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VAR referee Mike Dean blasted for 'worst mistake of the season' so far

Ryan Sidle

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VAR referee Mike Dean blasted for 'worst mistake of the season' so far

Marcus Rashford's 'offside' for Manchester United has not been named worst referee mistake of the season, with a former official blasting Mike Dean for a different error.

For all intents and purposes it looked like Rashford was offside for United's equaliser in the Manchester derby at the weekend, as Bruno Fernandes got Erik ten Hag's side level.

The officials decided that he wasn't actually interfering with play, much to the annoyance of Manuel Akanji, the defender who's way the forward seemed to get in.

That decision certainly split opinion, with former players and fans adamant it was wrong but former referees backing the officials.

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It certainly isn't the first time this season that fans have been left unhappy with the officials, even the use of VAR does little to placate fans, possibly annoying them even more.

One former referee has revealed that he doesn't believe the decision to say Rashford wasn't interfering on Saturday isn't the worst of the season, potentially suggesting he agrees it was onside.

According to Graham Poll, the official famous for giving a player three yellow cards in a World Cup game, the decision not to send off Cristian Romero in Tottenham Hotspur's game against Chelsea earlier this season is the worst.

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The Spurs centre back could be seen pulling Marc Cucurella's hair at a corner but VAR didn't think the decision needed to be looked at.

"Cristian Romero pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair going unpunished," Poll told Casinos EnLigne when asked about the season's worst decision.

"To me that was one of the most obvious red cards you’ll see. Anthony Taylor was refereeing and didn’t see it. Mike Dean was the VAR official and I know he’s since said I got it wrong and said I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough."

Romero pulled the Chelsea defender down by yanking his hair. Image: Alamy
Romero pulled the Chelsea defender down by yanking his hair. Image: Alamy
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It was a shocking decision, with Harry Kane going on to equalise for his team literally just seconds later, deep in injury time, from the resulting corner kick.

For his part Dean, who retired from refereeing on the pitch to only be a VAR official at the end of last season, actually admitted he made a mistake.

It also led to the moment where Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte nearly came to blows when shaking hands at the full time whistle.

Just five games later, following defeats to Leeds United, Southampton and finally Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, Tuchel was sacked.

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Rashford's offside wasn't the worst decision of the season according to Poll. Image: Sky Sports
Rashford's offside wasn't the worst decision of the season according to Poll. Image: Sky Sports

Poll was also asked about the north London derby, a game that went off without much controversy at all, with Arsenal winning fairly comfortably, thanks in part to Hugo Lloris' awful mistake.

The former referee once again singled out Romero however, explaining the centre back should have been sent off, adding, "For me Sergio Romero should have been sent off.

"He was involved in too many incidents which were highlighted by the Sky Sports commentary team saying ‘he could be off here and if not this time he’s got to go next time’.

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"He then made another two or three clear fouls and he was very lucky to stay in the pitch in my view. However because Arsenal won 2-0 the Arsenal fans don’t care and that’s how a referee can get lucky."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Mike Dean, VAR, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea

Ryan Sidle
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