Football Language Podcast: June 2020 – Coppa Italia Final and Manchester City v Arsenal. On this week’s football-language podcast we discuss some of the language that has appeared in the football world this week, including the phrases, ‘dispatch‘ and ‘pitch invader‘. There’s a football language quiz question and some predictions too as the Coppa Italia final takes place on Wednesday as of course does the return of the Premier League.
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Football Language Podcast: June 2020 – Coppa Italia Final and Manchester City v Arsenal
DF: You are listening to languagecaster.com. Hello everyone, we hope you are all safe and well and welcome to the podcast for fans of football who love the beautiful game of football. My name is Damian and I am based here in a sunny London and of course Damon is in Tokyo – how are you doing Damon?
DB: Not bad Damian. It’s been a pretty wet and windy week here in Tokyo – the rainy season has arrived – but I’ve managed to watch a bit of football including the highlights of the Seville derby we mentioned last week. We were both right in predicting a Sevilla win. How about you?
DF: Well, following the Bundesliga’s return to action four weeks ago, an increasing number of other leagues in Europe, like the Spanish top tier as you mentioned, have also restarted and this means I have seen quite a lot of football this weekend – all behind closed doors of course: I saw Bayern Munich score a late winner against Borussia Mönchengladbach to move them even closer to their 8th consecutive Bundesliga title, that’s 8 league wins in a row.
DF: I also watched both Coppa Italia semi-finals, first up Juventus and AC Milan played out a scoreless draw which was enough for Juventus to go through on away goals and then I saw Napoli reach the final after they drew 1-1 with Inter to go through 2-1 on aggregate. Like you Damon, I also watched the Seville derby on Thursday night – a fairly comfortable 2-0 win for Sevilla against Betis and then I enjoyed watching Leo Messi on Saturday as his Barcelona side easily defeated relegation-threatened Mallorca 4-0 and I also saw Real Madrid host Eibar and run out comfortable 3-1 winners. Oh my God, I saw a lot of football this weekend!
DB: Wow! I can only add some more highlights – Liverpool’s warm up friendly against Blackburn! Not quite the same. OK, let’s have a look at what’s on the show.
DB: OK, we’ll start with a few short news stories from the world of football last week. After that, we’ve got some football language with a quiz question all about heading the ball and we also focus on ‘dispatch‘ and how this word’s used in football. And just before we go, we’ll look at some upcoming games, including the Manchester City versus Arsenal game as the Premier League joins the other European Leagues in restarting.
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DB: OK, let’s kick off with some good news from the football world. Damian, what have you got?
Football News – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
DF: I’ll start with a couple of pieces of good news from the football world this week. Players from the Premier League are going to wear the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their shirts instead of their names for the first 12 matches after the restart. This is a really good initiative as it shows that all the players are in support of this movement and hopefully will raise awareness among supporters around the world.
The second piece of good news revolves around Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and his amazing initiative to help feed under-privileged children here in England. He has already raised £20 million for children to receive free meals during the lockdown and now wants the government to continue to provide free-school meals to children from deprived areas rather than stop them for the summer holidays. This is a remarkable story and well done Marcus Rashford.
DB: Well, for me, I’d like to talk about how football is helping victims of the Grenfell disaster. In London, June 2017, Grenfell Towers, a block of flats, suffered an horrendous fire and 72 residents were killed. And the deaths were caused by poor building materials and a lack of safety features. After this terrible event, a group of residents who survived started a football club to help heal those who survived but suffered psychologically. And the team acts as a real community for the local people and shows the power of grassroots football. There is an excellent article with lots more details on the BBC website – so just type in BBC Grenfell and football team and I’m sure you’ll find it, or come along to our site and click on the link in our show’s transcript. It’s well worth a read. Currently Grenfell Athletic are second in the Middlesex County Football League – we wish them luck in the league when it restarts. How about bad Damian?
DF: Now we all know that games are being played behind closed doors – there are strict rules and regulations about how many people are allowed into the stadium – players, substitutes, coaching staff, ball boys and girls and the media. Incredibly, on Saturday night in the Mallorca versus Barcelona match a pitch invader came on to take a selfie, that’s a photo obviously, with Leo Messi of Barcelona. He was taken away and charged but if someone can get onto the pitch at this time, particularly as we are still in lockdown, it does not look good at all.
DB: It really doesn’t! Well, we’re going to finish with no ugly story this week – I want to focus on the positives. I think we all need good news. There’s nothing better than a last-gasp winner – well, that’s if it is your team that wins. Scoring machine Erling Haaland of Dortmund has had a barren patch recently. He failed to register a goal for five games, so what better way to break the drought than with a 95th-minute headed winner! That makes it 11 goals in 12 games. On fire!
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DF: Right, it’s time for a bit of football language and a football language quiz question.
Football Language Quiz
DB: OK, we’re going to stick with Haaland and his header. Which of the following phrases would not be used to describe a kind of header? Is it
- a flicked header
- a bullet header
- a glancing header
- a rifling header
And we’ll have the answer at the end of the show. Next, here’s Damian with more language of football!
Football Language: Dispatch
DF: Now, I’m going to explain the verb ‘dispatch‘ when used in football. So, in football, dispatch has a couple of meanings. For instance, a team can dispatch another team which means that they have defeated or beaten them. In the following example from the Guardian Newspaper, 13 September 2017 you can see that Spurs defeated Dortmund in their Champions League game.
‘Harry Kane, fortune and fortitude help Tottenham dispatch Dortmund’.
Another meaning of the verb to dispatch in football is when it is used to describe a successful penalty – to dispatch a penalty means to score from the penalty spot. Here’s another example from another Spurs game in which the Tottenham striker Harry Kane successfully scored his penalty.
‘… there was little doubt Kane was going to dispatch the penalty’ (Ham and High, September 2018)
A third example of the verb ‘dispatch‘ simply means to shoot, so, for example, a forward can dispatch the ball into the net. Here’s an example from FIFA.com’s official website for basic techniques.
‘This (shooting) is an action with the objective of dispatching the ball into the opponent’s goal.’
DB: Nice one. For the second meaning, we could also use convert, convert a penalty, couldn’t we, but dispatch sounds much more clinical!
DF: Yes, I think so, yes, that’s right.
DF: OK, it’s time for predictions and this week we will have games from four different competitions: La Liga, the Bundesliga, the Coppa Italia Cup final and two games from the Premier League.
DB: OK, and we’ll start with the Copa Italia Final between Juventus and Napoli.
Coppa Italia Final: Juventus vs Napoli (June 17th)
DF: Yes, the Italian cup final takes place in Rome on Wednesday between Napoli who have won the trophy on five occasions and Juventus who will be aiming to win their 14th title. What do you think Damon?
DB: I’m going with the numbers – Juventus’ 14 to Napoli’s 5 – a win for the Turin side, maybe 1-0. You?
DF: I’d love it if Napoli were to win the trophy but like all the top teams Juventus ‘know how to win’. Maybe 1-1 and a penalty shoot-out win for Napoli.
Bundesliga: Werder Bremen vs Bayern Munich (June 16th)
DF: We’ve been following the Bundesliga for the past four weeks and seen the brilliance of Bayern Munich who now only need one more win from their final three games to win their 8th title in a row. They travel to relegation-threatened Werder Bremen who had a great 5-1 away win on Saturday to move them onto the same points as Fortuna Dusseldorf in their battle to stay in the top flight. Bayern, they look too strong – maybe 2-0 and another title for the Bavarian side.
DB: Yep, 3-0 and another title
Premier League: Manchester City vs Arsenal (June 17th)
DF: Now Damon, the Premier League is back on June 17th with Manchester City versus Arsenal and the Blues are at home – they would be favorites anyway, but do you think the empty stadium may give Arsenal a better chance?
DB: I think it will give them a better chance, but I am guessing that Manchester City’s preparation for the reopening of the season may have been more serious than Arsenal’s. I can never quite trust Arsenal to put a shift in, so a home win; 2-0 to Manchester City.
DF: Wow! Yes, I think City will win this – I certainly hope so! Maybe 5-1! 5-0, 5-0 I’m changing to 5-0.
La Liga: Real Madrid vs Valencia (June 18th)
DF: I saw Valencia play the other night against Levante in the Valencian derby and they were leading until the final minute when they gave away a silly penalty…oh… and ended up drawing 1-1. There is a huge battle among five teams for the final Champions League spot in La Liga, similar to the Premier league, so Valencia need the points but I also saw Real Madrid yesterday and they looked very clinical indeed. Maybe a 3-1 home win even though of course it is not the Bernabeu as the Real Madrid stadium is having work done on it and they are playing at their B-team stadium instead.
Premier League: Tottenham vs Manchester United (June 19th)
DB: OK, and finally it is your team, Tottenham, against Manchester United. This is always a big game but there is also still a chance, although it is a slim one, for either side to claim a Champions League spot, so both need a win. I’m going for 1-1 though. You?
DF: It’s funny but when we were supposed to play this game back in March, Spurs were in poor form with lots of injuries but now we have many first-team players back so that might be a positive thing for them. A draw seems like a good prediction but I’m going for a home win – 2-1 to Tottenham.
Football Language Quiz Answer
DB: OK, it’s nearly the end of the show and that means we need to give you the answer to our football language quiz question, which this week was about headers. Which of the following phrases would not be used to describe a kind of header? Is it
Damian, what’s the answer? And which is your favorite kind of header?
DF: Well, the answer is a rifling header which is not a phrase that we use in football. To rifle a shot means to hit a shot really hard but it is not used with headers. A bullet header is one that is unstoppable as it moves very fast. Flicked and glancing headers both have less pace on the ball as the players guide the ball. I think my favourite would be a glancing header as it takes skill and technique to deliberately guide the ball past the keeper – placing the ball beyond the keeper. What about you?
DB: Yes, I think I’d agree wth you. I think there’s nothing better than a cross coming in and a…a lovely glancing header into the top corner.
DF: And that brings us to the end of the show. Remember that you can contact us here at languagecaster through our various social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Come along to our forums, ask a question or just drop us a line at email@example.com. Take care everyone – stay safe and we’ll see you soon. Ta-ra.