Ben McAleer
Editorial Assistant,

Entries by Ben McAleer

Team Focus: Lack of Summer Investment May Hinder Everton's European Hopes

(1) Comments | Posted 25 July 2014 | (00:00)


Second season syndrome relates to teams that, the previous year, were promoted to the next tier of football and performed above expectations in their debut in - or return to - said division. In their second term, however, the team in...

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Team Focus: Madrid's Midfield Yet Stronger for Signing Kroos and Rodríguez

(0) Comments | Posted 22 July 2014 | (16:51)


Now the World Cup has drawn to a close and round up articles have been filed away, transfer gossip columns have again taken centre stage. There have already been a number of big-money moves made - Luis Suarez signing for Barcelona,...

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Team Focus: Teams Must Resist Dominating Van Gaal's Manchester United Next Season

(0) Comments | Posted 18 July 2014 | (00:00)


The first day in a new office can be daunting for even the most steadfast individual. Unfamiliar surroundings, the pressure to make a good first impression - these factors, and more, are enough to unsettle anyone. However, one man who is...

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Team Focus: World Cup 2014 Highest Rated XI

(0) Comments | Posted 16 July 2014 | (00:00)


Mario Götze's close-range volley in extra time proved to be the difference between Germany and Argentina in a pulsating World Cup final. A 1-0 win at the Maracanã on Sunday confirmed the Germans as champions and the opinion of the masses...

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Team Focus: Van Gaal's Stubbornness Hinders Van Persie's World Cup Impact

(0) Comments | Posted 10 July 2014 | (16:55)


'SuperVan' was the nickname given to Robin van Persie after his wonder header against Spain last month. Daley Blind's perfect cross-field ball was met by the Manchester United striker to draw Netherlands level, setting them on their way to an eventual 5-1 win...

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Player Focus: Caballero Can Usurp Hart as City's Number One

(1) Comments | Posted 10 July 2014 | (00:00)


A colossal error against Chelsea last season saw Manuel Pellegrini drop Joe Hart as his number 1. The mistake in the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge back in October, which allowed Fernando Torres to tap into an empty net late on, had fans...

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Team Focus: Scolari Should Select Willian as Neymar's Replacement

(0) Comments | Posted 8 July 2014 | (10:26)


Despite David Luiz's thumping free-kick sending Brazil into the semi-final of the World Cup, a sombre mood engulfed the nation following their 2-1 win over Colombia. 20 minutes after the PSG defender had blasted his side into the next round, Juan Zuñiga brought...

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Player Focus: Rampaging Robben Leading the Dutch Charge in Brazil

(2) Comments | Posted 3 July 2014 | (00:00)

Much has been said of Arjen Robben's exploits in the aftermath of Netherlands' 2-1 win over Mexico. Wesley Sneijder dragged the Oranje back into the tie with a thumping volley in the 88th minute, before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar fired the Dutch into the...
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Player Focus: Sánchez The First Star to Fall from Brazil 2014

(0) Comments | Posted 1 July 2014 | (16:39)


Without question, Chile quickly became supporters' second team at the World Cup. Having knocked Spain out of the competition and gone toe-to-toe with Brazil, La Roja's brand of high-intensity, attacking football won them the plaudits they rightly deserved. However, it wasn't to be...

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Team Focus: Colombia's Fearsome Attack Living Up to Expectations

(1) Comments | Posted 27 June 2014 | (00:00)


The more said about Colombia during the 2014 World Cup, the better - that's the feeling amongst fans and pundits alike. The South American nation has, unsurprisingly, taken the tournament by storm, with their brand of attacking football winning them the admirers they...

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Player Focus: Paulinho's Poor Performances Denting Brazil's World Cup Hopes

(0) Comments | Posted 26 June 2014 | (10:00)


When Paulinho secured a £17m illionswitch to Tottenham Hotspur from Corinthians last summer, comparisons were drawn between the midfielder and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. "I intend to follow in his (Lampard's) footsteps as he is a very professional guy," the Brazil international said...

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Team Focus: Chile Expected to be the Top Entertainers in Brazil

(0) Comments | Posted 13 June 2014 | (00:00)


In November last year, Chile repeated their 2-0 win over England at Wembley from 1998. A Marcelo Salas double secured victory for the South American outfit before the turn of the Millennium, but it was Alexis Sánchez who put the England...

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Team Focus: Japan's 'Magic Square' Can Guide Them to the Knockout Stages

(0) Comments | Posted 12 June 2014 | (16:54)


On the face of it, Group C may not be deemed the most appealing to the neutrals. There's no Brazil, Argentina, Spain or Germany to attract supporters, though the group does contain four teams from four different continents. The combination of the conservative...

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Player Focus: Javier Hernández Must Grasp His Chance to Impress in Brazil

(1) Comments | Posted 12 June 2014 | (00:00)


The World Cup provides the perfect opportunity for players to showcase their talents to the watching world. More importantly, those who have barely played for their club over the season have the chance to re-establish themselves as one of the best...

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Player Focus: Where Should Rooney Start for England at the World Cup?

(1) Comments | Posted 10 June 2014 | (00:00)


England have in the not-so-distant past struggled to find a player worthy of holding down a regular starting spot on the left flank. Paul Scholes was played on the wing to accommodate Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in midfield at Euro 2004. Since...

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Player Focus: Lambert the Final Piece in Liverpool's Attacking Puzzle

(1) Comments | Posted 7 June 2014 | (00:00)


For any player, signing for your boyhood club would be a dream come true. For Rickie Lambert, that dream this week became a reality. The striker - and lifelong Liverpool fan - joined the Reds for an initial £4million on Monday,...

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Team Focus: Chelsea Progressing Despite Consecutive Third Place Finishes

(1) Comments | Posted 5 June 2014 | (00:00)


Despite eventually finishing four points off top, José Mourinho regularly insisted Chelsea were never in the title race last season. "Champions are only one (team) and the champions will be City or Liverpool," the Portuguese said after their surprising 2-0 win over Liverpool...

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Player Focus: Berbatov Can Become Falcao's Perfect Foil for Monaco

(0) Comments | Posted 27 May 2014 | (00:00)


On Tuesday, Monaco confirmed what many had suspected was imminent and announced the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. Rumours had been circulating for weeks that the 'Tinkerman' would be shown the exit door and it proved only a matter of time before...

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Player Focus: European Team of the Season

(1) Comments | Posted 22 May 2014 | (00:00)


The culmination of Sevilla-Elche brought an end to a season full of twists and turns in Europe's top five leagues. Atlético Madrid surpassed all expectations with their La Liga title win, while Manchester City, Juventus, PSG and Bayern Munich secured domestic...

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Player Focus: Ramos' Real Performances Show He's Matching Ancelotti's Needs

(0) Comments | Posted 20 May 2014 | (14:15)


Prior to Real Madrid's 4-0 thumping of Osasuna last month, Sergio Ramos had netted just 1 goal in 43 appearances in all competitions this season. Fast-forward to the present day and the defender has 5 in his last 6, including a brace against...

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