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All Over the Place – Football Language Podcast – 2021-22 Season

This football language podcast looks at a short part of a match report and talks about some of the language of football used – including ‘all over the place’. The transcript for this podcast is available below, and you can also check out our huge glossary of footballing phrases here. Visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts, and if you have any suggestions or questions please contact us at or leave a question or comment on our forum. (DB=Damon)

All Over the Place – Football Language Podcast – 2021-22 Season

all over the placeDB: Hi there everyone. We hope you are all well and enjoying the football wherever you are.

My name’s Damon, one half of the languagecaster team. It’s been awful weather recently, but luckily the rain came just after the famous cherry blossom viewing season here in Tokyo. There’s a little bit of sun around today too, which is nice. Damian, the other member of the languagecaster team is on his travels in Ireland, and I hope he’s got good weather there too, so he can sit outside and maybe enjoy a glass of Guinness!

On this short podcast, I’ll be talking about a short part of a Guardian newspaper report on the match between Chelsea and Brentford, especially the phrase ‘all over the place’.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Hungarian).

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in Hungarian. Send in an audio of ‘you are listening to’ in your language and we’ll add it to our show. We’d love to add more to our collection

All Over the Place

OK, let’s talk football language. The section the report I want to talk about today is this:

“Chelsea were all over the place. Eriksen made it 2-1, Toney released Janelt to score his second with a lovely dink and the rout was complete when poor defending from Rüdiger teed up Wissa.” (The Guardian, April 2022)

Let’s start with ‘Chelsea were all over the place‘, which means that their defence was chaotic, there was no discipline. It means that players were not in position, in the correct ‘place‘, but were all over the pitch, not where they should be. Another phrase which you may hear, meaning the same thing is ‘They were at sixes and sevens‘, which also means to be a complete mess.

So in this game Chelsea lost 4-1 after being 1-0 in the lead. their defence was all over the place, they were at sixes and sevens.

(to) Release

OK, next: let’s look at the verb ‘to release‘ Toney released Janet to score’. This means that Toney played a pass allowing Janet to have a great chance on goal; he released him from his marker. This means the pass was ‘nicely weighted‘, or the pass ‘put him though on goal‘, it gave him space to shoot.

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(a) dink

The pass that Toney  released is described as a ‘lovely dink‘. Dink is a noun, but can also be used as a verb – to dink. It is a pass, or a shot, that is hit softly up and over a defender or a goalkeeper. It requires skill and also vision. You dink the ball by striking under the ball, but not following through. This causes the ball to lift high but soon drop down. It is very similar to a chip, or, when a shot, a lob. Dink is often used with adjectives like lovely, delightful, and delicate.

Stinger: You are listening to (Korean).

(to) Tee Up

Thanks for that message in Korean. OK, finally, let’s look at ‘teed up‘ in ‘the rout was complete when poor defending from Rüdiger teed up Wissa.’ First of all, a rout, is a win by a lot of goals, in this case 4-1, but let’s focus on ‘to tee up‘, which is a verb meaning to give a chance to someone; you put the ball in a great position for your teammate to shoot. The phrase of course comes from golf, which uses a ‘tee‘ to put the golf ball on at the start of a hole. The ball is then easy to strike. This is just the same in football. If you tee someone up, you put the ball on a plate, you make it easy to shoot or score.

Good Bye

DB: OK, we looked at ‘all over the place’, ‘to release someone‘, a ‘dink‘, and to ‘tee someone up‘. Join us again soon for more football language and  drop us a line anytime at You can read the transcript for the show on our website at and post on our forum! And if you like what we do leave a donation to keep our site up and running. Enjoy all the football, and see you again Ta-ra!

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

I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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