The Gunners v Red Devils is the big match this weekend; that’s Arsenal v Manchester United. This game features in our predictions section on the show. We also, of course, talk about the World Cup draw in our review section – the group of death, the lucky teams and more. Add to that a quiz question and some football language phrases and you’ve got another languagecaster.com podcast. For those who wish to practise their English, there is a transcript below to help with reading and listening and if you have questions or comments, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Damon = DB).
Football Language Podcast: 2018 World Cup Draw and Gunners v Red Devils
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Transcript of the show
DB: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello and welcome to the podcast for all football fans and those interested in improving their English, too. My name’s Damon and I’m speaking to you from a sunny Tokyo. Apologies for the delay in publishing this podcast, but we’ve had a few problems with the time difference between here and the UK! Today, it’s just me, but we’ve got lots of stuff to get through, so I hope you enjoy the show!
You’re listening to languagecaster.com (Mongolian)
DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Mongolian. Now, if anyone can send us the message ‘You are listening to languagecaster.com’ in their language, that would be great! Maybe we can get all the languages of the World Cup! We’re all excited here at languagecaster about the World Cup draw, which took place this week – more on that later. We’ll also have some football for language with the cliche ‘Win away on a cold night in Stoke, a quiz question, and we’ll look back at some predictions from last weekend’s games.
OK, Now, let’s turn to the World Cup draw for Russia 2018 in our review section. And we’ll start by asking, which is the group of death, that traditional tough group that all teams wanted to avoid?
The Group of Death
Well, the new way of deciding the groups, based on FIFA rankings, has meant there is no really clear group of death this time. However, for 2018, Group D looks the closest to a group of death with Argentina, Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia, but more a group of danger rather than death! And I suppose we should add group F, with Germany, Sweden, South Korea and Mexico. But no real group of death this tournament
And who was lucky? Well, Belgium and England will be pleased with their group, Group G, which is made up of those two European teams, World Cup debutants Panama and African side Tunisia. The Belgians and English will fancy their chances of progressing. But, the hosts Russia probably got the most favourable draw of all – hmm, what a surprise! – with their group containing Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay. Pretty lucky!
And we should also mention a few of the other stories away from the World Cup draw.
So, congratulations to Brazilian side Grêmio who won the Copa Libertadores title last week. A 3-1 win away in Argentina against Lanús in the second leg of the final gave them a 4-1 win on aggregate which meant the Porto Alegre side won their third continental title and their first in 22 years. Amazingly, their coach Renato Gaucho has now won the title as coach and player of the Brazilian team – well done to him. And of course this win means Grêmio will be taking part in the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup tournament in the UAE as well.
As for bad news, it has been a bad week for Spurs fans who were looking for their side to bounce back after the North London derby defeat against Arsenal a couple of weeks ago. Games against West Brom at home, Leicester and Watford away have yielded only two points and three goals – a poor return from a team that has hit a blip in form and is now well out of the title race.
And we’ll finish with some ugly news – Sergio Ramos the Real Madrid and Spanish defender was sent off in yesterday’s scoreless draw away in Bilbao after two yellow cards. This was the 19th time that Ramos had received a red card – a record for La Liga – pretty ugly indeed.
DB: Remember that we would love to hear your comments or suggestions, and you can do this by getting in touch with us via email@example.com, we have a twitter page, Facebook, or Instagram. If you come along to the site, languagecaster.com, and click on the podcast post, you can, of course, read the transcript for the show too.
DB: OK, it’s quiz question time. Staying with the theme of the World Cup and the group stages, we want to know which teams were in the Germany’s group in 2014. Germany, of course, were crowned champions, but who were in their group at the start of the tournament? Which teams played Germany in the group stage at the last World Cup? Answer at the end of the show.
Next we’ve got some English for football phrases and we feature a cliche this week.
Football Language: Cold night at Stoke
DB: This cliche is one specifically about English football, as it refers to Stoke City. Stoke are one of the oldest football clubs in England. Beyond being a very old football club, Stoke City have a reputation as a very physical, strong side. They are not known for playing pretty, passing football. This image is now a bit of a stereotype and outdated. It refers to the time when Tony Pulis was their manager. Between 2002 and 2013, he was their manager for 10 years. Also, in winter, Stoke City’s ground is notoriously cold, wet and windy, so playing away at Stoke in winter is often seen as a difficult challenge and a test of a team’s ability to fight for a result. Typically, people may wonder if teams like Arsenal can do it away on a cold Tuesday night at Stoke – they are questioning Arsenal’s ability to cope with a physical team in cold weather. So for example:
And one more phrase, which we’ll add to our growing glossary of footballing terms – we think it’s the biggest in the world! Well, it might be anyway.
Football Language: Niggle
The term is niggle or niggling. This term can be used as a verb, to niggle, and adjective, niggling, or a countable noun, a niggle. However, in football it is most often used as an adjective when talking about a kind of foul or injury or as a noun when talking about an injury. A niggle is defined as a trivial discomfort or annoyance, so if a player has a niggle, it is a way of saying they have a small but recurring injury. The injury could be described as a niggling ankle injury, which means the player has a problem with their ankle that will not heal, get better, quickly. You may also hear the phrase niggling fouls, to describe a situation where one team is committing a lot of small fouls, and therefore disrupting the other team’s rhythm. Here’s a headline from the Guardian newspaper last March: Emre Can pain-free after niggling injury and happy to stay at Liverpool.
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Right, it’s time for our final section, the predictions. The leaderboard after the weekend’s games shows that Alexrr and Johnny Magicboots have both broken the 100 points mark with Alexrr leading 111 to 101. No one else is close, so it’s a two-horse race for the winter halfway prize!
Now let’s spotlight three games that took place. First up, is Everton who hosted Huddersfield.
Everton vs Huddersfield
Everton were in a real crisis but a 4-0 hammering of the Hammers, West Ham, gave them a bit of hope before this game. Was it because they now have a new manager in Sam Allardyce? Well, I’m not sure, but it looked like a chance for the Toffees, as Huddersfield had been battered 5-0 by Arsenal. I fancied Everton’s chances and went 2-0 for Everton. Damian also thought the same And, miraculously, it was 2-0 – 3 points for both of us!
Arsenal vs Manchester United
Next was Arsenal v Manchester United. 4th versus 2nd. A win for the London club would have closed the gap to 1 point on United. I went with home advantage and a precious 1-0 win to the Gunners. Damian, as a Spurs fan, couldn’t predict an Arsenal win and went for a draw – 1-1 – so no points for either of us there, as United beat Arsenal 3-1 in a cracking game – a really exciting match to watch and United keeper, David De Gea, was outstanding in goal – a record 14 saves.
Bournemouth vs Southampton
Our last game this week was a south coast affair with The Cherries hosting the Saints, that’s Bournemouth v Southampton. I reckoned this early Sunday afternoon kick off would be a cagey affair. Neither team has any consistent form. Over recent years Southampton have the upper hand, but I went for a 0-0 draw, while Damian thought Southampton would win this one – 2-1. It was a 1-1 draw, so 1 point for me!
OK. Before we go, here is the answer to the quiz question. We wanted to know which other countries were in Germany’s group in the last World Cup, and they were: Portugal, Ghana, and the United States. Germany topped their group with 2 wins and a draw and were joined in the next round by the United States, who edged out Portugal on goal difference.
DB: OK, that’s it from this week’s podcast. See you all again next week when we will be looking at the big game in the Premier League – the Manchester derby between the top two. Ta-ra!