Jose Mourinho has explained why he was annoyed with Mike Dean during Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, accusing the 48-year-old of conducting the game in a way that suited the visitors.
Man United slumped to their eighth draw in 12 home games, leaving them four points adrift of fourth placed Manchester City, after they only managed to place three of their 16 shots on target.
Dean, known for his egocentric style, infuriated the Old Trafford crowd by not letting the game flow, giving West Brom maximal breathing space as they held out for a draw.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to criticise Dean for playing into the Baggies’ hands with his refereeing approach.
“I don’t think today the referee [makes] mistakes inside the box,” he said. “I don’t think so, I don’t have that idea.
“I just think Mike conducted the game in a way that suits West Brom, a team that wants to stop the game, that wants to take time that wants to frustrate the opponent.
“But yes a game that we totally deserved to win and we lost two points.”
“More of the same. We had a lot of this during the season, total control. Amazing defensive performance playing with a defensive line and a midfield line, controlling absolutely everything, losing and recovering the ball a couple of seconds later, very, very good but very solid.
Dean was not necessarily trying to help West Brom by giving them as many stoppages as possible; this is indeed what happened, of course, but it was essentially predicated by a desire to impose his own presence on the game, rather than any leaning towards the visitors.
This is indeed what Dean does; he makes sure that his whistle talks over the football. If the UK was embroiled in a war, I can imagine the Englishman walking into no man’s land and furiously blowing his whistle in a desperate attempt to make the entire thing about him.
A good referee is somebody who isn’t noticed throughout the game. And with this in mind, it is somewhat astonishing that Dean continues to officiate at this level.