In a fiery Chelsea match, an ex-Premier League referee blasts Anthony Taylor and Mike Dean’s decision.

Chelsea fans who were irritated by the refereeing performance during their highly entertaining but ultimately frustrating 2-2 draw with Tottenham were told their annoyance was well-founded.

Blues fans were dissatisfied with the referee’s decisions in the final half hour of the game, as was Thomas Tuchel, who took a strong public stance against Anthony Taylor. Fans, like Mike Dean on VAR, were outraged by Taylor’s selection for such a big game after the 43-year-previous old’s matches involving Chelsea.

Chelsea’s complaints have mostly been validated, though Graeme Souness took a different stance, and now former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has come to Tuchel and Chelsea’s defense.

He took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the hair-pulling incident, saying that “a red card should have been shown for violent conduct.”

Halsey has been outspoken about the quality of refereeing in England, a topic that always raises eyebrows. He admitted before the season that this would be one of the worst official pools ever seen. He stated, “They are all still learning their trade at the highest level, so why were they not trusted in more games last season to prepare? For new refs, it’s like being promoted from the Championship to the Premier League; it’s sink or swim.


“I believe [Mike] Riley’s succession planning has been poor, and I hope that improves when [Howard] Webb arrives, because it is staggering to lose the experience of 1,570 Premier League games from Dean, Atkinson, Moss, and Friend in one summer.


“The Premier League has gone from 22 refs to 19 and, of the remaining number, only 12 have taken charge of 100 or more matches, increasing the pressure on the rookies to step up and deliver, leaving the league with the poorest set of officials in many a year.”


Halsey, who retired from refereeing due to illness in 2012/13, has been outspoken on the subject since his retirement, but paints a vivid picture of the current officiating scene. Even with his demeanor, Chelsea and their fans are unlikely to be pleased with the outcome of the game, and a petition to prevent him from refereeing future games garnered over 10,000 signatures in less than an hour.