I had an article published on The Mag about Mike Dean.

The former referee was the VAR official on Sunday at St James’ Park.

When to put it mildly, he (Mike Dean) presided over a complete shambles.

On the coming together of Trippier and Decordova-Reid, VAR official Mike Dean directing referee Robert Jones to watch a certain TV replay, which when anybody looks at it, you do think this is a penalty that could be given, as the Newcastle player doesn’t appear to play the ball, there is contact with the Fulham player, who then falls to the ground, and contact is clearly made just inside the box.

However…when you see it from the other angle, the one that Mike Dean didn’t direct the referee to watch, it is then clear as day that it is actually Decordova-Reid who stands on Trippier’s foot and then throws himself to the ground. Never mind whether it is a penalty or not, it is actually clearly a foul ON the Newcastle defender, which I’m sure the on-pitch referee would have spotted, like the rest of us at home, if Mike Dean had shown him the right angle / replay.

Based on the guidance of Mike Dean, referee Robert Jones then awarded a penalty, which then Mitro spectacularly failed with. Quite extraordinary, as he kicked with his right foot, the ball then hitting his left, and ending up in the net. Disallowed of course due to Mitro kicking the ball twice.

To compound the shambles presided over by Mike Dean on the VAR side of things, in the same passage of play on Sunday he (Mike Dean) didn’t ask the referee to look at an incident where Dan Burn got the wrong side of Andreas Pereira and the Fulham player fell to the ground as Burn laid his hand on his shoulder, when with just Nick Pope to beat from eight yards out. Whilst Pereira went down very easily, fair to say the majority of pundits / commentators thinking that this was a penalty, which VAR official Mike Dean should have asked referee Robert Jones to review.

Anyway, I speculated on what would happen when the next list of match officials was announced for the Premier League games next weekend. Would Mike Dean be allocated a match having presided over such a shambles at St James’ Park?

There has been a very recent precedent for this, at St James’ Park!

Lee Mason presided over the absolute disaster at St James’ Park at the start of September when Newcastle v Crystal Palace took place, the VAR official responsible for the ‘goal’ NUFC ‘scored’ ending up overturned.

The former referee intervening after the on the pitch referee (Michael Salisbury) had initially given a goal, Mason then making the situation even worse by showing the referee the worst possible action replay angle when he looked at the pitchside monitor. The goal disallowed for Willock making contact with the keeper, when if the referee had been shown the correct angle, he would have seen the Palace defender clearly push Willock.

Nothing was announced officially, but full-time VAR official Lee Mason then disappeared for a month from officiating at Premier League matches, which clearly appeared to be a behind the scenes ban / punishment for his actions at St James’ Park.

(Having both retired as referees,  Mike Dean and Lee Mason are the only totally dedicated VAR officials, along with the current referees who mix it up between on the pitch and in the VAR office on matchdays ).

As I said above, all eyes on this next Premier League announcement, when they name the match officials for the next round of Premier League matches for the weekend.

Well, the officials have now been named and…Mike Dean is nowhere to be seen.

Robert Jones, who was referee on Sunday, is still included, he will be the fourth official for Bournemouth v Forest on Saturday. This happened after the Palace shambles in September, the on-pitch referee Michael Salisbury continuing to be included in the matches that followed, whilst VAR official Lee Mason excluded.

I had a look back at the last half dozen Premier League announcements for each round of games and including Sunday at St James’ Park, Mike Dean has been included in five of the last six PL rounds of games. Something which clearly points towards, based on probability, it being no coincidence that Mike Dean is excluded this time.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the weeks ahead to see what happens.

However, whatever turns out to be the case in terms of whether Mike Dean is included or not, we are unlikely to get anything official from the likes of the Premier League or PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited).

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