Mike Dean has been appointed as the referee for Monday’s Premier League clash between West Ham and Leeds United.
Dean asked to step back from refereeing duties a few weeks ago after making a controversial call as West Ham drew with Fulham.
Dean sent off Tomas Soucek for accidentally elbowing Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic in the closing stages of the draw and horrendous online abuse followed.
It was an awful call by Dean and VAR once again showed how the system is flawed but the West Ham game was a turning point for the referee.
He will be under extra scrutiny on Monday night as he returns to the scene of the crime, so to speak.
The Premier League have confirmed Dean will take the whistle at the London Stadium and this could be bad news for Leeds.
We would never question the integrity of a referee but it is hard to deny West Ham players will be putting pressure on Dean to make up for his error a few weeks ago.
We hope the game is a relatively quiet one because who knows what will be going through Dean’s head if he is sent to the VAR stand.
This is a perfect storm for controversy after the latest refereeing embarrassment last weekend as Lee Mason seemingly forgot the rules when disallowing a Brighton free-kick in their game against West Brom.
Referees will be watched even more closely than usual this weekend and all eyes will be on Dean at the London Stadium.
Any close calls that go against us will be questioned by fans and all we want to see is a fair and balanced refereeing display.
Those have been few and far between this season and while we don’t condone the abuse that Dean received after his bad call, he shouldn’t be anywhere near a West Ham game.
Just our luck he gets them while we’re next on the fixture list.
Hopefully Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper don’t decide to get physical with the Hammers so Dean doesn’t have any decision to make that could hurt us.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Nothing’ – Noel Whelan claims £32.5k/wk Leeds ace will be axed for clash v West Ham