In this football language post for learners of English we look at the phrase ‘target man‘. You can read the transcript for this post 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

(a) Target Man


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A target man is used to describe a big strong centre forward that can hold up the ball and wait for colleagues to support them. These players are usually good in the air – they are good at heading the ball.

  • Example: John Carew at Aston Villa was a good example of a target man: big, strong and holds the ball up well.
  • Example: Arsenal have been linked to signing Montpelier’s superstar striker, who is so much more than a target man.

Related Vocabulary

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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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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Football GlossaryEpisode 327