Happy New Year to everyone! On this week’s podcast for learners of English who love football, we focus on the 3rd round of the FA Cup in England, take a look back at some of the good and not so good from 2017, explain some football language, ask (and answer) a football quiz question and much more on 2018’s first podcast of the year. If you have questions or comments, email us at:: firstname.lastname@example.org (Damon= DB; Damian DF).
Football Language Podcast: 2018 FA Cup 3rd Round
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Transcript of the show
DF: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello everybody, Happy New Year to you all and welcome to the podcast for all football fans and for those interested in improving their English. My name is Damian and I am here in Málaga in the south of Spain where the weather is bright and very sunny indeed. Hello Damon, how are you doing and how is Tokyo in the new year?
DB: Hi Damian. Happy New Year to you and everyone listening. In Tokyo, it’s very similar to how Malaga sounds – bright and very sunny. Have you seen any football in Spain while you’ve been there?
DF: The Spanish football season is back after a short break this weekend while there were some Copa del Rey matches taking place last night – that’s the domestic cup of course here in Spain – but I have been watching lots of Premier League matches over the past two weeks, including Tottenham versus West Ham last night – a slight disappointment for my team Spurs who were only able to draw 1-1 against their London rivals in a game that saw two wonder goals: two piledrivers. Still, Spurs managed to win 10 points from their four matches which was a successful festive period, how about Liverpool?
DB: . Well, I’m a little bit disappointed we didn’t grab 12 points out of 12 over the festive period. If it hadn’t been for a crazy five minutes away at Arsenal, when the Reds were cruising at 2-0 only to end up drawing 3-0, it would have been. But 10 points out of 12 is pretty good. There was also the boost of a big new signing in the Dutch defender Virgil Van Dyke. So, what do we have on the show today?
DF: Well, we usually have a review of some of the footballing stories from the week but this week we thought it would be an interesting idea to review some of the good, the bad and the ugly of our own teams during 2017 – the highs and lows of the year. After that, we’ve got a quiz question and then we explain some football phrases including fixture pile-up – very appropriate for this time of the year. And then we’ll finish with predictions from the third round of the FA Cup and we’ll focus on the following three games: Liverpool versus Everton, Manchester City against Burnley, and Brighton v Crystal Palace.
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DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Dutch. Now, if anyone would like to send us the message ‘You are listening to languagecaster.com’ in their language that would be great!
OK, as Damian mentioned earlier we have a slight change to this week’s show as we look back at some of the good, the bad and the ugly from our favourite teams during 2017: Who was the best player? What was the best game? What (or who) was the weak link? What are our predictions for the year?
Let’s start with Damian and his team Tottenham.
Tottenham – Best Player
DF: Tottenham have had some good performances over the year – the Belgian defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, the French captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but the stand out player for the year is, of course, Harry Kane. The striker scored a remarkable 39 Premier League goals over the year – a record – and is without doubt the Spurs player of the year.
Tottenham – Best Game
DF: Spurs have played well over the year – and went unbeaten at home in the whole of last season – I remember a fantastic 2-0 home win against Chelsea back in January last year, while we also comfortably defeated Arsenal and Manchester United at our old White Hart Lane ground. But I suppose I would have to choose this season’s Champions League win over Real Madrid (3-1) at Wembley as the best performance of the season.
Tottenham – Weak Link
DF: The team is still growing and of course there are areas it can still be improved but I think the biggest weak link for Spurs, especially this season, is that we do not play at White Hart Lane but instead are at Wembley Stadium and I think that has affected us a little this season.
Tottenham – 2018 Predictions
DF: Many people feel that Spurs need to win a trophy or else many of their players would leave the club but I am not too sure about that. They appear to enjoy playing at Tottenham under manager Mauricio Pocchetino and have a new stadium to look forward to back at White Hart Lane. Beating Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League would be great, finishing in the top four would also be a success – the third season in a row – while maybe another run in the FA Cup where we could go further than last season’s semi-final could be possible.
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Liverpool – Best Player
DB: Well, this side seems significantly stronger than last season, and that is mainly due to the addition up front of Mo Salah, the Egyptian speedster, who has scored 17 in 21 games in the league and six in the Champions League. But I’m also pretty happy with the performance of some of the youngsters brought into the team, particularly Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, both playing at right back – best player, though, has to be Salah.
Liverpool – Best Game
Well, 2017 started well for Liverpool, and I remember a fantastic away win at Manchester City with a bullet header from Wijnaldum – OK that was the 31st December 2016, but I celebrated into 2017! At that point, Liverpool fans were still dreaming of the title. But the wheels came off their challenge in January. That meant that games like the 4-0 win away at West Ham in the final few weeks of the season and the 3-0 win against Middlesborough in the last game to secure 4th spot and a Champions League play off spot were cracking results. Best game this season though, has to be the 4-2 win over Hoffenheim in the Champions League qualifier, sending Liverpool into the group stages.
Liverpool – Weak Link
For several seasons now, most fans would say our defence and goalkeeper have been the weak link in the side. In the defence’s defence, the way Liverpool play does mean they get exposed a lot. However, Liverpool do seem to give away a lot of unforced errors at the back. Now, we’ve just spent a record transfer fee on a new centre back, but I want to be greedy and add a world-class goalkeeper.
Liverpool – 2018 Predictions
Like Tottenham, winning a trophy of some sort would really be good for the fans. It’s been five years since a League Cup win. Realistically, Liverpool won’t trouble the big boys of PSG, Bayern Munich and Barcelona in Europe, but they may enjoy a few good results in the knock out stages. Another top-four finish will be difficult but is on the cards, and who knows, an FA Cup in the trophy cabinet?
DB: Remember that we would love to hear your comments or suggestions, and you can do this by getting in touch with us via email@example.com, we have a twitter page, Facebook – keep spreading the word! We also have an Instagram page with lots of football-related photos – recently Damian posted some images from Spain. If you come along to the site, languagecaster.com, and click on the podcast post, you can read the transcript for the show too.
Quiz Question – FA Cup
DF: Right, next it’s our weekly quiz. We want to know which team has lost the most FA Cup finals. We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.
Next up we’ve got some English for football phrases.
Football Language: Fixture pile up
DF: The Christmas and New Year fixtures (or games) come thick and fast with each team playing four times over the holiday period. So when most people are relaxing at the end of the year footballers are busier than ever. Some clubs have to play two games in 48 hours leading to some managers to complain about ‘a fixture pile up‘ – there are too many games in a short space of time. A pile up is used when more than one car is involved in a traffic accident or when something accumulates so a fixture pile-up involves the accumulation or build up of a lot of matches. Here is an example from the BBC on January 2nd this year, ‘West Brom asked to postpone West Ham trip because of fixture pile-up’ (BBC.co.uk January 2nd).
DB: Right, it’s time for our final section, the predictions.
DB: The first game that we’ll look at in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup is the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool vs Everton
DF: This is of course a derby but I am not sure that either manager will play a full-strength side in this game; so maybe a 2-0 home win for me.
DB: After Everton stole a point last month with a soft penalty decision going their way, this is a must win for Liverpool. Despite Salah and Coutinho being out, I expect a strong team and a win. 2-0 for me too.
Manchester City vs Burnley
DF: Burnley have gone off the boil a little in recent weeks – their squad is not as deep as others so they have suffered in the busy Christmas period – an easy City win for me, maybe 3-0.
DB: I agree with Damian. The fixture pile-up seems to have had an impact on Burnley, and they haven’t won in five games. They won’t win away at Manchester City, who I reckon will win comfortably 2-0.
Brighton vs Crystal Palace
DF: There is a lot of rivalry between these two clubs … I think in-form Palace will win this one away at Brighton… 1-0 to the Eagles for me.
DB: Again, I agree with Damian. Although this is a big rivalry and the form book should go out the window, Crystal Palace are full of confidence and they might just edge this one 1-0.
DB: OK Damian, let’s have the answer to the quiz question. We asked which team has lost the most FA Cup finals? What’s the answer?
DF: Well, the answer is Everton and they have lost 8 finals which is one more than Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United. We’ll have another question next week.
DF: Bye everyone and see you all again next week.
DB: Yep, ta-rah!