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Football Expression: Come off the bench

Come off the bench

This week, introduces the English for football phrase ‘come off the bench‘. You can understand more about this phrase by reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

To come off the bench mp3 | To come off the bench pdf

This week’s English for football is to come off the bench. An easy phrase and one used when a substitute comes off the bench, they were not a starting member, and have an impact on the game, they change the game usually in a positive way. The bench literally refers to the seats – it used to be a long seat or bench – where players not in the starting eleven sit. You often hear this phrase when a substitute comes off the bench and scores a goal, or helps their side by setting up a winning goal. They are often called ‘super subs‘. We have already heard how two players came off the bench in the Portsmouth v Blackburn game and scored. Other examples of super subs who have come off the bench include Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Manchester United, who scored the winner in the Champions League final in 1999 in injury time. To come off the bench.

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If you have any ideas on some football phrases for our site, let us know by emailing us at Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here.


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

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    • Hi Maria,

      Yes, it does. It refers to when a player is named as a substitute and is on the bench for the game. If a player has ‘only made the bench‘ it suggests that they may have been dropped although if a player is returning from injury and they make the bench then this meaning is a little more positive.

      Do you know how to say this phrase in other languages?

      Thanks for this – we will add this phrase to our glossary 🙂


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