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Languagecaster Weekly Football Phrase: To be in your own hands

Every week during the 2010-11 season, the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliche for learners of English who love the sport. This week we look at the relegation battle and the phrase ‘to be in your own hands‘. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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This week’s English for football phrase is ‘to be in your own hands’ which means that a team is in control of their own destiny, they do not have to rely on other teams or results. Currently, in the relegation battle at the foot of the English Premier League, Blackpool can win their last game and still go down – their chance of survival is out of their hands; while if Blackburn win their last game they will stay up – their fate is still in their own hands. To be in your own hands.

  • Example: Premier League safety in Brighton’s own hands, says Chris Hughton (Sky Sports, 2019 16 April)
  • Example: While Norwich, who still have to play both Chelsea and Manchester City away from home, will be preparing for Championship football next season, Nigel Pearson’s Watford still have their fate in their own hands ( 2020 July 7).

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Football Language Glossary

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at

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