Hasenhüttl - "Decisions will even themselves out"

Updated: Feb 5

Despite a week of questionable officiating against his side, Ralph Hasenhüttl still believes that refereeing and VAR decisions will even themselves out over the course of a season.

Saints, who arguably benefitted from a contentious penalty at Brighton in December, have suffered several VAR controversies over the past seven days.

At the centre of all of them has been Premier League referee, Mike Dean.

Positioned on VAR duty for the Aston Villa game last Saturday, the Merseyside attention-seeker then had control of the whistle for Tuesday's visit to Old Trafford.

And, as is often the case, Dean made sure everyone was talking about him after both matches.

His biggest blunder - from a cacophony across the week - was to show a red card to Jan Bednarek late on against United.

Having awarded a penalty for a foul on Anthony Martial, Dean was then guided to the VAR monitor by his colleague, Graham Scott. Evidence seemed to reveal the Frenchman had gone to ground of his own accord.

Staggeringly, after numerous reviews of the incident, Dean not only decided to stick with his original penalty award, but also raise the stakes by giving the Polish defender his marching orders.

Suffice to say, having spent most of Thursday appealing to the Football Association, Saints subsequently got Bednarek's one game ban overturned. He'll now be available for the trip to Newcastle United on Saturday.

Mike Dean and VAR. A match made in heaven.....not!

With many fans frustrated at the way Saints have been treated this week, Total Saints were interested to know if Ralph Hasenhüttl felt the same way, or whether he preferred the old cliché about 'decisions evening themselves out across a season'.

As he regularly tends too, the Austrian played it with a straight bat.

"This is a good question. Level over the season? Yes, this is my opinion." Hasenhüttl replied.

"We would be good in not giving too much energy on VAR decisions or decisions from referees or something else, we should really focus on letting others do this."

"We try to focus on our mistakes we make and on the behaviours we can do better, because this is the only thing that helps us to win games in the future. Then, hopefully, also this part of luck, if you want, decisions of offside goals or red cards, they don’t come again and handballs in the penalty box or whatever." the Austrian continued.

"At the moment it hurts us, definitely, but the best way to fight out of this is don’t accept that something doesn’t work, don’t accept that everything is against you – fight against it and try to stand up and show that you have to do it even better and then you don’t have to discuss about it."

Hasenhüttl closed by saying, "We have games we have won where we also scored goals that were disallowed. I remember the Villa game. The first one for example. We scored a goal after two minutes, it was disallowed and then we scored four goals and we were four up after sixty minutes."

"So, this is the way we should do it. This is always mentally not so easy, but we have to fight for this good run again and this is what we do."

Focus now shifts to Newcastle, where Saints will be looking to end a run of four Premier League defeats in a row.

The irony, of course, is that the last time they played - and beat - the Geordies, Hasenhüttl's side went top of the Premier League.

New signing Takumi Minamino is expected to make his debut at St. James' Park.

As for the man in the middle, that will be Craig Pawson.

Despite the Sheffield-born official experiencing his own challenges this week, having overseen Wolves versus Arsenal - where he produced two red cards - Saints will certainly be hoping that Pawson can bring a much-needed change of luck.

And Mike Dean?

Well, you'd think PGMOL would stand him down for a week or two, acknowledging that his performances in the Aston Villa and Manchester United games weren't acceptable?


Dean is currently set to take charge of Fulham and West Ham United on Saturday.

Good luck to anyone who has a vested interest in that fixture!

Article by Ben Stanfield


(Photos by Getty Images)

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