SOUTHAMPTON REQUEST REFEREE INACTIVITY
If you are a Southampton fan, it has been far from a good week and with several officiating decisions going against them, the Saints have now produced a rather unprecedented request to the Premier League.
One where the Hampshire outfit, have asked that neither Lee Mason nor Mike Dean are involved in any form of referring Southampton fixtures in the near future, as the club have taken an incredible amount of umbrage as to what has happened recently.
With the Saints losing to Aston Villa last weekend, they will have felt terribly aggrieved at the fact that the visiting Matty Cash handled the ball in the area and although it did come up off his knee first, earlier in the season Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men would have been awarded a penalty.
However, it is not this decision that has created the most ire in the direction of Lee Mason, as Danny Ings would see his late effort ruled out by VAR and in doing so, it denied Southampton a share of the points.
Then again, there is a small plot twist in that late controversy and that is the fact that the assistant referee had already flagged for offside and ultimately the goal could have never had stood, as all VAR would have done is reinforced the previous call.
Of course, that information was perhaps in short supply and it is more the image of Ings being offside by an armband, which subsequently fuelled the fire of Southampton fans before their side’s trip to Manchester United.
A trip, that saw the 11 men starting the game, whittled down to 10 after just two minutes and although Mike Dean had little option to send off Alexandre Jankewitz after a horrendous tackle, there would be more controversy to follow.
Once again, there were two flashpoints that really ignited the flames and the first of those, was another VAR based decision against them, as this time Che Adams saw what would only have been a mere consolation goal chalked off.
Chalked off by an even narrower margin than that of Ings’ effort just days earlier and with it being so tight, the consternation has not just been generated by the St Mary’s outfit but also the wider footballing fraternity.
While that same fraternity, would have been aghast at the sight of Jan Bednarek’s sending off, as the travelling Saints finished the game with nine men and would eventually ship nine unanswered goals for the second time in just over a year.
Bednarek was believed to have hauled down Anthony Martial in the area, although on closer evidence he attempts to pull away from such a challenge and because he did not actually play the ball, this is interpreted as a sending off.
All these misdemeanours mean that both Lee Mason and Mike Dean are currently persona non grata when it comes to being the men in the middle and Southampton will now advise the PGMOL, that for the time being, some distance should be kept behind the relevant parties.