This week in the Premier League sees another London derby; this time West Ham hosting rivals Tottenham at the London Stadium on Saturday morning. We look ahead to that game in our weekly predictions section of the show along with Liverpool’s trip to Leicester and leaders Manchester City hosting bottom side Crystal Palace. We also look at some of the good, the bad and the ugly stories from the week, including the sacking of the England Women’s manager Mark Sampson and the opening of Atlético Madrid’s new stadium, while we also explain some new English for football phrases and answer some of your posts. For those who wish to practise their English, there is a transcript below to help with reading and listening (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).
Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2017 West Ham vs Tottenham
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Transcript of the show
DB: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello everybody. My name’s Damon. I’m based in Tokyo and this is the show for everyone who loves the game of football and wants to improve their English. Over here at the moment, we’ve just had a typhoon pass by this week, so its been a bit wet and cloudy and today’s no different, too. Down the line in London is Damian. Damian, how are you?
DF: Hi Damon, good to hear from you. The weather here in London is dry and grey – but perfect weather for all the football this weekend. Have you watched any football this week?
DB: Well, Damian, unfortunately in Japan we don’t get access to the League Cup games so I didn’t to see any of games mid-week games, but I did manage to see Liverpool versus Burnley last weekend and needless to say that was enough football for me.
DF: I hear you. Spurs and Swansea was very similar.
DB: Yes indeed. OK, what’s on the show today?
DF: Well Damon, we start off with our usual review of the football week in the good, the bad and the ugly. We then have a quiz question and after that we answer some football-language questions, explain some football expressions including the phrase ‘to blow a lead‘. Then we’ll finish with our weekly predictions including the big London derby taking place very near to my house here in East London in a couple hours time!
DB: Are you going along?
DF: No way. I’m not going along as an away fan to the London Stadium!
DB: OK. Sounds good!
You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Greek)
DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that was in Greek. Next up we have our review of the football week – Damon, what was good this week?
DB: Well, it was good for Atlético Madrid, who finally got to play their first league game in their shiny new stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano. They celebrated the opening with a one-nil win against Málaga – a scrappy affair but the fans will be pleased their new home starts with a win. It is always a worry that a new stadium will have a flat, quiet, atmosphere, but the new stadium seems to have a good atmosphere and the fans could generate a lot of noise. Also good in South America for Lanús, Grêmio, Barcelona and River Plate as they all go through to the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores. River Plate face fellow Argentinians Lanús, while the other semi is Brazil’s, Grêmio, versus Ecuador’s, Barcelona. Those games start at the end of October. How about Bad, Damian?
DF: A bad week, or at least a bad mid-week, for La Liga side Real Madrid after they lost at home 0-1 to a last-minute winner for visitors Real Betis. This was the first in 73 games that Real Madrid failed to score and it leaves them 7 points adrift of leaders Barcelona who won 6-1 at home to Eibar after only five games.
DB: Well, Mark Sampson, England Women’s manager was sacked by the English FA this week, but not because of alleged racist comments he made to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence. The reason given is connected to his behaviour at Bristol, where he was found to have had inappropriate relations with players. So Sampson was hired even though the FA knew about the problems at Bristol, and also the alleged racist comments have not been investigated fully, with many people thinking the FA has sacked Sampson to try to avoid the embarrassing investigations into his comments about Aluko and Spence. Add to this the FA also had to sack the men’s team coach, Sam Allardyce, last year after only a few months in charge and it really is an ugly situation at the top of the FA.
DF: Definitely and this story has not ended – expect more fall out at the FA.
Right, now it’s time for our weekly quiz question. We have mentioned in the good, the bad and the ugly Atlético Madrid and their new stadium. In the Premier League, Tottenham are also building a new ground on the foundations of White Hart Lane. It is planned to seat 61,559 fans, it will have a capacity of over 61,000. That’s compared to the 36,200 capacity of their old ground. Our question is, how many grounds have more seats than Tottenham’s new stadium in the current Premier League?
DB: Well, I know it has more than Liverpool’s ground Anfield. So, I’ll have to have a think about this one!
DF: Get your thinking head on! We will have the answer at the end of the show.
DB: Right, we’d just like to remind people to get in touch with us and spread the word if you like our show and our site. It is always great to hear from our listeners and you can, of course, email us directly at email@example.com and you can follow us on all the usual places, that’s twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
DF: We had an interesting question on our Facebook page recently asking about the expressions ‘to go clean through‘ and ‘the early going‘. Well, ‘to go clean through‘ means that a player has no one marking him or her when running towards the goal – the striker has broken through and is in on goal. For the second one, ‘the early going‘ refers to the first part of the game, the early part of the match. So, for example, if a team is having the better of the early going it means that they are playing better than their opponent at the start of the game.
Football Language: To flatter to deceive
DB: To flatter someone is to tell them they are doing well when in fact they are not doing that well. You give too much praise. To deceive is to lie to someone or to trick them. These words put together into this phrase, to flatter to deceive, mean to make people think something good will happen but in the end the result is bad. So, in football if a team flatters to deceive it means that it looks like they are playing well and it looks like they will win – they flatter the fans – but in the end they do poorly or the good result doesn’t happen – the fans are deceived. For example this is in The Anfield Wrap: ‘However, as has been typical of Liverpool of late, The Reds once again flattered to deceive (They lost 2-0 to Leicester after a dominant first half).’ (The Anfield Wrap).
Football Language: to blow a lead
DF: Now for my phrase, I’m going to talk about the phrase ‘to blow a lead‘. Imagine that your team is playing very well in a match and is winning by two or more goals. Then suddenly the opposing team scores a goal and the dynamic of the game changes. Now your team are edgy or nervous and the opposition are full of confidence and then right at the end they equalise. How did that happen? Your team were much better for most of the game but they ended up blowing the lead – giving the lead a way – they were wining by two goals but finished drawing 2-2 – they blew a two-goal lead. Much like the phrase ‘to blow a chance‘, which means to miss an easy chance, to blow a lead is lose a lead in a game when your team really should not. Here’s an example from the BBC from last night’s Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg. ‘Bayern blow two-goal lead against Wolfsburg.’ (BBC.co.uk, 22nd September 2017). They were 2-0 up and coasting but ended up sharing the spoils.
DF: OK, next up it’s predictions. Let’s take a look at the leader board. Johnny Magicboots leads with 30 points ahead of Alexrr on 28 and then I’m on 27 and then Damon is in 4th place with 24. Come along to the site, find the predictions tab and join us in our weekly predictions. Remember it’s 3 points for a perfect score and 1 point for the right result.
Now, this week we have three big games from the Premier League including West Ham hosting Tottenham, free-scoring Manchester City face Crystal Palace – yet to score in the Premier League this season – and then Leicester City take on Liverpool on Saturday evening.
Predictions: West Ham United vs Tottenham
DB: OK, first up is a London derby, the Hammers vs Spurs, West Ham versus Tottenham Hotspur. We’ve been talking a bit about new stadiums on the show and of course West Ham moved to the new London Stadium last season and Spurs are currently playing at Wembley – it’s fair to say that both teams are having problems with their new grounds, wouldn’t you say, Damian?
DF: Yes, a little bit for Spurs although they have been playing well and creating chances but they are not clinical enough in front of goal. As for the game, I was talking to a West Ham fan yesterday who is going to the game and he is hoping for a repeat of last season’s 1-0 win but I think Spurs will be fine tomorrow and win comfortbaly – maybe 3-0. You?
DB: I think your team will come out on top. I don’t think there’ll be any home advantage, which is West Ham’s only hope, so 2-1 to Tottenham.
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace
DB: Next is Manchester City versus Crystal Palace, who of course have their new manager Roy Hodgson in the dugout. I can only see an easy win for the rampant Citizens, Manchester City. Jesus and Aguero seem to be clicking up front and this game has 3-0 written all over it. How about you?
DF: I wonder will the former England manager Hodgson get a lucky break here? It will either be a drubbing – 4 or 5 nil or maybe… just maybe Palace hang on for a draw. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw! And how about our last game Damon – Liverpool away at Leicester?
Leicester City vs Liverpool
DB: Leicester seem to be our bogey team over the last few seasons and of course they knocked us out of the League Cup 2-0 mid-week. I think morale is low, Mané can’t play because of his red card against Man City, there are injury doubts at the back, so we’ll struggle to get a 1-1 draw I think.
DF: I’m not so sure. I think Klopp’s side will run out winners – 3-1 for me.
Quiz question answer
DB: Just before we go, here’s the answer to the quiz question. We asked how many current Premier League grounds have a bigger capacity than Tottenham’s new ground which will hold just over 61.000. And the answer is two: Manchester United’s Old Trafford has 76,100 and West Ham’s London Stadium holds 66.000. We’ll have another question next week.
DF: Lots of big football coming up this week including Liverpool versus Spartak Moscow and Tottenham against Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League and then next weekend sees Chelsea host Manchester City in the big Premier League match. See you then.