Inswinger – Football Language Podcast: Season 2021-22

This football language podcast looks at football language connected with corner kicks – including ‘inswinger’. The transcript for this podcast is available below, and you can also check out our huge glossary of footballing phrases here. Visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts, and if you have any suggestions or questions please contact us at or leave a question or comment on our forum. (DB=Damon)

Inswinger – Football Language Podcast: Season 2021-22

inswingerDB: Hello there everyone. We hope you are all well and enjoying the football wherever you are.

My name’s Damon, one half of the languagecaster team, and I’m based in Tokyo, which is enjoying some lovely spring weather at the moment. Damian, the other member of the languagecaster team is in London, and he’s recently posted a great podcast on the language of football on the pitch, when you are playing the game. Well worth a listen!

On this short podcast, I’ll be talking about corners and some of the language connected to this part of the game.

Stinger: You are listening to (in French).

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in French. Send in an audio of ‘you are listening to’ in your language and we’ll add it to our show. The more languages the better!

Set Piece

Right, a corner, or corner kick is a set piece. You will often hear ‘set piece’ in match commentary and it refers to free kicks and corner kicks. A set piece means that the ball is set on the floor and it also means that a team has had time to plan and prepare special moves. Some teams or players are set piece specialists, meaning they are very good at turning free kicks and corners into goals.

Here’s a BBC report with an example of ‘set piece‘ – a game between Tottenham and Arsenal in 2020: ‘Arsenal were undone by a routine set piece as Alderweireld glanced in Son’s corner.

Dead Ball Situation

Another way of describing a set piece is to say it is a dead ball situation. And we can also combine it with specialist – a dead ball specialist. This is a player, for example, who is very good at free kicks or corners.

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OK, now let’s focus on one type of set piece or dead ball situation, the corner. We can describe corners as inswingers or outswingers. An inswinger is hit so that it curves towards the goal, it swings in towards the goal. So if the corner is taken from the left of the goal, the area where the left-sided defenders would be, you need a left-footed player to curl the ball up and in towards the goal. This type of corner often leads to a ‘glancing header‘, which is a header that just slightly touches the ball.

Here’s another example from the BBC; this time a match from 2007 – Watford vs Liverpool: ‘Watford’s best hope of a goal looked like coming from a set-piece, with Malky Mackay glancing a header wide from a Stewart inswinger.’


The opposite of an inswinger is, of course, an outswinger. If the corner was taken from the left side of the goal, it would need a right-footed player to swing the ball away from the goal, out from the goal. An outswinger is often good for an attacking player to run on to and head the ball powerfully – a bullet header for example.

When I defend corners I always prefer an outswinger. Inswingers just feel more dangerous!

Stinger: You are listening to (Vietnamese).

Good Bye

DB: Yes, you are listening to and thank you for that message in Vietnamese! Right, today n this short football language podcast we’ve talked about set pieces, sometimes called dead ball situations. We’ve discussed inswingers and outswingers, and how the former encourages glancing headers and the latter encourages bullet headers. Set piece, dead ball situation, inswinger, glancing header, outswinger, and bullet header, all language connected to corners.

Drop us a line anytime at You can read the transcript for the show on our website at and post on our forum! And if you like what we do leave a donation to keep our site up and running. Enjoy all the football, and see you again Ta-ra!

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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CornersEpisode 800