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Pochettino criticizes Mike Dean over missed Tottenham penalty call

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Spurs’ boss said the match official “had a not good afternoon.” Pretty much.

Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Lots of people connected with Tottenham Hotspur had bad days, but the one person who came out of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Swansea looking the worst was probably match official Mike Dean. Where once it was joked that Dean was a Spurs fan for his calls that seemingly favored Tottenham, today it was completely the opposite, with Dean waving off three legitimate penalty calls: two for Swansea handballs in the Tottenham box, and one missed call on Serge Aurier after he was clipped from behind... a call that Dean then called a hand ball on Aurier.

In post-match comments, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was most upset about the latter, on Aurier, saying that Dean “had a not good afternoon.”

"It is so clear. What is not clear why Mike Dean justify in front of our players that it was handball but it was not handball.

"It was so strange the decision of Mike. I never like to speak about the referee but if you are not sure about the situation then why say it was handball? It was unlucky but we need to look at ourselves and try to be better next time and score before this situation.

"It was unlucky for us. We did not get the one penalty we deserved. In that situation the referee had a not good afternoon."

Ironically, you could probably say that the other two handball no-calls were the stronger cases, but whatever. While Spurs did not play well and should’ve won the match even without Dean’s help, it’s hard not to conclude that Dean’s no-calls were indeed the difference between Spurs winning and drawing.