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Learn English through Football Podcast: 2017 New Year Fixtures

Unfortunately we were unable to post the audio file to this post which was all about New Year football in England but here we have the transcript for those of you who want to read about what might have been! Our next podcast will be out on the first week of January.

The festive football continues and with all the top six teams winning time out, none of the title contenders can afford to lose. On this week’s show we feature three of the big games from the Premier League in our predictions battle – Chelsea v Stoke, Swansea v Bournemouth, and Liverpool v Manchester City, while we also introduce some English for football phrases. You can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English through Football Podcast: 2017 New Year Fixtures

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Transcript of the show

DF: You’re listening to languagecaster’s football language podcast. Hello everyone, my name is Damian and I am currently here in the east of England on New Year’s Eve where although it is cold the sky is blue – lovely weather to watch all the festive football. Now last week Damon was playing football so he was unable to join us but I know he is down the line in Tokyo now. Damon, how are things? Did you win in last week’s game? And what’s the weather like in Tokyo?

DB: Hi Damian! Beautiful blues skies here in the Big Mikan and yes, my team won their third-fourth place play off game in our annual tournament after losing on PKs in the semis. It’s been a great season – promotion to the top league and top three in the tournament – with a medal!

DF: Great stuff! A medal? You must be pleased!

DB: Over the moon!

DF: Damon, have you managed to see any of the Premier League over the festive season – the Christmas and New Year holidays?

DB: I’ve been away in the mountains for a few days, so only Liverpool’s game against Stoke on the 27th – how about you?

DF: Well, I went along to White Hart Lane to watch Spurs defeat Burnley 2-1 just before Christmas and since then I have watched a few games on TV – it really is a great time to be a football fan with so many games going on. What’s on the show today Damon?

Line up

DB:  Now on this week’s show we have our regular look back at the football news in the good, the bad and the ugly and this week we feature stories from the Premier League and in particular the sacking of US coach Bob Bradley at Swansea City. After that, we take a look at a couple of football expressions including the classic football cliche ‘110%‘ and the phrase ‘workmanlike‘ – we’ll see how these are used in football. Then we will talk a little bit about our predictions competition in which we look at three of the big games taking place this New Year’s Eve including Liverpool versus Manchester City. Of course we also have a quiz question and we answer some of your football-language questions.

DF: OK, let’s kick off with some of the good news from the world of football.


DB: Well it’s December so that means it’s the Club World Cup and Real Madrid have been crowned champions of the world after being given a scare by Japanese side Kashima Antlers. The J-League side took the European giants to extra time, but two quick goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, which gave him his hat-trick, gave Real the victory. And talking of victories, Chelsea in the Premier League are closing in on Arsenal’s record of 14 successive victories. Since losing to Liverpool and Arsenal earlier in the season, the west London side have now put a run of 12 victories together; the latest being a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.


DF: It has been a bad week or so for Swansea City fans as their team is now in the relegation zone and has sacked its second coach of the season: this time American Bob Bradley. Damon, I must admit I found some of the criticism about Bradley a little harsh particularly when they said he could not be taken seriously due to the way he spoke about the game – an American perspective rather than a British one – and sometimes he was mocked for the language he used which I think is poor from a rather insular British press. Does it really matter if someone says ‘PK’ instead of penalty? Or ‘offense’ instead of attack? By the way Damon, we have a post on our forum about some of the differences between US and UK football language.

DB: Yes, some interesting comments there – I actually like PK, maybe because it’s used here in Japan too.

DF: How about something ugly from the world of football Damon?


DB: Well, not ugly, but definitely not pretty. The Supercoppa Italiana, a little like the Community Shield in the UK, is played between the Italian Champions and domestic cup winners. Traditionally it is played as a curtain raiser to the season, a kind of celebration and kick-off to the new championship. The Italian version has been played as late as December before, but this year it was not only played in the middle of the season, but also in a different country! The game took place in Doha in Qatar and seems much more like an exhibition game than a real match. If I was a fan of either of the two clubs that competed, Juventus and AC Milan, I’d be a bit fed up. Tradition takes a hit again!

DF: Yes, you are listening to And that was Megumi, and was of course, in Tagalog. If you’d like to record your own version of the message, ‘You are listening to’ in another language then you can send it on to us by emailing here at

Follow us

DF: You can also follow us on Instagram – and this week we have photos from Damon’s match in Tokyo as well as Damian’s visit to White Hart Lane to see the Spurs-Burnley game. We are also on Facebook  – our page is Learn English Through Football and on twitter @languagecaster. Thank you to all those who have done so in the past few days including Lakhan and Wojciech on Facebook and Laura and Nick who were among those who retweeted or liked our posts on Twitter.

Remember if you’d like to ask a question or simply want to get in contact with us then you can do so by coming along to the site at or you can email us at

Quiz question

DF: OK, it’s time for our weekly quiz question and this week our question is connected with Christmas. The team top of the table at Christmas in the Premier League are heavy favourites to go on and win the title. In the last 10 seasons, the team at the top at Christmas has generally been crowned Champions. But which two teams failed to go on and win the Championship after being top on the 25th of December?

We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.

DB: That’s a tricky one. Next up we explain some football language that has emerged from the week.

Football Language: 110%

DF: The first expression is ‘110%‘. As we know, football fans and players like a cliche and one of the most common is the phrase ‘110%‘. This is often used with the verb ‘to give’ as in the example ‘the players gave 110%‘ and it means that the players tried really hard to win a game. The cliche 110% is not used as much as before but it is still very well-known in the game. Sometimes you may even sometimes hear a manager say that his/her team gave 200% when he or she feels that they have given their all but this might lead to the manager being ridiculed or mocked. So for example: The manager was happy that his players had tried hard – he felt they had given 110%.

DF: It’s not so common now Damon is it?

DB: Now, this cliche has become too much of a cliche – it that makes sense. You might hear it in comedy shows or when people are making fun of football managers or commentators. There are some cliches that are still indispensable, such as ‘a game of two halves‘. If you want to find out more about cliches, come along to and click on our cliches page. Anything else?

Workmanlike performance

DF: I’m going to talk about the phrase ‘workmanlike‘. In English, 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). United were thwarted by a workmanlike performance from City which meant the game finished in a scoreless draw.
How about you Damon, any other football language?

Close the gap (at the top)

DB: Yep. Our last one today. When a team is above another team in the league by more than a couple of points we say that a gap has opened up between these teams. So, for example, if the leaders are six points ahead we can say that there is a six-point gap at the top of the table. Currently in the Premier League, Chelsea are leading the table and before Liverpool’s game at home to Stoke City were nine points clear of the team in second place. However, the Reds managed to beat Stoke 4-1 to close the gap at the top – they reduced the gap from nine to six points.

OK, next up we have this week’s predictions. I wonder if I can close the gap in the predictions race?


DF: Now, before the games, let’s take a look at the standings. The overall standings have me way out in front on 129 points with Damon on 97 and Jose on 82. I am also leading the December standings with 23 points that’s seven ahead of Damon with other challengers a long way behind!

Remember, in order to play just come along to the site, click on Predictions Competition at the top of the site and either register or login to add your predictions and we will also be starting our January competition soon.

Chelsea vs Stoke City

DB: Right, Damian. Chelsea go in to this game on a great winning streak. Can they make it thirteen wins in a row, or are Stoke the ones to cause an upset?

DF: No chance of an upset here so a comfortable 2-0 victory for Chelsea. And you?

DB: That’s what I think too. The steamroller rolls on. 3-0 to Chelsea.

Swansea City vs Bournemouth

DF: Next we have the Welsh side Swansea, who remember have sacked their manager Bob Bradley, in a must win game against Bournemouth. Thoughts?

DB: This is a chance for Swansea to get some points and Bournemouth don’t travel well – they’ve only one once in ten away trips. I think they will still prove a handful for Swansea and I’m going for a 1-1 draw. You?

DF: No, I think Bournemouth will win this one: 2-0.

Liverpool vs Manchester City

DB: Finally, Liverpool host Manchester City in a second versus third clash. Most people think that these teams need to win in order to have any chance of catching Chelsea. They are first and second in the goals scored column too – Liverpool with 45 and Man City with 39, so it should be an exciting game. Liverpool have won their last three against the Citizens, and I’m going for a 2-0 home win for The Reds!

DF: OK. I think City have started to play much better though I am not convinced with their defence – a 1-1 draw for me.

Quiz Answer

DF: Just before we go here is the answer to our quiz question. We asked which two teams in the Premier League have failed to go on and win the title when leading at Christmas. Now this was in the last ten years. Damon?

DB: Unfortunately, one of the teams was my team Liverpool, who were top at Christmas twice in 08/09 and 2013/14. The other was Arsenal, in 07/08. Well done if you got that right and we’ll have another question next week.

Good bye

DF: That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to input your predictions during the week for our January competition and we’ll be back again next week to look at some of the first games of the new year.

DB: Ta-rah and Happy New Year!

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here.
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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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

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