While his days overseeing Premier League matches may be long over, Mike Dean is still an easy target when it comes to poor refereeing decisions.
And Sky Sports Soccer Saturday colleague Michael Dawson was only too happy to point out the former official's fault when judging a call during this weekend's action. The disagreement unfolded after Elijah Adebayo came off the bench to secure a late point for Luton Town in their visit to Nottingham Forest.
The Hatters found themselves two goals down with less than 10 minutes remaining at the City Ground but fought valiantly for a share of the spoils. And it was Adebayo's tidy take and finish from Tom Lockyer's cross-field swing that settled the score in the 92nd minute.
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But the goal might have been wrongfully ruled out if Dean had his way, commenting with confident that Adebayo was offside in the build-up. However, it hardly required a check from the VAR to tell the Fulham academy graduate was well behind the last defender.
Former Tottenham favourite Dawson fired back at the ex-overseer and told him 'go to Specsavers'. And although the remark might have been slight revenge for any incidents Dean gave against the two-time Forest defender during his career, Dawson was well within his rights to question Dean's eyesight.
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"Mike Dean with his chest out getting every decision wrong on soccer Saturday literally proves the awful standard of refereeing," commented one Sky Sports viewer unimpressed by the ex-ref, who officiated in England's top flight for 22 years.
"Lmao Mike Dean on Sky was so sure Luton’s goal was offside," remarked a second. "Man’s still a fraud even in retirement."
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Others revelled in Dawson 'mugging off' Dean in front of a live television audience. The once divisive figure cultivated a reputation for controversial calls during his career as an official before joining the Soccer Saturday cast in July 2023.
Rob Edwards in particular will be glad Dean wasn't in a position to make any decisions at the City Ground, with Luton in need of every point they can muster. A draw at Forest on Saturday was worth a quarter of the club's existing Premier League tally, and they're now two games unbeaten on the road after winning at Everton prior to the international break.
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