Jamie Redknapp says referee Mike Dean’s decision to send off Tomas Soucek is genuinely worrying, especially after a lengthy review of the incident with VAR.
Soucek grazed Aleksandar Mitrovic in the face as the pair prepared for a West Ham free-kick. The Fulham forward went to the floor clutching his face and VAR reviewed the incident.
VAR official Lee Mason instructed Dean to use the pitchside monitor – reportedly on his opinion of a clenched fist from the West Ham midfielder – and after a long look, the referee showed Soucek a red card, despite there appearing to be no intent behind the contact.
It has thrown red cards and VAR back into the spotlight after midweek incidents involving David Luiz and Jan Bednarek, and Redknapp was furious at the latest decision.
He told Sky Sports: “What is happening to our game? We all love football, but when you see decisions like that… you can blame Mike Dean, VAR, whoever you want. What is he seeing there? He goes over to the screen and still decides to give him a red card.
“He’s tried to get his arm out of the way. Mitrovic has tried to grab him, and he lifts his arm to get it out of the way, and completely by accident he catches him.
“What is football coming to when we give that as a red card? Even the players can’t believe it.
“Mike Dean has had so many years officiating, and he thinks he’s meant to do that?
West Ham fixtures Tomas Soucek will miss with a three-game ban
|Tuesday February 9||Man Utd||FA Cup|
|Monday February 15||Sheff Utd||Premier League|
|Sunday February 21||Tottenham||Premier League|
“This is why people get so frustrated when people watch football now, when they see things like that. It goes away from what we love about the game.
“The fact that Mike Dean went over there and though it was a red card is a genuinely worry for me.”
Bobby Zamora, who joined Redknapp in the Sky Sports studio for the game, added: “It’s the Mike Dean show once again. I like to think it will be reviewed and rescinded.”
Soucek’s red card – The Twitter reaction
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher tweeted: “What is going on! that’s not a deliberate elbow!!” before adding the below…
VAR has not helped officials, it’s making them look worse.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 6, 2021
Can’t find a soul on here that thinks that’s a red card. How can both Lee Mason and Mike Dean both see it as a red? Tomas Soucek must get that overturned.
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) February 6, 2021
Madness. Utter madness. No way is that a red card for Soucek. It is obvious it is not a malicious act. Mike Dean is having an horrendous week.
— Darren Lewis (@MirrorDarren) February 6, 2021
Soucek sending off is absurd but it is nothing to do with VAR. VAR can’t fix bad judgment.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) February 6, 2021