This post explains the football phrase ‘lead the line’ which is used to describe a type of forward play. 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 huge football glossary here.
(to) Lead the line
Forwards have many jobs in football – the main one being scoring goals – but sometimes a striker also needs to work hard up front on his/her own, defend from the front, cause the defence trouble and bring in other players to the attack. If the forward can do all of these we say that he/she leads the line well. Sometimes the phrase will refer to the position of centre forward, for instance, Marcus Rashford will lead the line against Arsenal today. In yesterday’s World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Austria, the Irish striker Jon Walters led the line well: he gave the Austrian defence a hard time, he linked up well with his team mates and he scored a vital goal – an equaliser – for the Irish. He led the line very well indeed.
Example: ‘Kodjia led the line well, worked hard, created chances for others and himself during his opening 90 minutes in claret and blue’ (AVFC.co.uk, September 2016)