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29th Dec 2016

Referee Mike Dean pulls off second nutmeg dummy in 10 days

He's just taking the piss now.

Nooruddean Choudry

He’s just taking the piss now.

Is there anything surer than Mike Dean appearing on Strictly Come Dancing once he hangs up his whistle? The Wirral-based ref is quite clearly in love with himself and desperate for attention at every possible opportunity.

Football supporters find it hilarious when his antics are on show against other clubs, but quite maddening when it takes place involving their own team. If a game is trundling along nicely for 60 minutes or so, without a mention of the official, you just know Dean is itching to do something.

But he has taken his look-at-me antics to a whole new level this month with a novel trick he’s no doubt been perfecting in his back garden. He did it during the Merseyside derby on December 19, and again in the game between Southampton and Spurs on Wednesday night.

Behold the Mike Dean nutmeg dummy. It’s a neat trick that strike partnerships use to deceive defenders and create opportunities in and around the box. A perfect example is Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole combining for Manchester United against Barcelona back in the day:

But quite why a referee would choose to execute the move is anybody’s guess. An argument could be made that it is the easiest way to let the game flow and get out of the way, but other officials don’t feel the need for such showy antics. And twice in a fortnight? It’s hardly a fluky occurrence.

Due to Premier League rules, we are unable to show you video footage, but here are the stills that show Dean in ludicrous action, both during the Everton-Liverpool game and Wednesday night’s encounter…

Mike Dean – the superstar ref we neither wanted nor needed.