Football Cliche: Something out of nothing
If a player creates something out of nothing it means that they have done something unexpected in the game. For example, if a defence is well marshalled and organised and the attacking side is unable to break them down a player might create a chance by doing something that no one else is expecting them to do – dribble, chip, curl, or maybe shoot from distance. The word ‘conjure‘, which means to do some magic, is often used with this cliche – the player conjured something out of nothing which gives the impression that magic has happened! Another verb that collocates with this phrase is create – create something out of nothing.
Example: “He is the sort of player who can create something out of nothing…” Everton manager Martinez speaking about Delafeu (Guardian online, August 2013).
Example: “But when you’ve got someone like Dele Alli in your team, or Christian Eriksen, they can create something out of nothing and it paid off for us in the end.” Ben Davies talking about his Tottenham team mates after victory over Swansea. (BBC April 2017).