Mike Dean names the toughest player he officiated in the Premier League

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Match official Mike Dean names the toughest player he officiated in the Premier League during his career as a football referee.

Dean made through the lower ranks before being appointed in the Select Group. He officially became a Premier League referee in 2000.

He was even included in FIFA International List between 2003 and 2013. Dean officially retired from on-field refereeing last year, but worked as a VAR official once last year.

Speaking to the Athletic, Dean revealed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was the toughest manager he ever faced. But when he was asked about the toughest player he officiated in his career, he replied :-

“Craig Bellamy was tough. The likes of Robbie Savage and Joey Barton, I got well with them. He [Bellamy] is probably the toughest one I’ve refereed.

“I know why he’s like that, because when you cross the white line you want to win for two hours, don’t you?

“A lot of players can be like that, but I just found him a little bit harder than the rest of them to be honest.”

Mike Dean advices transformation in English football

Since retiring, Mike Dean have taken up a new role as a referee correspondent on Soccer Saturday. He advices two ideas which will make a huge difference in English football.

Dean explained his ideas and said :-

“They could use a sin bin, where if a player is pushing the limits for dissent, instead of getting a caution for dissent they can go to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

“That will be easy, and will certainly stop a lot of dissent in the game. That’s what sometimes does spoil it for young people watching on TV as well.

“They’ll have automated offsides in the Euros this year no doubt, and if that works – it probably will do, because it’s worked in every other world and European competition – there’s no reason why we can’t have it in the Premier League next season.

“Again, it’ll make it a little bit easier, make the process a bit quicker. Someone just tells the assistant referee in his ear that he is offside and obviously the goal will be given. It would have made the Tottenham vs Liverpool decision a lot easier, a lot quicker.”

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