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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2017 Business End of the Season

2017 Business End of the SeasonThere are only 6 weeks to go in the Premier League so it’s the business end of the season and on this week’s show we look back at a busy week of football that saw changes at both the top and the bottom of the table. We also have an interview with Marie O’Sullivan from The Language Point who will be telling us about her favourite football cliche as well as trying to predict some of the big games from the weekend including her home team Middlesbrough. We have your posts, lots of football language and of course you can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2017 Business End of the Season

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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 here in a very sunny London looking forward to another great weekend of football action. Hopefully Damon is on the other end of the line in Tokyo, Japan. Damon, how are you doing?

DB: Damian! Good to hear you. I’m doing well and looking forward to the football. The cherry blossoms are out here in Japan, and even though today is a bit rainy, it feels like spring is here, which means it must be the final leg of the season.

Line up

DF: Now, it has been a busy week of football here in England with a set of mid-week fixtures also taking place as we reach the business end of the season – Now, I was very happy with Spurs as they managed two away victories. And we’ll be looking back at some of those games and stories in our good, the bad and the ugly section later on. Damon, what else do we have on this week’s show?

DB: Well, we have an interview with Middlesbrough fan Marie O’Sullivan from the Sanako website and she’ll be talking about her favourite football cliche and her team’s chances of staying up this season. We will also have a couple of new football-language phrases from the week: joint bid and slide-rule pass. Of course, we’ll finish up with our predictions which features Marie’s team Middlesbrough (‘Boro) as well as Chelsea and Tottenham.

DF: Yes, you are listening to and that was in Irish. Now, remember, you can record the message “You are listening to languagecaster” in your language and we will play it on our show. Just send it on to

DB: Now next up we have our review of the football week in the good, the bad and the ugly. Damian, what was good this week?


DF: Congratulations to Celtic who have won their sixth Scottish Premiership title in a row after defeating Hearts 5-0 last weekend. Now, this is Celtic’s 48th domestic league title and after winning the League Cup they are now attempting to win a domestic treble by defeating their city rivals Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final later this month. They are also currently unbeaten in the league – an amazing 30 games – and are hoping to become the first team since 1899 to remain unbeaten in a Scottish league season. Well done to them. How about some bad from the week Damon ?


DB: Yes, well, well done to Celtic. Bad? It was not such good news for Liverpool striker Sadio Mané as he injured his knee in the 3-1 derby win over Everton last weekend and this injury will rule him out for the rest of the season. The Senegalese player has missed only five games this season – five games in which the Reds failed to win  – ouch! – which underlines how important the player is for the team as they push on for a Champions League spot.

What about ugly?


DF:  Well Damon, even though the women’s game appears to have come a long way there are still stories that upset football fans of all genders. Two in particular emerged this week. The first involved the Irish women’s football team who threatened to go on strike as they felt they had been treated badly by the Irish football association – the FAI. It seems sad that the FAI were not able to support the national side and though the situation was resolved it shows that not everyone is interested in promoting or simply supporting the women’s game.

DB: Yes indeed. And the second one?

DF: Well, Sunderland manager David Moyes was in trouble this week after a video emerged of him saying he might give Vicky Sparks, a BBC reporter, ‘a slap’ if she continued to ask difficult questions. Now, he later apologised and said that he ‘deeply regretted’ his comments but I wonder would Moyes have said that to a male reporter?

DB: Yes, not the kind of news Moyes wants, and even though he was meant to be …joking, that kind of joke shows how out of touch he is. And no, he wouldn’t have said that to a male reporter.

Follow us

DF: Now, remember that you can follow us on twitter where our handle is @languagecaster, and you can find us on Facebook: Learning English Through Football, and we’d like to say hi to all those who have followed or liked us recently – including Zaw zaw, Ukamaka and Yeye. We also have an Instagram page – where we have recently posted pictures from the London Stadium in springtime, which of course is West Ham’s home ground, and I’ve just taken one from my balcony to show you the sunny conditions here in London. And, of course, Tokyo where Damon took some photos of his Merseyside derby experience last week. Good fun Damon?

DB: It was excellent Damian – although I was so happy about the result I posted a photo on Instagram claiming a 3-0, not 3-1 victory! Now, remember, of course you can also contact us directly at with any questions about football. We’d love to hear from you and hear what you think of the show!

DB:  Alright, and next up as we mentioned at the beginning of the show it’s Marie one of the special guests with an interview about her team and some of her favourite cliches.

Interview with Marie O’Sullivan from Sanako

DF: Now next up we are going to be talking to Marie O’Sullivan who works for Sanako. Hello Marie. How are you doing?

MOS: I’m fine thanks, how are you?

DF: I’m not too bad. And…can you tell us a little bit about your site?

MOS: I will. So, the Language is a free to use website for language teachers and learners all around the world. There’s listening activities, speaking practice, anything you like to help you improve your language skills. So take a look!

DF: Yes, it’s a great site actually, I’ve been there… some really, really good materials for teachers and for learners. Now Marie this is a football-language podcast, what’s your favourite football team?

MOS: My team is Middlesbrough as I grew up in that part of the country, so…tough times but still behind the ‘Boro.

DF: Now, we have lots of football language here at and we like to talk about football cliches. Do you have a favourite or a…or a least favourite football cliche?

MOS: Well, my favourite one is from the olden days of football when commentators would talk about turning on a sixpence – in fact they still do talk about it…

DF: … I mean a sixpence, is… it’s an old coin, right?

MOS: It is. It’s a tiny, little coin that we had about 40 years ago so I guess the idea is the player gets the ball and turns away from his marker really, really quickly on the spot and gets away from the marker.

DF: Damon, can you think of any players who can turn on a sixpence?

DB: Besides myself? Well, I suppose players with good technique and also those who have a low centre of gravity: Maradona, Messi… Here’s Garth Crooks on the BBC website talking about Southampton’s Marco Gabbiadinni from the League Cup final a few weeks ago. He said: ‘…it was his second goal that put Southampton level that did it for me. To turn on a sixpence, provide Chris Smalling no opportunity to intervene…’ which means he left Smalling for dead as he turned away quickly and left the defenders behind him.

DF: Great stuff and thanks to Marie for that cliche – we will be adding that one to our football glossary where we have hundreds of football words and phrases. Remember, if you want to add some more or maybe even come on the show and talk about some football language then drop us a line at

DB: Yes, thanks for that Marie and we’ll be hearing from her again later on in the show when we look at this week’s predictions. Now Damian, what football language have you come across this week, what’s our first football-language phrase this week?

Football Language: Slide-rule pass

DF: Well, Damon, as we know, there are lots of different types of passes in football: a one-two; a hospital pass and a through ball are some examples. Another one of these is slide-rule pass. A slide rule is a tool used by mathematicians and is associated with accuracy and so a slide-rule pass is an extremely accurate pass; often one that goes through a narrow or small space. These kind of passes, although difficult to produce, tend to open up a defence to create a clear chance. So, for example, Messi‘s slide-rule pass opened up the opponent’s defence.

DF: What other football language have you come across this week Damon?

Football Language: Joint bid

DB: I’m going to talk about the phrase ‘joint bid‘ as this emerged during the week when the Concacaf president, Victor Montagliani announced that three countries from his region: Canada, the USA and Mexico are going to bid, or ask for, a chance to host the 2026 World Cup. Usually only one country bids for the right to hold the competition but with the number of teams participating increasing – remember we will have 48 teams in the 2026 World Cup – it’s now more difficult for one country to do this – hence a joint bid; a bid involving more than one country. Damian, do you know if this has ever happened before?

DF: Well, I know that the 2002 World Cup took place in both Japan and Korea so they put forward a joint bid for that. Now Damon, what games did you go to in that tournament?

DB: I managed to see Mexico v Ecuador and the quarter-final between England and Brazil – how about you?

DF: I was at 7 different games including the Ireland-Germany game in Ibaraki and I was also at the opening game in Seoul, one of the semi-finals in Saitama and the final in Yokohama. And that leads us on to our quiz question for the week.

Quiz question

DB: Yes. We would like to know which four countries Damian saw in the opening game in Seoul and the final in Yokohama in the 2002 World Cup. And we’ll have the answer at the end of the show.


DF: Right, it’s time for our weekly predictions competition. And apologies for those who were waiting for the mid-week games – we didn’t manage to include them in time…

DB: Oh, sorry yes.

DF: …So the overall scores for the season are: I’m on 212 and Damon, you’re on 173.

DB: Getting closer. Now, remember you can join our predictions and play in our monthly league or for the rest of the season by coming along to the site,, and at the top of the page you can see predictions competition – click, sign up or login for free and enter your predictions.

DF: Now this week, Damon, we have a guest joining us for the predictions.

DB: Yes, we heard Marie talking earlier and here is what she said about three of the games taking place this weekend.

Middlesbrough vs Burnley

DF: Now. We also do predictions on our site…on our podcast and we’re focusing on three games this weekend including your team Middlesbrough and they host Burnley. What do you reckon?

MOS: Well, we are a bit short of goals at the minute but I can’t lose faith so I’m saying ‘Boro 1 Burnley 0.

DF: I’m going to go for a… sorry about this, I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw.

MOS: I hope not.

Bournemouth vs Chelsea

DF: Now, the second game we’re looking at is at the top of the table is Bournemouth against the leaders Chelsea, what do you think?

MOS: I think Chelsea have got this after a bit of a scare the other week so I’m saying Bournemouth 1 Chelsea 2.

DF: Oh, as a Spurs fan that’s quite painful. I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw to keep the faith.

Tottenham vs Watford

DF: And talking of Tottenham they host Watford this Saturday morning, what do you think?

MOS: I think that’s going to be quite comfortable for you so I’m saying Spurs 2 Watford 0.

DF: I hope so although comfortable and Tottenham don’t usually go hand in hand – I think it will be 1-0 to Spurs.

MOS: We’ll see, we’ll see.

DF: Marie, thank you so much, just remind us again what’s the website we should go along to?

MOS: It’s the

DF: Brilliant stuff. And we hope to hear from you soon and good luc ‘Boro this weekend.

MOS: Thanks a lot. Nice to talk to you.

DF: So Damon, what do you make of our predictions? Boro and Burnley?

DB:I’m going to agree with you and say a draw, but 0-0 – sorry Marie.

DF: You might be right. How about Chelsea’s trip to Bournemouth?

DB: Well, an easy win for the Blues – 2-0, just like Marie predicts.

DF: And Spurs-Watford?

DB: Damian! That’s a home win 3-1

DF: I’m getting nervous. Great stuff. Thanks again to Marie and if anyone would like to come on the show to talk about some football language or take part in our predictions then drop us a line at

Quiz Answer

DB: Now, before we go we have the answer to this week’s quiz question. Damian, you mentioned that you were at the opening game and the final of the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan and we wanted to know which four teams were involved. Damian?

DF: Yes, the opener was a shock result as Senegal defeated the then holders France 1-0, while in the final Brazil beat Germany 2-0 with a wonderful performance from Ronaldo – O Fenomeno.

DB: Well done if you managed to get that right and of course we’ll have another quiz question next week.

Good bye

DB: So, that’s it for this week – another big week of football is coming up – any highlights Damian?

DF: Well, the Champions League quarter-final first legs take place this week.

DB: Yes. Juventus v Barcelona should be a cracker – that’s a repeat of the final from two years ago which we watched together in Tokyo – while Real Madrid face Bayern Munich and of course Leicester City take on Atletico Madrid.

DF: It’s going to be great. Now next weekend is Easter – a sure sign that the end of the season is approaching -  and we’ll be focusing on the Chelsea-Man Utd fixture and Liverpool away at West Brom. See you next week.

DB: Come on you Reds! Ta ra.

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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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