Ben McAleer
Editorial Assistant,

Entries by Ben McAleer

Team Focus: Rodgers Has Struck The Right Attacking Balance With Front Three

(0) Comments | Posted 9 January 2015 | (23:00)


At the beginning of November, Brendan Rodgers deployed a three-man defence for the first time in the Premier League this season. The decision to field a 3-5-1-1 formation did not have the desired effect though, as Liverpool succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at...

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Player Focus: Is James McCarthy Now Everton's Most Valuable Player?

(0) Comments | Posted 4 December 2014 | (23:00)


Last summer, Everton hired Roberto Martínez as David Moyes' replacement. As with any manager switching teams, the Spaniard took a number of his former players with him to Goodison Park. Arouna Koné departed the DW Stadium for Goodison, Joel Robles also followed Martínez...

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Player Focus: Kane's Spurs Displays Giving Pochettino Selection Headache

(0) Comments | Posted 27 November 2014 | (23:00)


"For me, with his attitude, he can be one of the best centre-forwards in the world one day. He has a spirit you can compare to [Cristiano] Ronaldo and he works every day." The quote of a professional footballer complimenting a...

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Player Focus: Playmaker Payet Takes Over the Creative Reins at Marseille

(0) Comments | Posted 27 November 2014 | (13:17)


After an impressive World Cup, one would have expected Marseille to fight tooth and nail to keep hold of Mathieu Valbuena. The pint-sized playmaker ranked among the 25 highest-rated players according to WhoScored (7.56) at Brazil 2014, so his departure to...

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Player Focus: Blind's Absence Likely to Dent United's Top Four Hopes

(0) Comments | Posted 21 November 2014 | (23:00)


"He (Daley Blind) plays far too many square passes and takes the easy option," Gary Neville said of Manchester United's summer signing earlier this month. The former United right-back believes Blind needs to take more risks in midfield in...

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Player Focus: Neymar Discovering His Goalscoring Touch in Spain

(0) Comments | Posted 16 November 2014 | (13:46)


On Wednesday night, Neymar bagged a brace in Brazil's 4-0 win over Turkey. A friendly in Istanbul may not have set the world alight, but it was a game that saw the Brazil star continue his impressive pursuit of...

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Team Focus: First Win a False Dawn For Beleaguered Burnley

(0) Comments | Posted 14 November 2014 | (16:05)


The gulf in class between the Premier League and the Championship continues to grow with each passing season and shows no signs of shortening, especially if the first 11 games of the campaign are anything to go by. Heading into the...

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Player Focus: Hodgson Wrong to Ignore Austin's Powers

(0) Comments | Posted 14 November 2014 | (13:41)


When the England squad was announced last week, the usual debate raged on social media channels. 'Player X should be in instead of Player Y' is always the crux of each argument, with questions asked of Roy Hodgson as to why a certain...

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Player Focus: Dusan Tadic - The Jewel in Koeman's Summer Signings' Crown

(0) Comments | Posted 8 November 2014 | (23:00)


Back in August, pessimistic football fans would not have envisaged Southampton sitting in the top half of the table, let alone the top four. However, 10 games in and Saints are Chelsea's nearest competitors in the hunt for the Premier League...

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Player Focus: The Ballon d'WhoScored 2014

(0) Comments | Posted 4 November 2014 | (23:00)


At this time of year, the focus turns to the Ballon d'Or and with the 23-man list released earlier today, discussion is rife on social media as to who should and should not be up for nomination for the individual awards...

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Player Focus: Lukasz Fabianski Proving His Doubters Wrong for Swansea

(0) Comments | Posted 2 November 2014 | (23:00)


The 2014/15 Premier League season has been one of surprise packages. Stewart Downing has been like a clichéd new signing for West Ham after Sam Allardyce's decision to deploy a 4-3-1-2 formation. Elsewhere, Victor Moses is proving his worth for Stoke...

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Player Focus: Diamé's Bright Start to Life at Hull

(0) Comments | Posted 26 October 2014 | (09:58)


To say Mohamed Diamé's goal against Arsenal on Saturday was contentious would be something of an understatement. Gunners midfielder Mathieu Flamini did well to get between the Hull midfielder and the ball as Diamé bore down on goal, only for the...

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Player Focus: Confident Berahino Firing West Brom Up The Table

(0) Comments | Posted 24 October 2014 | (16:35)


Not even Rafael's Sunday league approach to defending could deter Saido Berahino from netting in West Brom's 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Monday night. The Brazilian appeared to shout as a means of unsettling the England hopeful as...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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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