Referee Analysis: Mike Dean v Sunderland
Author: Matthew Kirk. Published: 27 February 2016 at 7:13pm
Mike Dean was the referee for the return of Big Sam to the Boleyn Ground for this first time since leaving West Ham last summer, with a Sunderland team who are struggling at the lower end of the table.
The first half was extremely quiet for Dean and his assistants, there were couple of decisions that they had to make. I did feel the offside for Ex-West Ham striker Jermain Defoe was actually onside and the Sunderland striker was in line with James Collins but the assistant flagged offside. There were a couple of fouls which I was in agreement in with Dean but a pretty fluid first half without any major talking points from a referees perspective.
The second half was slightly different for Mike Dean, there were a few easy decisions that he did miss and annoyingly majority of them should have been for West Ham. Firstly, John O’shea was clearly man handling Michail Antonio preventing the West Ham man to turn which was missed by Dean. Sam Bryam earned himself a two match ban by being shown his tenth caution of the season, he will miss Tottenham and Everton, the foul was deserved of a caution as Defoe was in a decent position on the outside of West Ham’s penalty area before Byram fouled him. There was a shout for handball against O’Shea, but his arms were down his side and hit his midriff more so than his arm. The only decision I do have an issue with which I think is one of them fouls where if it was anywhere on the pitch, it would have been a foul. Sunderland defender Kone was attempting to protect the ball, which was going out of play for a goal kick but Payet was trying to knick the ball but the Sunderland defender pretty much pushed the West Ham playmaker off his feet. It’s extremely difficult because a foul in the penalty area should be a foul anywhere else on the pitch, but there has been a lot of inconsistencies with this type of incidences throughout the Premier League and it’s the same with pushing in the penalty area. I don’t know how, but there needs to be a change but I do feel fouls like this have gone past the point where it can be changed. Dean did get a decision correct which was the handball on Jack Rodwell. The Sunderland midfielder was in a good position in the West Ham penalty box, when he subsequently handled the ball after his initial shot was saved well by Adrian’s legs, for Rodwell to then use his arms to control the ricochet.
Overall, the game was very poor for both teams and lacked a lot of quality and the only piece of quality was the winning goal from Michail Antonio. The game was very stop start and from a referees point of view he did keep up with play well, there were a couple of advantages that he played well. He did miss a handful of decisions which are infuriating, but from his point of view the game wasn’t a difficult game to officiate as there wasn’t any contentious or controversial decisions to make.