Learn English Through Football: Clear Cut

This podcast is for all those who love football and also want to improve their English. This week, we look at some football language to talk about chances to score. You can read the transcript of the show below. It is a great way for learners of English to practice. You can also check out our massive glossary of footballing phrases here. We have hundreds of previous posts and podcasts too on our website. If you are a teacher of English, why don’t you use the audio and transcript to provide practice for their students: Try some true/false questions, pick out some key vocabulary before playing the podcast as an audio quiz, etc. And learners of English can access all resources for free.  Let us know if you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

Learn English Through Football

clear cutDB: Hello there everyone. Welcome to the podcast for all those who love the beautiful game of football and also want to improve their English. My name’s Damon, and I’m based in Tokyo. Winter is here and there is a definite chill in the air in the mornings over here. I am sure it’s pretty cold in London, too, where Damian, the other half of the languagecaster team is based.

In this podcast, we are looking at an adjective phrase which is usually used to describe a chance to score. And the phrase is ‘clear cut‘.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Cantonese)

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Cantonese.

Clear Cut

DB: OK, let’s kick off with today’s football language, clear cut. We’ll start with this part of a match report: ‘The defending champions dominated possession in the first half but struggled to create clear-cut chances against a well-organised Frankfurt.’ The match was a women’s Champions League game between Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt.

We’re interested in the part, ‘create clear-cut chances‘. A clear cut chance is another way of saying a very clear chance. So, this report is saying Barcelona struggled, found it difficult, to create, make, any chances. Maybe they had half chances or shots from range, but nothing clear.

Clear cut is used generally to say something is easy to see, easy to understand, easy to hear, for example, and in football, a clear chance.

Create & Fashion

In the phrase in the report, the verb ‘create‘ is used: to create a clear cut chance. We could also use ‘fashion‘, to fashion a chance. Here is an example of this verb in a report on an England vs Brazil U17 game: ‘As the first half came to an end Samuel Amo-Ameyaw fashioned a chance for himself, following a neat drag-back on the edge of the area, before seeing his low shot drift just wide of the post.’

Well organised

DB: returning to Barcelona vs Eintracht Frankfurt game, the Catalan side struggled to create clear cut chances because Frankfurt’s defence was well organised. This means they followed the defensive plan. We could also say they held their shape, which again means that they followed the tactical plan and didn’t allow Barcelona space.

The opposite of a well-organised defence is a defence that is ‘all over the place‘. This means they are not in the positions they should be and everything is very chaotic. Former Manchester United player Roy Keene criticised Man United when they played Brighton in the 2023 season. he said, ‘The two in the middle of the park, all over the place. Out of possession Man United are as poor as any team in the Premier League.

Here he talks about the poor play of ‘the two in the middle of the park’, so the two midfielders in the centre of the pitch. They were all over the place.

Stinger: Your are listening to languagecaster.com (in Spanish)


DB: Thank you for that message in Spanish. Right, we took a look at the phrase clear cut chance, and verbs to talk about making a chance: create and fashion. We also talked about the defence and how well organised and to hold their shape can be used to say a defence is good. On the other hand, if a defence or players are not well organised, we can say they are all over the place.

OK, well that’s it for this short podcast on the language of football. Remember you can also follow us via Twitter, Threads, Facebook, etc, and you can leave comments and questions via or forum at languagecaster.com. And, if you have any ideas for football phrases, any questions, predictions, comments, just let us know.

Thanks for listening and enjoy all the football where ever you are and have a great winter break. Ta-ra!

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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PodcastEpisode 14