David Beckham went from public enemy No. 1 to national hero after the 1998 World Cup with England, and Sean Dyche has highlighted his transformation into the struggling Dwight McNeil
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David Beckham is one of the best examples of a player who turned his career around after falling into a deep hole.
Beckham was pilloried 24 years ago when many England fans blamed his stupid red card for the Three Lions’ heartbreaking exit to Argentina at France 1998. Effigies of the midfielder have been hung outside pubs across London and it felt like he had become public enemy number one.
Three years later and his stunning stoppage-time free-kick against Greece secured England a place at the 2002 World Cup and suddenly he had replaced St George as the nation’s new patron saint. Though not as dramatic, Dwight McNeil is going through the first rut of his career and is struggling to reproduce the form that has made him one of the most exciting young wingers on the planet First League.
McNeil went under Fire from a few Burnley Fans frustrated by his performances and he has recorded just one assist in his 30 appearances this season. Sean Dyche backed the big man to get good, quoting to him how Beckham turned scorn to cheer all those years ago.
“He’s a great player, he’s had a tough season, his first really tough time, although I think a lot of his season has been good,” said the Clarets manager. “That’s the challenge of being a younger player who’s played a lot of football. It’s part of his evolution, most have been through it.
“Legends of the game, there was a time when they hung likenesses of David Beckham outside pubs and he was a young player at the time. That was part of his career and after that he was even more legendary. The challenge is right in front of him. But he’s a very, very good young player. He’s still young and has played a lot of football in the Premier League.”
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Dyche feels McNeil is partly a victim of his own success because he established himself with the Burnley team as a teenager. Still only 22, Dyche believes his critics sometimes forget he’s still learning his craft.
“We look at these young players and take it, why don’t they do this, why don’t they do this?” Dyche said. “You don’t know what you don’t know. He’s still learning and there’s a lot to learn in football when you’re a young player and he’s still going through that process.
“Because he’s played a lot of football, especially for a young player, we all assume he should do this and that, but he’s still learning the game.”
Dyche is pleased that McNeil never went away during his difficult period and says these difficult times will improve him as a player.
“One of his greatest strengths is not hiding, he will go and have the ball, he will want the ball,” he said.
“This time is uncomfortable for him, but it will do him good in the long run. You must complete these challenges in order to get topped up and sculpted. Getting through this is all part of his future.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/david-beckham-england-redemption-burnley-26642226 David Beckham's 'legendary' England redemption is the perfect example of the Burnley star