Football Language: (to) Flap
This week’s football phrase is the verb ‘to flap’. This is a verb used to talk about goalkeeping, and specifically about a goalkeeping error. If a goalkeeper flaps at the ball, they weakly try to catch or punch the ball but miss the ball completely or only weakly touch it. Often, if a keeper flaps at the ball, it can result in a goal, as the all is not cleared or caught and can fall to a striker.
Here is an example from the BBC report on Tottenham versus Watford game this weekend:
- Example: ‘…when Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster flapped at a late cross, Alli controlled the ball with his shoulder before firing into the unguarded net.‘ BBC report (October 2019)
Here, we’ve got the classic elements when using this verb. There was a cross – Foster flapped at a late cross – and the flap led to a goal – Alli fired into the net. To flap.