Mike Dean must be strong in the face of Chelsea’s ‘bully boy’ antics against Southampton

Metro

Referee Mike Dean will take charge of Chelsea's home match against Southampton Referee Mike Dean will take charge of Chelsea’s home match against Southampton (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

After the ‘antics’ of the Chelsea players against PSG on Wednesday – their constant need to dive, Diego Costa’s aggressiveness and Jose Mourinho’s relentless psychological pressure – as a Southampton fan, all I can hope for as my team heads to Stamford Bridge on Sunday is a strong referee.

Given the performances of the ‘men in the middle’ so far this season, I held out little hope as I opened the Premier League’s website to find out who must hold their nerve in West London. Come on down, Mike Dean.

This has given me fresh confidence. Dean is the elder statesman of the Premier League’s officials, and one of the few that, on their appointment to a Saints game, my eyes don’t roll around in exaggerated disillusionment.

Dean can handle Mourinho, he can handle the gamesmanship of…

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