clangerIn this football language post we explain the term ‘clanger‘ which is used to describe a big mistake in football. Don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

(to) Drop a clanger

If a player makes a big mistake in football we can say that they have dropped a clanger. This kind of mistake is usually, though not always, associated with goalkeepers when they make a blunder, a mistake or a howler which leads to a goal  In two recent matches the Manchester United and Tottenham goalkeepers both dropped big clangers: Manchester United’s David de Gea was beaten when he allowed a shot to go through his arms in his side’s 2-0 defeat away at Watford. The second one involved the Tottenham keeper Paolo Gazzaniga who should have collected a ball with his hands but instead went with his feet – he missed the ball and hit the Chelsea player giving away a clear penalty. Two poor goalkeeping clangers.

Example: ‘Europa League: Karius drops clanger in Besiktas defeat’ (Guardian Sep 19 2019)

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

CEpisode 33