Follow me:

2016-17 Learn English through Football Podcast: Bomb forward, kill off the game and the Merseyside derby

podcastThis week’s football-language podcast looks back at some of the big stories from the football week and also looks ahead to some of the big games taking place in the Premier League this weekend. We also explain some words and phrases from the past week including bomb forward and to kill off the game. The show also features three big games from the Premier League in our predictions battle – Bournemouth v Southampton, Manchester City v Arsenal and Everton v Liverpool, while we also answer your football-language questions. You can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF).

2016-17 Learn English through Football Podcast: Bomb forward, kill off the game and the Merseyside derby

Subscribe to the show and receive automatic downloads every week

Transcript of the show

DF: You’re listening to languagecaster’s football language podcast. Hello everyone, my name is Damian and I am here in a rather grey and cold London though I am looking forward to all the football taking place this weekend including Tottenham’s home game against Burnley tomorrow as I will be going along to White Hart Lane to see that one! Now this week Damon, who of course is in Tokyo in Japan, will not be with us as he is playing football – let’s hope he wins and tells us all about it next week.

Line up

DF:  Now on this week’s show we have our regular look back at the football news in the good, the bad and the ugly and this week we feature stories from the World Club Cup in Japan and of course the Premier League. After that, we take a look at a couple of football expressions including the phrase to ‘to bomb on‘. Then we have our predictions in which we look at three big games taking place this weekend – a couple of interesting derbies among them – and of course we also have a quiz question and we answer some of your football-language questions.

DF: OK, let’s kick off with some good news from the world of football.


DF: Well done to Japanese side Kashima Antlers after their 3-0 defeat of Colombian side Atlético Nacional in the semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup to become the first ever team from Asia to qualify for the final of this tournament. Antlers will face Real Madrid in the final this weekend and though few give them any chance of winning, they will have home advantage and the confidence of defeating the South American champions to fall back on.


DF: Well, it has been a bad week for Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay GündoÄŸan who tore his knee ligaments in Wednesday’s win over Watford. This injury looks like it will keep him out for the rest of the season which is a huge blow as GündoÄŸan had suffered another long-term injury earlier in the year – he dislocated his kneecap and that kept him out of the European Championship in France during the summer.


DF: As for ugly, the Stoke City forward Marko Arnautovic was sent off for a nasty studs-up challenge – a high, dangerous challenge – on Southampton’s Sofiane Boufal. The straight red means the Austrian will miss three games over the Christmas period.

DF: Yes, you are listening to And that was, of course, in Polish. If you’d like to record your own version of the message, ‘You are listening to’ in another language then you can send it on to us by emailing here at

Follow us

DF: You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook at our page Learn English Through Football and on twitter @languagecaster, which is what Enrique from Chile did this week. He asks the question:

‘… is there a word to describe when you win 2 leagues in a row?’

Well, we think maybe ‘repeat winners’ or we could use the phrase ‘retain the title‘ but we cannot say ‘double winners’ as this means winning the league and cup in the same season; so something completely different.

Thanks for the question Enrique and remember if you’d like to ask a question or simply want to get in contact with us then you can do so by coming along to the site at or you can email us at

Quiz question

DF: OK, it’s time for our weekly quiz question and this week our question is all about the Merseyside derby – Everton versus Liverpool. Since the Premier League started in 1992 the Merseyside derby is the fixture that has seen which of the following:

  1. The most yellow cards
  2. The most red cards
  3. The most goals scored.

We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.

Next up we explain some football language that has emerged from the week.

Football Language: (to) Kill off the game

DF: The first expression is ‘to kill off the game‘. When we use the expression ‘to kill off the game‘ in football we mean that one team is trying to make it difficult for the other team to make a comeback; they want to finish them off and make the three points certain. In a recent Premier League game Manchester City were leading Everton 1-0 and dominating the game – they had created lots of chances – but had failed to score a second goal which would have almost certainly meant that City would win the game. With five minutes to go, the away side (Everton) had a couple of chances and the home fans became nervous as they realised that their team should have easily wrapped up the points by this stage. Sure enough, Everton equalised at the end of the game to earn a share of the spoils. The City manager, players and fans were frustrated as they had not killed off the game when they had all of their earlier chances. Here’s another example: a team were leading at half-time but despite their pressure were not able to kill off their opponents who scored a late equaliser.

Now this phrase is not connected to the expression ‘to kill the ball‘ which means to trap or control the ball; so for example, the player killed the ball and set up a new attack.

To bomb forward

DF: Now, our second phrase today is ‘to bomb forward‘. The full back position in modern-day football is very important as these players often have more space to attack than others. Some teams want their full backs to attack quite a lot so that they play more in their opponents’ half than in their own and in this case we can say that they are playing high up the pitch. If the full backs constantly attack we can use the phrase ‘to bomb forward‘ or ‘to bomb on‘  to describe this relentless attacking style. In a recent Premier League game the Tottenham full backs bombed on at every chance which meant that the Hull City defence were under pressure for most of the match. Another example would be: The two full backs bombed forward at every opportunity to create chances for their team.

OK, next up we have this week’s predictions.


DF: Now, before the games, let’s take a look at the standings. The overall standings have me way out in front on 123 points with Damon on 92. I am also leading the December standings with 13 points that’s one ahead of Damon and 5 ahead of Jose and the Mighty Toft. There are lots more games in December so let’s see if anyone can challenge me!

Remember, in order to play just come along to the site, click on Predictions Competition at the top of the site and either register or login to add your predictions.

Manchester City vs Arsenal

DF: Our first game this weekend sees third place Arsenal travel to Manchester City who are in fourth. As a Spurs fan I think I would like to see this game end in a draw so I’m going for 1-1.

Bournemouth vs Southampton

DF: On Sunday there is a big derby taking place – the south-coast derby between Bournemouth and Southampton. Both sides are playing well, in good form and will both fancy their chances. I think this will also end in a draw: 2-2 for me.

Everton vs Liverpool

DF: I think I know what Damon would go for in our next match – the Merseyside derby that takes place on Monday – but I think this will also finish in a draw. Maybe a scoreless one: nil-nil.

Quiz Answer

DF: Just before we go here is the answer to our quiz question. We asked what record the Merseyside fixture holds in the Premier League. Was it…?

  1. The most yellow cards
  2. The most red cards
  3. The most goals scored.

The answer is ii – the most red cards – which is interesting as it is often known as the ‘friendly derby’ though clearly no love lost between the two sides. There have been 20 red cards since 1992. I wonder will there be another on Monday night? Well done if you got that right and we’ll have another question next week.

Good bye

DF: That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to input your predictions during the week and we’ll be back again next week to look at the Christmas fixtures. Bye bye.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here.
If you have any suggestions, contact us at

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

Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show