Over the last few days we’ve seen a few questionable refereeing decisions and a couple of those officials feature in the Wally of the Week shortlist along with a man who stifled the life out of a football club.
3. Mike Dean
The Premier League dropped a bombshell at the start of last week in announcing that Dean would take charge of the North London Derby at Saturday lunchtime. And the most controversial referee in England didn’t disappoint. The appointment angered many Arsenal fans because of Dean’s history with Spurs and how he seems to be biased towards Tottenham but roles reversed at the Emirates when the referee switched sides and handed the Gunners the initiative with a couple of dodgy decisions. The most controversial one was penalising Davinson Sanchez for what Dean deemed to be a shirt pull on his namesake Alexis. Shkodran Mustafi headed in the resulting free kick and Mike Dean, much to his delight, climbed up the Twitter trending charts.
2. Tony Pulis
This may seem a bit harsh to come down on a man who’s just lost his job but it’s the way his West Brom side has played over the last few months that has been just remarkable. Over the last few weeks, Pulis has opted for a back five and three holding midfielders meaning that his team are possibly the most defensive in history. A low point for Pulis was the 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield with that very formation of 5-3-2 where they couldn’t even score against 10 men. His rugby-like style of play has made him very unpopular with the Baggies supporters and it was only a matter of time before he got the axe from the board. His football was so negative that we saw pleas of ‘Pulis Out’ and boos at half-time and full-time in many a game at the Hawthorns this season. One tweet from an Albion fan read; ‘Lost season ticket. If found please keep’ and that pretty much sums it up.
1. Lee Mason
We’ve already had the most controversial referee in the Premier League but now we have probably the most incompetent. If you haven’t seen his mistake on Monday Night Football, it was a clanger. Brighton’s Glenn Murray was brought down by Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross inside the penalty area. Shawcross got none of the ball and all of Murray’s feet as the ball ran out of play with Murray on the deck. Lee Mason pointed for a corner, somehow thinking Shawcross had touched the ball despite it not changing speed or direction, before having to be told it was a goal kick by his linesman. Mason gave the goal kick, meaning Shawcross can’t have touched the ball and must’ve brought Murray down. It was all a bit embarrassing for Mason and the chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the home crowd followed.
You’re spared this week David Moyes and West Ham, but I won’t be so kind in the future…