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Frame By Frame: Harry Arter's Incredible Awareness For McClean's Goal In Cardiff

By Mikey Traynor
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We have now seen James McClean's goal against Wales in Cardiff roughly 4,731 times, from five different angles, and in about four different languages... And we're still learning new things about it.

When the FAI released their footage from inside Cardiff City Stadium, which allowed us a wide view of the goal, we spotted several things we hadn't seen that we absolutely loved.

The highlight was easily the bench reaction, with Martin O'Neill going mad and ending up on his knees, but after it was pointed out to us by Twitter follower John Concannon we noticed we missed the answer to a question we had been asking since the ball hit the back of the net...

How did Harry Arter know James McClean was there?

We went back and broke it down frame-by-frame as you can see the moment Arter takes a glance at McClean before jumping over the ball and helping one of the great Irish qualification goals become a reality.

1. Eyes on Jeff Hendrick.

Arter is the most central player in white in this frame. Oh, and look how high the midfield are pressing Wales, can we please do this a lot more often?

2. A split-second glance to see who is behind him.


If Arter doesn't take less than a second to swivel his head here, the goal doesn't happen.


3. Back to Hendrick, eyes don't come off the ball from here on.

He's seen that McClean and Murphy are behind him, and as Murphy will likely move in on the keeper, McClean will surely hold back?

4. Run made, McClean still heading into the box.

At this point if McClean keeps his pace in hoping that Hendrick sends the ball to the near post, he wouldn't have been in a position to score and we're cursing at Harry Arter for not putting his foot through it.

5. Arter makes his decision, and McClean halts his run.

McClean sniffs his chance, digs his feet into the turf, and anticipates Arter allowing the ball to run through.


6. The jump, time freezes.

There were four Wales defenders in the box to deal with this, but a jump from Arter took three of them out of the game.

7. Dreamland.

The little things make all the difference.

[Watch Video]


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