Mike Dean was at centre of another controversy last night in the closing stages of Aston Villa’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough, which saw Steve Bruce’s side advance to the Championship play-off final.
In the 87th minute Middlesbrough’s Adama Traore’s attempted a chip outside the box which Villa keeper Sam Johnstone handled outside the area. He was subsequently cautioned.
But for me there is no question that the goalkeeper should have seen red and Mike has made a major key match error. Johnstone deliberately handles the ball outside the area, and it’s a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity, so in law it a red card.
Whether Mike felt there were covering defenders or whether the ball might not have had the pace to beat the backtracking defenders, it doesn’t matter. John Terry’s positioning is irrelevant, the ball is going over Johnstone towards the goal, he’s outside the area and therefore can’t handle the ball, but he does so and should be dismissed.
Within seconds the position of players can change following a decision, so I agree it can be hard for a referee to distinguish who might have been where. However for me, looking past all that, this was just basic refereeing to acknowledge the DOGSO offence and there is no excuse.
I’m sure Mike will be disappointed when he reflects back.