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
- Example: United were thwarted by a workmanlike performance from City which meant the game finished in a scoreless draw.
- Example: Martin: “It was a workmanlike, hardworking team performance” (Chesterfield FC Website, 15th September, 2018)