Ben McAleer
Editorial Assistant,

Entries by Ben McAleer

Player Focus: United Must Pursue Reported Interest in Cuadrado

(1) 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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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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