Ben McAleer
Editorial Assistant,

Entries by Ben McAleer

Team Focus: How Dortmund Have Regressed Since Their 2012 Title Win

(0) Comments | Posted 20 October 2014 | (00:00)


The game of football is all about cycles. A team can be deemed one of the best in the world, only to see their stock drop years later. It's an inevitable, and ultimately disappointing, turn of events that football clubs often endure, but...

Read Post

League Focus: The Increase in the Use of a 4-3-1-2 Formation

(0) Comments | Posted 16 October 2014 | (16:55)


In 2006, Chelsea secured the signature of midfielder Michael Ballack on a free transfer from Bayern Munich. Fresh from World Cup duties, Chelsea supporters were understandably enthused at the acquisition of the then-Germany captain. The midfielder was regarded as one of...

Read Post

Player Focus: Could Di Natale Still Succeed on the International Stage?

(0) Comments | Posted 14 October 2014 | (16:26)


In the film Mike Bassett: England Manager, there's a moment where the recently-appointed England boss comically selects Ron Benson and Tony Hedges for his first squad. "They're third division players, one of them is 46!" a reporter remarks in Bassett's first...

Read Post

Team Focus: Athletic Floundering in the Wake of Herrera's Departure

(0) Comments | Posted 2 October 2014 | (12:02)


Losing your best player will always have an adverse effect on a team. Liverpool have struggled this season following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, while Tottenham failed to sufficiently replace Gareth Bale after his record breaking move to Real Madrid.

Read Post

Player Focus: Etienne Capoue Vital in Pochettino's New Look Spurs

(0) Comments | Posted 1 October 2014 | (15:23)


A player's primary concern when a new manager comes in is how regularly he will feature. Mauricio Pochettino's appointment gave the Tottenham squad a chance to prove themselves at White Hart Lane, with some performing better than others, on the back of Tim Sherwood's...

Read Post

Team Focus: Koeman's Saints Flying High after Summer of Uncertainty

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


Football fans are a pessimistic bunch when they see fit. The gutting of Southampton over the summer had many connoisseurs of the beautiful game insistent that the south coast club would sink quicker than a stone in the Solent...

Read Post

Player Focus: Lethal Ulloa Proving His Early Doubters Wrong

(0) Comments | Posted 25 September 2014 | (00:00)


'Esteban Cambiasso equalises for Leicester City against Manchester United' is a sentence no football writer envisaged they would ever type. The Argentine midfielder was, however, on hand to draw the Foxes level against United on Sunday in his first start since...

Read Post

Team Focus: Enrique's Faith in Youth Easing Concerns Over Barca's Transfer Ban

(0) Comments | Posted 23 September 2014 | (00:00)


Back in April, Barcelona were handed a 14-month transfer ban having breached rules on signing international players under the age of 18. Understandably, the Spanish giants appealed the ruling and, as a result, the transfer embargo was put on...

Read Post

Player Focus: Xabi Alonso Already Bayern's Most Influential Starter

(0) Comments | Posted 22 September 2014 | (00:00)


Despite a 5-1 thumping of FC Basel on Tuesday, the problems at Real Madrid are well documented. Granted, the reigning European champions secured the signatures of James Rodríguez, Toni Kroos, Keylor Navas and Javier Hernández, albeit on loan, this summer, but released Ángel...

Read Post

Player Focus: Wenger Must Tweak His System to Bring Out the Best in Özil

(0) Comments | Posted 18 September 2014 | (16:55)


Jack Wilshere won the plaudits in Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Manchester City. The England international turned in a performance fans know he is capable of and the Gunners faithful are hoping this will be the beginning of great run of form...

Read Post

Player Focus: Dependable Ivanovic Key to Chelsea's Blistering Start

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


When Filipe Luis signed for Chelsea from Atlético Madrid over the summer, some felt it was time for Branislav Ivanovic to revert to centre-back, with César Azpilizueta moving to his favoured role on the right. However, three games into the Premier...

Read Post

Player Focus: Gylfi Sigurdsson Rejuvenated in Familiar Swansea Surroundings

(0) Comments | Posted 5 September 2014 | (00:00)


Tottenham's spending spree last summer had a number of players fearing for their future at White Hart Lane. The money brought in from the sales of Gareth Bale, Clint Dempsey and Tom Huddlestone was re-invested back into the squad as Spurs secured the...

Read Post

Player Focus: Hardworking Player Focus: Hardworking Naismith is Everton's Unsung Hero

(0) Comments | Posted 28 August 2014 | (16:29)


As was the case at Goodison Park last season, Everton exploited Arsenal's left side in Saturday's meeting between the two teams. Nacho Monreal came in at left-back for the injured Kieran Gibbs, while Mesut Özil was drafted in on the left...

Read Post

Player Focus: Fàbregas Signing Should Bring Out the Best in Schürrle

(0) Comments | Posted 21 August 2014 | (15:27)


Cesc Fàbregas rightly won the plaudits for his performance in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Burnley. The Spaniard capped off an impressive Blues debut on Monday with two assists to help secure an impressive WhoScored rating of 8.73 on his first game...

Read Post

Player Focus: Newcomers Impress on the Premier League's Opening Weekend

(0) Comments | Posted 21 August 2014 | (09:44)


England's top tier is regarded by many as the best in world football, so the chance for any player to ply their trade in the Premier League is often too hard to turn down. A number of performers were handed their...

Read Post

Player Focus: United Must Pursue Reported Interest in Cuadrado

(0) Comments | Posted 15 August 2014 | (00:00)

Manchester United kick off the 2014/15 Premier League season this weekend when they host Swansea City. Supporters are excited about the new era under Louis van Gaal, even if the 2012/13 champions lumbered to a seventh placed finish last term. Some supporters, however, feel the club have not been active...

Read Post

Team Focus: Would the Signing of Falcao Render Madrid's Attack the Strongest?

(0) Comments | Posted 12 August 2014 | (15:45)

After finishing third in La Liga last season, Real Madrid are hell bent on reclaiming what they feel is rightfully theirs. Fierce rivals Atlético Madrid pipped Madrid and Barcelona to top spot on the final day of the campaign, forcing Los Blancos into action this summer. At the time of...

Read Post

Team Focus: Improving Stoke Benefitting From Hughes' Philosophy

(0) Comments | Posted 11 August 2014 | (17:21)

During Tony Pulis' reign as manager, Stoke City were one of the toughest teams around. Roughhousing the opposition and playing a style of football based around attacking primarilty at set-pieces, teams were warned of a tough 90 minutes against the Potters. Despite knowing what was in store, sides would struggle...

Read Post

Player Focus: Rodgers Should Have Done More to Keep Reina at Anfield

(0) Comments | Posted 11 August 2014 | (00:00)

A great team has ample strength in depth within the squad. Players require competition in order to keep their wits about them, fearful that a drop in form could see them lose their place in the starting XI. Sufficient quality all across the park helps the top teams compete on...

Read Post

Team Focus: Spurs' Summer Movements Match Pochettino's Needs

(0) Comments | Posted 8 August 2014 | (15:57)

"We have sold Elvis and bought the Beatles!" exclaimed former Tottenham goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt during an on-pitch half-time interview in Spurs' 3-0 Europa League win over Tromsø last September. Excitement levels were high on the back of a busy summer, only for the team to fail to match expectations. Fast...

Read Post