Football Headlines: Rooney leads slaughter of the innocents

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Every week during the season, the languagecaster team will explain a football headline that has appeared in the English-speaking press. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase, while you can also read the transcript below that. You can also find many more examples of football phraseshere , as well as football cliches here and our huge football glossary here.

Newspaper Headline of the Week: Rooney leads slaughter of the innocents

The Times Monday August 29th 2011

Listen here: Rooney leads slaughter of innocents.mp3

Most of the UK press focuses on the thrashing that Manchester United gave Arsenal (8-2) some used the phrase Super 8 (a film reference), while other headlines included Wenger’s Darkest Hour referring to the Arsenal manager’s worst moment in charge of Arsenal. The Times focused on Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney as he scored three goals, a hat-trick, in helping his side slaughter Arsenal – slaughter means to kill a large amount of people but is also used to describe when one team heavily defeats another side in football. The phrase ‘slaughter of the innocents‘ is a Biblical one that refers to the mass killing of infants by King Herod, in this sense innocents refers to the children. Innocents can also mean lacking in experience and here in the Times the writers are suggesting that the Arsenal team is full of young players with little experience (the innocents), who were were slaughtered by the Manchester United leader Wayne Rooney – Rooney leads slaughter of the innocents.

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