Ben McAleer
Editorial Assistant,

Entries by Ben McAleer

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Player Focus: Will Sánchez Struggle on Premier League Away Days?

(0) Comments | Posted 4 August 2014 | (00:00)


The acid test for footballers arriving in the Premier League from foreign shores is, more often than not, 'can he do it on a wet, windy Tuesday night in Stoke?' The Potters are famed for their roughhouse approach, so the work...

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Player Focus: Few Midfielders Can Offer More Than Schneiderlin

(1) Comments | Posted 1 August 2014 | (00:00)


On Monday, Ronald Koeman tweeted a picture of a pitch devoid of players, accompanied with the phrase "Ready for Training!". In light of Southampton's recent sales, some felt the tweet was tongue in cheek from the boss, who has lost a...

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Team Focus: Atlético Neither Stronger Nor Weaker Following Recent Summer Activity

(0) Comments | Posted 31 July 2014 | (00:00)


The pillaging of Southampton highlights the dangers of a team performing above the standards expected of them. Mauricio Pochettino, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers have all left the club, while Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez...

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Player Focus: Villa Must Be Prepared to Receive Concrete Offers for Vlaar

(0) Comments | Posted 29 July 2014 | (00:00)


Netherlands were defensively one of the best teams at the World Cup. Louis van Gaal's side conceded only four goals in seven games at Brazil 2014, with Bruno Martins Indi, Ron Vlaar and Stefan de Vrij all performing admirably in denying...

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League Focus: 2014/15 Premier League Opening Fixtures Analysed

(0) Comments | Posted 27 July 2014 | (14:59)


The World Cup has drawn to a close and the pre-season programme is now in full swing. It's purgatory for English football fans though, who have only the fitness attaining fixtures and the transfer window to keep them occupied until the...

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