Former Premier League referee slams quality of officiating in 2021/22 but pays tribute to Mike Dean

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Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has been left unimpressed by the state of refereeing in the English top flight this season.

Halsey is particularly annoyed at the poor use of VAR, stating that there’s been a lack of consistency over the decision-making.

“There have been so many bad decisions over the course of the season,” Halsey told CaughtOffside. “So much inconsistency with VAR and penalty decisions.

“The main talking point has to be the use of VAR in the Premier League – you don’t know what you’re going to get from one game to the next. Holding and pulling in the penalty area – sometimes we see a penalty given and sometimes we don’t.

“PGMOL chief Mike Riley said at the beginning of the season that toenails and heels wouldn’t go against teams when looking at offsides, but we did see some of those very marginal calls given as offside. Still, I think the use of VAR needs to improve, that’s the challenge for the PGMOL and their officials.”

Halsey also paid tribute to the retiring Mike Dean, who is finally calling it a day after a memorable career refereeing in the Premier League, which has earned himself cult hero status with many fans.

“The Premier League will miss Mike Dean because he’s been an excellent referee. A lot of people will be happy to see the back of him as he retires but he’s been an outstanding servant to the PGMOL,” Halsey said.

“Dean has officiated more than 500 Prem games and his quality and consistency of performance has kept him at the top. He has not decided what he is going to do next but he will be sorely missed.

“Dean was not the only referee to hang up his whistle yesterday as Martin Atkinson, who was an elite official, and Jon Moss are also retiring. Moss was a decent ref but he wasn’t in the same class as Dean or Atkinson, for me.”

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