legend has slammed former referee Mike Dean for his ‘disturbing arrogance’ after his heated debate with over former players being involved in VAR decisions.
With VAR dominating the news agenda once again after , Merson and Dean clashed during a segment on Soccer Saturday debating whether ex-pros should be involved in the decision-making process.
Dean dismissed the idea, insisting ‘half of former players don’t know the laws of the game full stop’. That remark infuriated Merson who accused officials of being ‘scared’ of making decisions for fear ‘they might get in trouble.’
Dean repeatedly told the former England international ‘you don’t know the law,’ ending his argument by saying: ‘I’m staying nice and calm here because I know you can’t change the law, If he [Merson] wants to blow like a bottle of pop that’s fine by me.’
The row was discussed on the latest episode of with Wright taking exception to Dean’s attitude during the fiery exchange.
The former striker said: ‘Listening to Mike Dean with that rant with Merse, listening to him saying “the rules are the rules so just abide by the rules”.
‘Then you see Michael Oliver today [after opting not to send off Mateo Kovacic against Arsenal], we saw two bookable offences, you’re booked for the first one and you leave the second one because… you don’t want to upset [people]?
‘This is why, the arrogance of Mike Dean in that little confrontation with Merse, really made me feel like this is why we are having so much problems, because they won’t listen to people.
‘I can hear what Merse is saying, about the common sense aspect. And he [Dean] is saying “this is why, judging on what you just said there, you can’t have footballers in there.” His arrogance is f*****g disturbing for me.’
VAR decisions were under the spotlight the following day when Mateo Kovacic avoided being shown a red card by Michael Oliver in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Manchester City after two heavy challenges on Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice.
‘He [Oliver] doesn’t want to have a negative impact on the game by overreacting to something and sometimes players will be on a yellow card and they’ll be pressure to show a second one. Pressure will come from the players from the field.
‘But it’s also true if you under react it can have a negative impact on the game, so I think when he reflects on it he’ll realise the second one should have been a yellow card as well. It should have been Kovacic sent off for two yellow cards.’
, . , and .