In this football language post we explain the football expression ‘workmanlike performance’. Workmanlike performanceDon’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary and we also have a page full of football cliches. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Language: Workmanlike performance

A noun can sometimes be modified to become an adjective by adding a suffix (e.g. ‘-ly’ or ‘-ive’) and in this case the suffix ‘-like’ is added to the noun ‘workman‘ to create the adjective workmanlike. There are many ways to play football – there are many styles of playing the game and so a team that plays an expansive game is one that attacks a lot – particularly down the wings, while other teams that mostly defend are known as defensive or dull! If a team is described as workmanlike it means that they work hard and are disciplined rather than expansive or attacking and this kind of team probably does not include many creative or flair players. The phrase ‘workmanlike performance‘ gives the idea that the performance is like a workman rather than an artist but that the team got the job done (i.e. drew the game or held on for a narrow win). Workmanlike performance

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and if you have any suggestions, contact us at

Contact Us

    Subscribe to
    Learn English Through Football

    Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

    Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at

    Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

    Join the discussion

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

    Football GlossaryEpisode 674