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Learn English Through Football Podcast: Mourinho’s United at Chelsea

Welcome everyone to the football podcast for learners of English. On this week’s show we look back at some of the football language from the Champions League including the phrase ‘scoreless draw’, while we also look ahead to this weekend’s football. Jose Mourinho left Chelsea last year in acrimonious circumstances and so this week we look ahead to his return to Stamford Bridge with his new side Manchester United in our predictions. You can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Mourinho’s United at Chelsea

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Transcript of the show

DF: Hello everyone and thanks for listening to our football language podcast for all those who wish to improve their English language skills.

My name is Damian, and I am talking to you from London here in the UK where the weather is cold and foggy. In fact the Olympic Stadium, which is very near to my house – or the London Stadium now, where West Ham will host Sunderland later on today, is covered in early morning fog. Hello Damon, how are things there in Tokyo?

DB:  I’m aching all over, Damian, after the football match I had this morning. We did win, which is some compensation. How about you, any footballing plans this weekend?

DF: Well Damon, I’m off to see a Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium – Arsenal versus Middlesbrough where, of course, as a Spurs fan, I’ll be supporting the north-eastern side Middlesbrough though I have a feeling they’ll find it hard going!

DB: Brilliant! There could be lots of goals. Make sure you take a few photos and post them on our Instagram feed!

DF: Will do! Now, on this week’s show we will be looking back at some of the big football stories from the week in our Good, the Bad and the Ugly review section. Then, we’ll have our regular weekly quiz, and after that we will be focusing on some key language from the past week – including the phrase ‘scoreless draw’ while we also look ahead to the big games in our predictions battle: Chelsea host Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and Spurs travel to Bournemouth.

DF: Damon, let’s start with our good, the bad and ugly section. What was good in the footballing news this week for you?


DB: Well, can I be a bit selfish and talk about some news about my home village? Last weekend 17- year old Ben Woodburn from the same Cheshire village I was born and brought up in was given a 3- year professional contract at Liverpool! Great news for the rising star but also brilliant for all with a connection to Tattenhall in Cheshire – blink and you’ll miss it!


DB: As for bad, it has not been a good couple of weeks for Manchester City and their boss Pep Guardiola, as they have not won a game in their last three matches: a slump or dip in form that has seen them draw at home with Everton, lose to Spurs and be thrashed 4-0 by Barcelona in this week’s Champions League.


DF: Interesting times for Pep Guardiola’s side indeed. Now, I’m going to mention two ugly things from the football world this week. First up a player from Championship side Brentford, Alan McCormack , was suspended for five matches for sexist abuse of a female assistant referee in a recent Division One game. Outdated views indeed.

DB: I agree. Bad. I remembers 10 years ago in one of our earliest ever podcasts we talked about this issue of sexism in football and it looks like it is still around. If you want to check out that podcast come along to our site, it is our fourth ever podcast so that’s 10 years ago as I said, so come along to our site put in sexism and I’m sure you’ll you’ll find it.

You said two things Damian?

DF: The second bit of ugliness related to football this week is all about former England, Leicester, Barcelona and Tottenham striker Gary Lineker. He is also the presenter of the most popular football show on TV here in England – Match of the Day – but he has been receiving a lot of abuse after he offered support to child refugees coming to England. It is really sad that someone who offers support and kindness to vulnerable people is being attacked.

DB: We love you Lineker!

DF: Yes indeed.

Quiz question

DB: Now, OK. Before we describe some football language from the week, we have a quiz question for you about the Jose Mourinho. How many times has he won the league title in England? We will, of course, have the answer at the end of the show.

DF: Yes, you are listening to That was in Irish and if you’d like to send in your recording of ‘your listening to’ with your name and where you’re from we’ll put it in the show!

DB: Right, next up we take a look at some of the football language from the week.

Football Language: Scoreless draw

DF: Well Damon, I’m going to talk about a phrase related to my team Tottenham’s performance in the Champions League this week in which they drew 0-0 with German side Bayer Leverkusen. When both teams fail to score in a game there are different ways to describe this result, including nil-nil and the phrase scoreless draw. If a game ends in a draw then we can describe it as a score draw – the opposite of a scoreless draw, there’ve been goals. Despite having no goals, some scoreless draws can be very exciting games and in this week’s Champions League game between Spurs and Bayer Leverkusen a combination of great saves from both goalkeepers, poor finishing and some bad luck meant that even though it finished 0-0, this scoreless draw was not a dull affair.

DF: Damon, is there any other language that caught your eye this week?

Football Language: Sweeper Keeper

DB: Yes, Damian. I’ve been hearing the phrase sweeper keeper a lot this season. Now, a sweeper keeper is one that keeps a high line, standing at the edge of the area and acts like a last outfield defender, a sweeper, to clear through balls and so on. They are generally expected to be good with their feet and able to control it and pass it well. I think you’d describe Tottenham’s Lloris as a sweeper keeper, wouldn’t you, Damian? Man City’s Claudio Bravo is also thought of as a sweeper keeper, but his role as one ended up in disaster at Barcelona this week in the Champions League where his attempted pass was intercepted by Suarez whose attempted lob was stopped by Bravo with the use of his hands outside the box – red card for this particular sweeper keeper.

Follow us

DB: Now before we look at some predictions, we’d just like to remind you that you can contact us here at – drop us a line and let us know what you think of the show. You can also follow us on twitter, that’s @languagecaster, or by coming along to our Facebook page Learn English Through Football, you can let us know if there is any football language that you would like us to explain or add to our huge football language glossary. We’d like to say hi to all those who are now following or liking us including: Turgut, Ivison and Marwan.

DF:  Now Damon, it’s time for this week’s predictions.


DB: Yes indeed. Now regular listeners to the show will know that we have a Premier League predictions competition where you can take on the languagecaster team 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 October competition. How are you getting on, Damian?

DF: I have 8 points for October which is behind you but one ahead of Jose, while I am still way out ahead in the overall standings!

DB:  OK, the first of our games in the predictions battle this week is your team Tottenham travelling to in-form Bournemouth. What do you think?

DF: We have had a busy week and injuries are starting to take their toll so this trip to the south coast of England could be a tricky one for us. However, I’m going for a 2-1 away win for Spurs. What do you reckon?

DB: I’ve got a feeling Bournemouth are going to be buoyed by the hatfull of goals that they scored last weekend and I think, like you said, it is going to be tricky and you might end up with a 1-1 draw I’m afraid to say.

DF: Wow, three draws in a week. What about Jose Mourinho’s, sorry, I mean Man United’s trip to Chelsea?

DB: Very funny. Yes, the focus is on Jose Mourinho isn’t it rather than the team Manchester United; that’s quite amazing when you think about it, isn’t it. I’ve got a feeling that Chelsea will do a number on Mourinho’s team they’re going to win 1-0

DF: I think this one will finish in a score draw – 1-1 for me.

Quiz Answer

DF: Damon, before we go what about the answer to the quiz question?

DF: Right, we asked how many times current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has won the league title in England and the answer is…?

DB: He has won the league on three occasions in England with Chelsea in 2005, 2006 and in 2015. He has also won two titles in Portugal, one in Spain and twice in Italy. Not bad at all!

Good bye

DF: Goodbye everyone. Enjoy the rest of the football.

DB: yes indeed Damian, you enjoy your trip to the Emirates. It’s a fantastic ground I heard.

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

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    • Hi Sandara,

      The possessive “‘S” means the focus is on Mourinho. he is the manager and HIS team is Manchester United, so “Mourinho’s United”. Of course, you can also so the club Manchester united has a manager, and in this case it would be “United’s Mourinho”. Hope that helped!

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