Swansea City v Aston Villa



GB at 2016-03-19 20:34:22

I must continue where I left off at half time and say I thought that was a typical Mike Dean performance.  There is no doubt that this game has been superbly controlled and I applaud the manner in which this referee uses his experience to manage the proceedings “his way” at times. That said, if a referee is prepared to take a few chances and bend over backwards at times, then he needs to be careful that he does not give the impression of coasting towards the end of the season and leaving himself wide open to criticism that he is not prepared to make the unpopular decisions at times.

I covered the incident of aggressive attitude by two players in the first half in my half time summary, but this was then followed by a failure to issue a second yellow card to Aly Cissokho (AV 43) in the 51st minute. No one wants to see players being sent off every game or the entertainment spoiled due to uneven teams, but there needs to be a balance between manging a game using experience and upholding the standards expected from our elite officials. In this incident, the expectation was for a second yellow card to be issued.

Rant over …. I really enjoyed that performance from the referee tonight. It was just a pity that what I alluded to before the game that “easy games” on paper can sometimes trip you up showed through in two isolated incidents in an otherwise top class demonstration of how to control a Premier League game.

Both the assistants played a full and active part in a sound team performance in this game.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-03-19 20:20:51

My final summary will follow very shortly.


I trust you have enjoyed RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please keep your opinions coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

Don’t miss tomorrow’s double header of two of the biggest local derbies in the EPL with each have so much more importance in one of the closest run-in at the end of the season for years!

1.30pm, Newcastle United v Sunderland – Michael Oliver

4.00pm, Man City v Man United – Martin Atkinson

A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at: http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2016-03-19 20:20:22

Full Time

Swansea City 1 v 0 Aston Villa


GB at 2016-03-19 20:18:27

minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2016-03-19 20:17:57

Yellow CardJoleon Lescott (AV 16) holding

Yellow CardLeon Britton (SW 7) clear trip from behind

Mike Dean has at least been very consistent with these yellow card offences as the game draws to its conclusion


GB at 2016-03-19 20:13:40

Yellow CardWayne Routledge (SW 15) another routine reckless challenge from behind – unsporting behaiviour


GB at 2016-03-19 20:11:56

Going back to the amount of advantage this referee always plays, he does so without ever letting it effect his control. I have seen him gauge the temperature of a game and not play a single advantage in a whole game if that it what is required to maintain control.


GB at 2016-03-19 20:09:43

I have lost count of the amount of advantages played by Mike Dean tonight. This has always been a strong point in his game and he has certainly ticked that box again in this one.


GB at 2016-03-19 20:08:28

that type of energetic sprint cross field in anticipation of play is how this referee uses his experience well at this level to read the game


GB at 2016-03-19 20:05:04

There is no doubt that this game has been superbly controlled by Mike Dean tonight, but at the same time my full time summary will still reflect a couple of talking points in respect to consistency over disciplinary offences.


GB at 2016-03-19 20:01:53

no chance of a hand ball offence in the Swansea penalty area then as the ball was blasted at the player who could not get his arm out of the way


GB at 2016-03-19 20:00:14

Great camera angle then showed the referee focussed right in on the players at that last corner to make sure these tactics of grouping together do not allow and unfair holding or pushing to go undetected


GB at 2016-03-19 19:58:40

Mike Dean still looks like he has plenty left in the tank as he moves freely through the mid field


GB at 2016-03-19 19:55:58

Good off-side call by DC as he correctly signals the Swansea player is ahead of the second rearmost defender when the ball was played


GB at 2016-03-19 19:53:44

First advantage played which did not work out then. I am pleased to see the referee did not try to have it both ways though and bring the play back after allowing it to go on for so long


GB at 2016-03-19 19:52:35

Things seem to have calmed down again so the referee can give his decisions calmly with confidence again and not attract any dissenters


GB at 2016-03-19 19:49:27

Nice work again by DC in making sure he came to a complete stop before giving his throw-in signal


GB at 2016-03-19 19:48:20

The last few minutes have definitely shown a lot more bite in the challenges then in the first half. Mike Dean has raised his profile accordingly, but has he been consistent with his tolerance level I wonder?


GB at 2016-03-19 19:46:29

Yellow CardGylfi Sigurðsson (SW 23) VERY reckless challenge then – we used to call them “orange” as it was bordering a kick, which would have needed to be a red card


GB at 2016-03-19 19:43:34

Federico Fernández (SW 33) goal coming from the free kick which got what it deserved, but I must repeat that I felt Mike Dean let himself down and all his colleague by being so lenient not to issue a second yellow to Aly Cissokho (AV 43) – what do you think out there. Tweet me @youaretheref


GB at 2016-03-19 19:41:01


Swansea City 1 v 0 Aston Villa


GB at 2016-03-19 19:39:12

Now we have a really big call for Mike Dean and I cant support him for not showing a second yellow card to Aly Cissokho (AV 43)


GB at 2016-03-19 19:37:39

Nice calm response from Jake Collin then to the disappointment of the Villa player for not getting that throw-in


GB at 2016-03-19 19:36:25

Now we are seeing a couple of “safe” free kicks at the start of this half. Once again MD showing his experience to get the game under his belt again, before letting the rope out as is goes on if it is safe to do so with loosing control


GB at 2016-03-19 19:34:24

MD showing that he is still “old school” with the way he is happy to move backwards at speed when required. Not enough referees run backwards for me these days


GB at 2016-03-19 19:31:37

Off we go again


GB at 2016-03-19 19:31:13

That was a very “typical” Mike Dean performance in that first half. Full of confidence and assurance, with just a hint of “I am good enough to manage this my way”.


There is no doubt that the players seem comfortable with the way this game is being controlled so far, even if there have been a couple of minor incidents which have led me to question whether a “safer approach” may have been accepted. The first incident was the coming together of Rudy Gestede (AV 39) and Ashley Williams (SW 6), who both displayed an aggressive attitude. I am all for managing what you can manage, and I must concede that this referee’s experience has enabled him to do what he did and sort it out with a handshake and a drop ball – but I would be wrong of me to suggest that that is the text book way to deal with those incidents.

Then right at the end, a clear push in the back was not penalised. It may have been in the last few seconds, but things like that going unpunished near the end may stay in the minds of the players at the restart, so best practice is just give the free kick expected.

Having said all that, I am really enjoying  watching an experienced referee control a game at this level with ease and total respect for the players. Excellent movement and positioning being displayed which some others on the list would do well to copy.


Both assistants have intervened well with off-sides and there was just that aggressive attitude in front of Daniel Cook which I felt he could have assisted more with. But playing devil’s advocate again, the best way to run the line is to be one the referee’s wavelength every game, and as Mike Dean was never going to over react to the tussling players, some could argue that Daniel actually did really well to keep out of it!


GB at 2016-03-19 19:18:28

Here are a couple of links to articles posted on our web site this week which capture the diversity of what You Are The Ref is all about:

As the changes planned for a second tier Elite Group approach the final stages, Alan Biggs gives the lowdown on the state of play at the moment: Fast countdown to second tier of elite referees

A closer look at the Premier League fixtures for this weekend revealed some crazy logic in respect to 4th Official appointments which prompted our headline blogger Keith Hackett to ponder whether this is why our top referees are making errors

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at  https://www.facebook.com/youaretheref


GB at 2016-03-19 19:17:33

I would have expected MD to give that push in the corner. Its about managing the player’s expectations with those – everyone expected a free kick, so JUST GIVE IT. Safety first would have been better then.

Half Time

Swansea City 0 v 0 Aston Villa


GB at 2016-03-19 19:15:27

there will be a minimum of 1 minute added time at the end of the first half


GB at 2016-03-19 19:13:31

Everything about the referee’s body language tonight looks calm and controlled without needing to raise his profile too far yet


GB at 2016-03-19 19:11:43

A nice clear “deliberate” hand ball foe a change!


GB at 2016-03-19 19:11:06

Great non flag by DC as the Villa player was on-side when the ball was played then also got the goal-kick call correct. A very good first half performance from this assistant so far


GB at 2016-03-19 19:09:04

Excellent movement demonstrated by Daniel Cook in the corner then as he moved down the line and looked back as the players and ball moved towards him on the touch-line. I am always banging on about this as it allows the assistant to judge the ball crossing the touch-line or not. You can’t do this if you move backwards away from the touch line. Well done Daniel!


GB at 2016-03-19 19:05:09

Another clear advantage signals maintained by this referee until everyone knows what he did! At least these long signals are text book delivered and not with arms aloft above the referee’s head


GB at 2016-03-19 19:02:29

That looked like a very close call and it certainly was with just the fact that the player was leaning forward making Jake Collin’s call correct for off-side


GB at 2016-03-19 18:59:52

MD obviously adjusted his position just before that free kick was taken because he would have asked the taker what he intended to do – shot or cross? Most players are happy to tell the referee this information so more and more referees are asking them, as this affects where they need to stand for the next phase.


GB at 2016-03-19 18:58:01

Yellow CardAly Cissokho (AV 43) reckless challenge correctly identified and dealt with! No surprises that time


GB at 2016-03-19 18:56:47

Only 2 fouls given in the first 26 minutes


GB at 2016-03-19 18:55:13

I am not surprised at all to see MD going in and being pro-active with all that pushing before the corner is taken. He just say “look lads – cut it out now or its a penalty or a free kick!”


GB at 2016-03-19 18:53:25

Excellent movement displayed by the referee again to make sure he was right there to call that careless challenge deep into the Villa half


GB at 2016-03-19 18:50:27

MD has earned the right to “manage” what he can at this level with all his experience, but he has set his tolerance level high already with that coming together a few minutes ago


GB at 2016-03-19 18:49:01

That incident occurred right in front of the “newbe” Assistant Daniel Cook – I can think of a lot of colleagues who would have been assisting the referee a lot more in that incident and insisting that a couple of yellow cards were required.


GB at 2016-03-19 18:46:58

Mike Dean seemed to take an age to blow his whistle then as the two players adopted an aggressive attitude towards each other


GB at 2016-03-19 18:44:57

MD is never shy to milk every ADVANTAGE which comes his way!


GB at 2016-03-19 18:43:53

Another thing you will notice this referee doing is maintaining a sound situation awareness of all the players. Often you will see him checking around even when the play is right out on the wing near to his assistant, he will be checking on who is behind him in the penalty area


GB at 2016-03-19 18:41:18

MD showing good awareness then by sweeping out towards the touch-line to keep his best angle to monitor the players running along with the ball out on the left wing


GB at 2016-03-19 18:39:06

The early exchanges in this game are not causing any need for the officials to get involved but they will be fully focussed already and looking out for anything which could change the mood


GB at 2016-03-19 18:34:49

Some of the much younger referees on the list could do worse than study the effort this referee puts in to achieve a good speed off the mark


GB at 2016-03-19 18:33:01

Very strong whistle then my MD to make his point that he did not like that first careless challenge AT ALL!


GB at 2016-03-19 18:32:14

One of the most enjoyable parts I remember about working with Mike Dean was that he was always looking at you when you were looking at him!

We talk about the importance of eye contact between the officials a lot in respect to enhancing teamwork, and referees have just as much responsibility in this.

Some of less “congenial” referees on the circuit in my days could often “blank you” and “hang you out to dry”, but you could always rely on Deano to make you feel part of his team!

Keep an eye on him tonight to see what I mean


GB at 2016-03-19 18:31:24

Straight away MD showing good eye contact with JC for those first 2 throw-ins

GB at 2016-03-19 18:30:36

AR1: Daniel Cook (DC) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-03-19 18:30:10

Swansea City won the toss so it will be Aston Villa to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com

GB at 2016-03-19 18:26:23

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2016-03-19 18:22:25

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Mike Dean (MD)

AR1: Daniel Cook (DC)

AR2: Jake Collin (JC)

4th Official: Kevin Friend (KF)

Mike Dean

Step forward Mike Dean for his 25th appointment of the season, which puts him joint second with Anthony Taylor (behind Martin Atkinson), for the most appointments so far this season. On paper, this does not look like it has the makings for the most challenging game that one of our consistent top performers has been appointed to, which even prompted Jason Pettigrove to say in his Runners and Riders for Week 31 that, “….. he should manage with both hands tied behind his back”. Seriously though, these are precisely the types of games which can trip up a referee at any level at this stage of the season if they allow themselves to relax and loose concentration. With all Mike Dean’s experience, I do not expect that to happen today!


Unless you were watching closely in October and December, this could be the first time you have heard of today’s Assistant Referee 1, in the shape of Daniel Cook. The Hampshire based official made his debut on the National List for season 12/13, and was promoted to the Select Group List at the beginning of this season, so this fixture seems like a very sensible appointment for him to fulfil his 5th game at this level.

On the other line is an Assistant at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to experience in the top flight, as Mark Clattenburg’s usual wing-man Jake Collin balances the books for his 22 game of this campaign, to add to his impressive 174 lines in the EPL alone since 2008, as well as nearly 50 internationals along the way.

Kevin Friend makes up the crew having obviously fully recovered from his unfortunate encounter with the edge of the dug-outs at Bournemouth a few weeks ago, and will obviously be hoping for a much less eventful time of this today!

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-03-19 18:19:04

Swansea City



?ukasz Fabia?ski (SW 1)

Ki Sung-Yueng (SW 4)

Ashley Williams (SW 6)

Jonjo Shelvey (SW 8)

Bafetibis Gomis (SW 18)

Angel Rangel (SW 22)

Gylfi Sigurðsson (SW 23)

Jack Cork (SW 24)

Federico Fernández (SW 33)

Stephen Kingsley (SW 35)

Modou Barrow (SW 58)


Jordi Amat (SW 2)

Leon Britton (SW 7)

Alberto Paloschi (SW 9)

Kristoffer Nordfeldt (SW 13)

Wayne Routledge (SW 15)

Jefferson Montero (SW 20)

Kyle Naughton (SW 26)


Aston Villa

Aston Villa


Brad Guzan (AV 1)

Ciaran Clark (AV 6)

Idrissa Gueye (AV 8)

Joleon Lescott (AV 16)

Jordan Veretout (AV 17)

Jordan Ayew (AV 19)

Alan Hutton (AV 21)

Carles Gil (AV 25)

Rudy Gestede (AV 39)

Aly Cissokho (AV 43)


Jores Okore (AV 5)

Leandro Bacuna (AV 7)

Scott Sinclair (AV 9)

Gabriel Agbonlahor (AV 11)

Carlos Sánchez (AV 24)

André Green (AV 30)

Mark Bunn (AV 31)


GB at 2016-03-19 18:17:00

Swansea seem to have put a halt on their slide down the table with two wins out of their last 3 games, but they still can’t afford to relax yet as they approach the business end of the season, with at least 6 more points required before their supporters can really stop holding their breath!

For Villa fans, however, the future does not look so good! They really are at the last chance saloon now, with both the mathematical possibilities and the probability of reaching the saviour of 40 pts meaning that nothing less than 8 wins from their last 8 games can save them now. I can’t say that stranger things have happened, because they never have, even Leicester only managed 7 straight wins at the end of last season! That said, the fat lady has not started signing yet before a ball has been kicked in this one, so Villa need to come out and throw the kitchen sink at this one unless they are to become the first team to have an “*” next to them or change colour in the printed tables in tomorrow’s papers signifying “relegated”.


GB at 2016-03-19 18:16:09

Welcome to this early evening’s RefCam coverage today of the Premier League game between Swansea City and Aston Villa.

Thanks to Rob Harris for keeping the seat warm at lunch time for the Everton v Arsenal game in which Mark Clattenburg seems to have left himself open to debate again surrounding a penalty decision which “got away” this time.

In fact, penalties could well be at the top of the agenda for the Ref Show  on Monday with news coming through of a blatant shirt pull going unpunished by Mike Jones at Crystal Palace and the need for twenty-twenty vision to support Robert Madley for his result changing big call at the end of the game at Chelsea. Check in on Monday to hear what our experts have to say.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com