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Ref Watch: Mike Dean criticism has been merciless, says Dermot Gallagher

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger (L) has words with English referee Mike Dean during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich
Image: Arsene Wenger has strong words with Mike Dean at the Hawthorns

Dermot Gallagher is back to review the biggest decisions from over the New Year period, and says criticism of Mike Dean has been merciless.

Dermot fairly tackled the biggest calls taken by referees over the busy period, and defended Dean for what the Sky Sports News guest admitted was a mistake in handing West Brom a late penalty in their draw against Arsenal.

Read Gallagher's verdict below...

Wenger anger over Chambers handball

West Brom 1-1 Arsenal, New Year's Eve

INCIDENT: Calum Chambers is penalised for a harsh handball decision in the penalty area in the closing stages of Arsenal's 1-1 draw at West Brom. Jay Rodriguez equalised from the spot, and then came some strong criticism from Arsene Wenger against Mike Dean.

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Wenger can't understand why video technology is yet to be introduced to the Premier League.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: I actually think enough has been said about this, and the referee has suffered enough from what has been said in the newspapers. It's not a penalty, you know it isn't, I know it isn't, I think everyone knows this now, including the referee, so I'd rather just move on.

In defence of Mike Dean - and I say in his defence because I think he's been a bit battered in recent days, and a bit unmercifully I think if you look at that from Mike Dean's view, down the barrel, he thought Chambers' arm came up, and that's what he went on.

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He makes his decision on what he sees. He saw that little movement, and that's what he reacted to. Unfortunately, he judged it wrong, but that's all it was, one mistake.

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Watch the Calum Chambers handball incident here

Llorente goal offside

Swansea 0-2 Tottenham, Tuesday

INCIDENT: Fernando Llorente puts Spurs 1-0 up at Swansea from Christian Eriksen's free-kick, but replays showed the Spaniard was in an offside position from the delivery. The linesman Marc Perry then apologised to Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal for the decision.

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Swansea 0-2 Tottenham

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Why? Lack of concentration, that's all it can be. The ball is also dead [from the free-kick], he just hasn't reacted to it. Regarding the apology, I remember years ago when Paul Durkin apologised for not giving a penalty, and everybody thought it was brilliant, but the trouble with that is apologies are in short supply. I wonder what impact it really has.

Sanchez avoids red

Swansea 0-2 Tottenham, Tuesday

INCIDENT: Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez, already on a booking, takes out Martin Olsson. Referee Bobby Madley decides against giving him a second yellow.

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Graeme Souness thinks Davinson Sanchez was lucky to avoid a second yellow card

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Only Bobby knows [why he hasn't given another yellow]. The ball is a giveaway for me, the ball is nowhere near the foul. For me, that's the perfect example to send someone off for a second yellow card. Madley called the captain in, Sanchez was then substituted, and the whole pattern tells you all you need to know about the story.

Otamendi gets away with it

Man City 3-1 Watford, Tuesday

INCIDENT: Nicolas Otamendi brings down Roberto Pereyra late on in Man City's win over Watford with the score at 3-1. Referee Lee Mason waves play on.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Otamendi doesn't get the ball. He plays the man, and it's got to be a penalty. The angle of the ball shows the Watford player plays the ball.

Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne are both in the team
Image: Should Nicolas Otamendi have been penalised for a foul in the area late on against Watford?

Drone stops play

Yeovil 1-2 Crawley, New Year's Day

INCIDENT: Play is stopped for 11 minutes at Huish Park after a drone is spotted around the pitch. Why the delay?

DERMOT'S VERDICT: It's just a danger to the players and spectators, if it collapses and comes down from the air. It is just accepted that the players be removed from the pitch until the drone is removed.

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