Every week during the 2010-11 season, the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliche for learners of English who love the beautiful game of football. This week we look at the word ‘crumble‘ which is often used when a team loses after being in front. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase and you can also read the transcript below that. You can find many more examples by going to our football phrase page here football cliches here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here: To crumble.mp3

This week’s English for football is ‘to crumble‘. This phrase means to fall apart, to break into many chaotic pieces, to collapse. In football this phrase is used to describe a team that loses because their defence crumbled, or collapsed. Usually the team has been under a lot of pressure and when the opposing team scores one goal, the defence loses confidence and crumbles allowing more goals to be scored. Last weekend in the Premier League, West Ham United were winning 2-0, but their defence crumbled after Wayne Rooney of Manchester United scored from a free kick to make it 2-1. West Ham’s confidence was broken and the team crumbled and lost the game 2-4. To crumble

Example: Swans calm as Eagles crumble (Straits Times 2020 March 1st)

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and if you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com

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    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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    CEpisode 4