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Learn English Through Football Podcast: Man Utd vs Arsenal

This weekend sees our 14th podcast of the season and we look at one of the big grudge matches of the season: Mourinho versus Wenger. We also take a look at some language from the football world last week including the phrases ‘to sweat on‘ and ‘to wallop‘ and feature some of the big games from the Premier League in our predictions battle – including Manchester United vs Arsenal, Southampton v Liverpool and West Ham away at Tottenham in a big London derby. (Damian = DF and Damon = DB).

2016-17 Learn English Through Football Podcast: Manchester United vs Arsenal

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Transcript of the show

DB: You’re listening to’s football language podcast. Welcome everyone to the show for all fans of football who wish to learn more about the language of the beautiful game. My name is Damon, and I am talking to you from Tokyo where it is currently raining, which means my team’s second round tournament match was called off today!

I’m hoping Damian in London is enjoying a better start to the weekend and I also wonder how his trip to Spain was last week. Damian, how are things?

DF: Hello Damon. Or Hola Damon! Sorry to hear that your game was postponed; the weather here in London is bright but cold – a lovely winter’s day. Yes, last weekend I enjoyed an international break as I was in Málaga in the south of Spain which was great fun. I used to live there a few years ago so it was nice to go back and see all the changes that have occurred there, including the local side Málaga CF,Club de Fútbol, who are now a fairly well-established side in the first division in Spain. However, today they take on the powerhouse of Barcelona so not much chance of moving up the table this week!

DB: Sounds very nice indeed! OK, well, what’s on the show?

Line up

DF: Well, domestic football returns after the international break and so this means we will be focusing on some of the stories from the World Cup qualifiers that took place earlier in the week. We will also have a couple of new football phrases, including the multi-word verb ‘to sweat on’. And our quiz question this week focuses on the Mourinho versus Wenger duel this weekend, and then at the end of the show we will take a look at three big games from the Premier League in our predictions battle, including games with your team Liverpool and my team Tottenham.

DB: OK, well let’s start with our good, the bad and the ugly section. Damian, what was good for you this week?


DF: Well, Damon, last week you mentioned the fact Argentina were having a bad time in the CONMEBOL qualifying section but they bounced back in style with a 3-0 victory over Colombia. Leo Messi scored the first goal from a free-kick with a beautiful strike and it seems that Argentina are back on track for World Cup qualification.  Now, I also have to mention Ireland’s win away in Austria – this win sees the Republic top a very difficult group and it was also the first away win against a top-ranked side in 30 years. Irish fans are starting to dream. Damon, and bad? What was bad this week in the world of football?


DB: Well, first of all congratulations to Ireland! But commiserations for the USA, who have lost two World Cup qualifiers on the bounce – a 2-1 loss to their southern rivals, Mexico, and a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Costa Rica. Not a good start at all for the Stars and Stripes, leaving them bottom of the CONCACAF table. Ugly?


DF: Well, Damon, a couple of stories from the UK that caught my eye this week. The first is in the Guardian newspaper here in England and it involves Sir Norman Bettison – he’s the former chief constable of the South Yorkshire police who has been criticised by families of 96 people unlawfully killed at Hillsborough in 1989. And he was criticised for writing a book about the disaster in which he portrays himself as a victim.

DB: Yes, pretty ugly indeed, and as you said pretty bad timing. And what about the other story?

DF: England captain Wayne Rooney was slammed in the press – attacked by the media – for having some drinks at a wedding. Damon, what is the world coming to?

DB: It’s crazy, isn’t it!

DF: Yes, you are listening to And that was in Catalan and we’d like to say thank you to Jonathan Pedret who sent that in from Galicia in the north-west of Spain where Jonathan is based now. Hello to everyone there and if you’d like to record your own version of the message, ‘You are listening to’ in another language (maybe Gallego) then you can send it on to us by emailing us at

Quiz question

DB: Good stuff. What about our quiz question this week?

DF: Now Damon, Jose Mourinho and Arsène Wenger, I know you are big fans of both those managers…

DB: Yes…

DF: … have met as opposing managers on 11 occasions in the Premier League. How many times has Wenger been victorious?

DB: Well, we’ll have the answer at the end of the show. I think I know this one! And if you’d like to ask a quiz question, drop us a line here at Right, next up we take a look at some of the football language from the week. Damian, what have you got first of all?

Football Language: To sweat on

DF: Well Damon, this is related to your team Liverpool and this week we read in the newspapers that Liverpool were sweating on the fitness of their star forward Philippe Coutinho. Now, what’s the meaning of ‘to sweat on‘ in this phrase? Now, in football players run, jump, tackle and generally move a lot and this exercise makes them sweat. A person can also sweat when he or she is worried or nervous about something, and this is what is meant when we use ‘to sweat on‘ here; So Liverpool are worried that Coutinho will not be fit enough to play this weekend – they are sweating on Coutinho’s fitness.

How about you Damon, what football language do you have?

Football Language: Walloped

DB: Well, I’m going to talk about the verb ‘wallop‘. Now, the verb ‘to wallop‘ means to hit or beat someone or something but in football it has the meaning of heavily defeating another team. So, when we say Tottenham walloped Arsenal 5-1 in the semi-final, we mean that Tottenham heavily defeated Arsenal. The verbs ‘to thrash‘  and ‘to blow away‘ are other ways of saying this, while it also has a similar meaning to the phrase ‘comprehensive victory‘. We often hear this verb used in the passive form, so for instance, ‘Brazil were walloped by Germany in the semi-final,’ which means that Germany defeated Brazil; they thrashed Brazil. Now, this week, as we’ve said, the USA were walloped 4-0 by Costa Rica in their World Cup qualifier, while last week Belgium walloped Estonia 8-1 in a recent World Cup qualifier.

Follow us

DF: Good stuff! Now, we’d just like to remind you that you can contact us here at, you can follow us on twitter, that’s @languagecaster, visit us at our Facebook page Learn English Through Football, and we’re also on Instagram too. Now, we’re always looking for ideas for football language and are happy to answer any questions you may have. And as always, thanks to all those who have liked our posts, loved our tweets, and listened to our podcast including this week Saniya, Pipoza, Omair and Mohammed, who’ve all just joined us on Facebook. Keep spreading the word!

DB: Yes indeed.

DF: Now, next up is this week’s predictions.


DB: Now regular listeners to the show will know that we have a Premier League predictions competition where you can take on the languagecaster team, that’s me and Damian, each week. You sign up for that by coming along to our site, logging in and then you can see the predictions competition at the top of the menu bar on our website. We also have monthly competitions, so if you have not yet signed up then you can join and play in our November competition. Who is winning at the moment Damian?

DF: Well, this month The Mighty Toft has 5 points, then I have 4 followed by Jose and Tokyo Red, that’s you, isn’t it, on 3 points. In the overall competition I have 81 points – 10 points ahead of you Damon!

DB: Yikes! Well, let me put my lucky predictions scarf on and get some points this week. Hopefully I can pick up some with our first game for today’s show.

Man United vs Arsenal

DB: And this is Manchester United versus Arsenal, which, for a long time, used to be the most important game in terms of the league race each season. Not quite so important now, but still intriguing, given the rivalry between the managers and Manchester United’s poor league position. Lose this one and they slip further behind the contenders. What do you think Damian?

DF: This one has draw written all over it – 1-1 for me.

DB: I disagree. Arsenal will win this 2-1 and heap misery on Mourinho and his mid-table Manchester team. And I believe it kicks off in approximately 5 minutes

Southampton vs Liverpool

DF: Yes, it does.  OK, how about our next fixture? Your team and league leaders, Liverpool travel, hang on a minute ‘league leaders, Liverpool?’ to Southampton today. A few pundits have been saying that the south-coast team is a feeder club for Liverpool, as the Reds have several former Saints players on their books – Clyne, Lallana, Mané and Lovren – which I think is a little unfair. But Damon, what’s your call for this game?

DB: Southampton are a good side defensively and not too shabby going forward – they have a good attack, but I’m confident of a 3-0 Liverpool win! You?

DF: Again, I think this one will finish in a draw – 1-1.

Tottenham vs West Ham United

DB: No way! OK, we’ve talked about the team I support so it’s only fair we have a look at Tottenham, who have another London derby, this time against West Ham. How do you fancy the Lillywhites’ chances?

DF: Well Damon, we are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League but we have drawn far too many matches this season – 5 from 10 – but I think we’ll do okay today. Maybe a 3-1 victory. How about you?

DB: Yep. I’m going for a 2-0 home win.

DF: Hopefully!

Fantasy Football

DF: Right, just a reminder to come along to our site at and let us know how you think those and other games will go this weekend. Don’t forget to join our predictions competition, or indeed our Premier League Fantasy Football – you can find out information on how to join us by clicking on the link in this post where we have the transcript for this  show at the site at languagecaster. How are you doing Damon?

DB: Well I’ve shot up the table on the back of my Liverpool trio of Mané, Firmino and Coutinho doing well – I’m in fourth overall, which is way above you I think.

DF: That’s right but I’m confident I can turn things around. But still above you, and of course me, is Polandyy in 3rd, Gleeson’s Earguard in 2nd and Brendan Rovers in top spot.

Quiz Answer

DB: OK. Well just before we go, what was the answer to this week’s quiz question?

DF: Yes, we asked which of the two managers (Mourinho or Wenger) has the best head-to-head record in the Premier League. Well, in the 11 times that they have faced each other, Jose Mourinho has been on the winning side 5 times with 6 draws and no victories for the Arsenal manager.

DB: That ends today!

DF: Not sure about that!

Good bye

DF: OK, that’s it for this week. Enjoy all the football this weekend.

DB: Bye bye

DF: See you next week.

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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