The final weekend in August didn’t bring about too many bad refereeing displays, but Mike Dean once again found himself in the headlines for sending off Raheem Sterling after he scored the winning goal at Bournemouth. Youaretheref.com‘s Mark Halsey is back to take a look at that, plus some of the other big decisions last weekend…
Bournemouth vs Manchester City (Mike Dean)
As a referee, you don’t want to be in the headlines because if you are it means you’re receiving a lot of criticism. It’s unlike Mike, he seems to be missing things. When I was coming towards the end of my career, you do start to miss things and you have to be truthful and honest with yourself and look at when it’s time to go.
He missed a few things, none other than giving a free-kick to Man City leading up to the second goal which wasn’t a free-kick, it was a great challenge. The Sterling situation could have been managed better all round, by the police and the stewards and by Mike Dean.
We’re in an entertainment business, the passion players show when they’ve scored a winning goal after a hard-fought game, once that goal goes in you forget about everything else. The problem was the fans were already on the pitch, just because he’s left the field of play doesn’t mean it’s an automatic caution.
“Celebration of a goal must not be excessive, choreographed celebrations are not encouraged and must not cause excessive time wasting.
“Leaving the field of play is not a cautionable offence but players must return as soon as possible. Climbing onto a perimeter offence and/or approaching the spectators in a manner which causes safety and/or security issues then the player must be cautioned.”
As referees, we have to show empathy for the game and understand player emotions. All Sterling has done is go over to his fans – who are already on the pitch – and the security officers haven’t managed that as well as they should have done.
He gets pulled in, then gets back to the centre circle and Mike Dean sends him off. To the letter of the law, Mike is correct because he’s gone towards the fans but the fans have come over into the player’s space.
I just think the whole situation should have been managed better by everyone involved, Mike should have just seen that, got back to the centre and got on with it. At the Euro’s, we didn’t see one caution for that because referees were told not to do it.
Newcastle United vs West Ham United (Neil Swarbrick)
The Mitrovic incident is no different to what we’ve seen in the last few weeks and I’m really surprised the referee hasn’t seen it, he’s looking straight at it.
In the first week, we saw Baines suffer the same fate with Shaqiri and he got away with it. I’m amazed that wasn’t picked up and that was Neil Swarbrick too. It was no different to Arnautovic or to Robson-Kanu yet they both got three matches and Shaqiri escaped retrospective action.
The FA have got to act [Mitrovic has since been suspended] because that is endangering the player’s safety. There’s a theme developing that Neil has missed two incidents in the opening month of the season.
Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Graham Scott)
Graham has hung in there after the PGMOL tried to remove him, but he appealed and won his appeal and he’s got to take a lot of credit because he recognised that Britos’s challenge was serious foul play, a reckless challenge endangering a player’s safety with excessive force and brutality.
Those are the challenges we want to see referees punish, I really thought Gary Cahill wasn’t a sending off and a lot of people agreed. These are the ones, not the type like Cahill’s.
Manchester United vs Leicester City (Michael Oliver)
I thought Juan Mata was unlucky, I think that should have been given because you can see it’s level. That’s not down to Michael, but you can argue the handball looked a bit harsh.
With the Fellaini goal, if a defender deliberately goes to block a ball and it comes off him, then he’s onside. If he doesn’t deliberately go to block the ball and it just hits him, then he’s offside. But we’re complicating matters, the offside law is a pain.
But Michael’s up there with Martin Atkinson and Anthony Taylor at the moment as our leading referees.
You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey