Football Language: High Octane Football

For this post on football English we explain the adjective phrase ‘high octane’. If you have suggestions, questions, comments, let us know!

For this post on football English we explain the adjective phrase ‘high octane‘. If you have suggestions, questions or comments, email us at: Octane

  • Find out 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 massive football glossary here.

High Octane

Cars need petrol, or gasoline, to run; football teams need fit and energetic players to do well. Sports cars need special petrol or gasoline to go faster, and this is called high octane petrol. This fuel is used for vehicles wanting to accelerate quicker, go faster, and perform better. Over the last few years adjective phrase has been used more and more to describe football teams that have a high intensity style of play. They press quickly, attack in numbers, and don’t let the opponents time on the ball. This kind of team employs a high octane style of football.

Example: ‘The last game of 2016 pits Jurgen Klopp against Pep Guardiola for the first time in the Premier League in what should be a banquet of high-pressing, high-risk, high-octane 21st century football with added goalkeeping flaws.’ (The Telegraph, 25 December 2016)

Example: ‘David Moyes’ stock has fallen – he is not the man to bring high-pressing, high-octane football to West Ham.’ (The Mirror, 7 April 2018)

Example: ‘It is in Chelsea’s interests to make this a high-octane encounter. For the creative Eden Hazard and Pedro to flourish, and to leave space for Diego Costa to run in behind, the Blues would prefer a fast-paced contest.’ (, 14 April, 2017)


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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