My game in my words. By Dwight McNeil – Athletics


A smile erupts on Dwight McNeil’s face as The Athletic discusses the clip of his goal against Everton last season.

He leans over the screen to tell us about his best goal for Burnley.

“I look over my shoulder and realize that Ben Godfrey is not in position, so Allan has folded up and is not in his normal position,” said McNeil.

“I am aware of the space I have around me. As I ask for the ball, I check my shoulder to see if Tom Davies is coming towards me. He didn’t and Allan didn’t rush me so when I get him I know Tom can’t reach me and Allan is coming towards me.

When McNeil receives the ball, the magic begins.

“When the players are running towards you, it’s easier to face them,” continues McNeil. “If I went to the left I knew it would be easier for Allan to pull his arm out and stop me, but if I cut him on the inside it would be harder to tackle me and easier to pass him .

“The most important thing was to touch it before the chop opened because if it was under me then the chance was wasted.”

McNeil is now in shooting position and, using Matt Lowton as a “dummy”, bends his shot in the top corner.

It’s a glimpse into the quick thinking process of a top footballer.

McNeil returned to Goodison Park this season to make his 100th league appearance, becoming the youngest player to do so in Premier League history.

It is an achievement of which he is proud. During a 90-minute conversation, McNeil recounts to The Athletic the key moments of his journey and how his game has changed since his debut on the final day of the 2017-18 season against Bournemouth.


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