Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 Manchester United v Liverpool

On this week’ s Learn English Through Football Podcast we’ve got lots of football language for those who love football and want to improve their English language skills. We’ll talk about the good, the bad and the ugly news from last week, including Dulwich, Davide Astori and some women’s football, we also feature some English phrases used in football – to arrest the slide – and look ahead to some of the big games in the Premier League including Manchester United versus Liverpool. There is a transcript to the show on the site and if you have questions or comments, email us at: admin@languagecaster.com

Manchester United v LiverpoolOn this week’ s Learn English Through Football Podcast we’ve got lots of football language for those who love football and want to improve their English language skills. We’ll talk about the good, the bad and the ugly news from last week, feature some English phrases used in football, and look ahead to some of the big games in the Premier League including Manchester United versus Liverpool. There is a transcript to the show below and if you have questions or comments, email us at: admin@languagecaster.com (Damon=DB; Damian=DF).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 Manchester United v Liverpool

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Transcript of the show

DB: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello and welcome to the show for all those who love the game of football and who want to improve their English skills too. My name’s Damon and I’m based in Tokyo, which has just had a couple of days of rain but is now nice and sunny. Spring is on the way. Down the line in London is Damian. Damian, is it spring in London?

DF: Hello Damon…kind of…but at least it’s much better than it was this time last week when the UK had been covered in ice and snow. It’s dry outside which means it should be good conditions for football.

DB: I see you were at Wembley watching Spurs v Juventus in the Champions League last 16. It was a great game for the neutral, but as a Tottenham fan you must be feeling gutted!

DF: Yes, it was a fantastic occasion but Spurs fans left feeling disappointed indeed. Still, a good Champions League campaign that saw wins against Real Madrid and Dortmund and draws at Madrid and Juventus. Building for the future. Anyway, I don’t really want to think about it too much, so tell me what’s on the show today.

Line up

DB: I understand! OK, now today we’ve got a few news stories from the footballing week coming up. After that, we have a quiz question, which is about rule changes in football. Our third section is our English for football, where we explain some phrases you may hear or want to use when discussing football. We’ll then finish off with some predictions, with three games from the Premier League, which has entered its 30th week.

You’re listening to languagecaster.com (in Catalan) 

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Welsh. Right, next up is the good, the bad and the ugly where we look back at some of the big football news from the week. Remember that we have a full transcript of the whole podcast if you come along to languagecaster.com. And, if you like our podcast why not visit iTunes and leave a review or rating!

OK, next, it’s the good, the bad and the ugly.


DB: Yes it is and I’m going to start with good from the world of women’s football. Last week several tournaments for women’s international teams took place, as interest in the game continues to spread. The She Believes Cup, a four team competition held in the USA, was won by the hosts for the second time. In the Algarve Cup in Portugal 12 teams competed with Sweden and the Netherlands sharing the trophy as bad weather meant the final had to be called off. The French B side, the first team was playing in America, won the Turkish Women’s Cup; ten teams took part in this. And finally, Spain topped the twelve teams in the Cyprus Cup. Good for the winners and good for the women’s game. What about bad, Damian?


DF: Well, not bad this week Damon but actually very sad indeed. The former Fiorentina captain and Italian international Davide Astori passed away after a sudden illness at the very young age of 31. Very sad news indeed.


DB: For ugly I’m going to talk about a semi-professional football team from south London Dulwich Hamlets, who have been locked out of the ground they’ve been playing at by the owners, Meadow Development, The company has also registered the name of the club and forbidden them from using it. Dulwich have won a large following of local supporters with their support for gay rights and multi-culturalism, and also their focus on the fan experience – good beer and drinks and food and a family-friendly approach. They are now looking for a ground share so they can finish their remaining games. They are currently top of the league and hoping for promotion. Meanwhile the landowners are trying to get rid of the club in order to develop the land with housing. Now, the club do have the support of the London mayor and the local council and hopefully they will be allowed to buy the land themselves and secure the future of this cool little club south of the River Thames.


DF: Yes, Damon I know some fans of Dulwich who are very upset at this and this story is being watched by many other fans around the country.

DF: Remember that you can get in touch with us in all the usual ways. Our site is languagecaster.com, we are on twitter, Facebook account, and Instagram – we have some photos on there from the Wembley game this week. Now, this week we also had a football-language question from Amadeu in Brazil who asks about the phrase arrest a slide”  in the example, ‘Sam Allardyce has admitted his job is on the line and he will be vulnerable to the sack if he cannot arrest Everton’s slide.’ There is some nice language to explore here. A slide usually refers to something that is going down and in this case refers to Everton’s position in the league and their performances – they are not playing as well as they were a couple of months ago. If you want to stop this decline or slide you would use the verb ‘to arrest’ which gives the phrase ‘arrest the slide‘.

Thanks for the question Amadeu and remember if any of our listeners wish to ask a football-language question or wish to make a comment you can also contact us by email at admin@languagecaster.com. It’s also very easy to subscribe to our weekly podcast – you can do this with i-tunes, tunedin, stitcher or any other podcast player and make sure you also tell your friends, and was we said earlier, leave a review or rating. Thank you.

Quiz Question

DB: OK, now it’s time for our quiz question this week. VAR, video assistant referee, has been in the news recently, and we thought we’d ask a question about changes to the game of football. VAR is not a rule change, but we want to know when was the rule that stopped the back pass to the goalkeeper introduced. So, you used to be able to pass back to the goalkeeper who could pick the ball up. But the rules were changed and the goalkeeper can no longer pick the ball up if it is passed to him or her. When was this rule introduced? Answer at the end of the show.

DF: I think I know this one as I was playing for my university when the rule came in. Next up we have English for football.

Football Language: Draw written All Over It

DB: OK, let’s have some more English for football. Now, Damian has already explained ‘to arrest a slide’ and  I’m going to talk about ‘draw written all over it‘. Now, this phrase is used when predicting a result of a football match. If you say, ‘This match has draw written all over it‘, it means the speaker is sure the result will be a draw. You will hear this phrase when the speaker wants to say that one or both teams will be very defensive and the speaker does not think it is possible for either team to score. It is possible to change draw for another result, such as ‘win’ – ‘this match has a 3-0 win written all over it,’ but this is not as common. Here is an example from a match report in The Plymouth Herald: Derek Adams, the Plymouth Argyle manager said: “It was a 0-0 draw written all over it. Both teams didn’t have any real efforts on goal.”

DF: Right, next up is our predictions section. And I wonder if any have a draw written all over them?


Manchester United v Liverpool

DF: Now, the first game is Manchester United versus your team Liverpool, Damon. What do you think?

DB: To be honest Damian I hate this game. This is the game I dread losing – well,  there’s one more that would be worse and that would be losing to Manchester United at Anfield. But, the only enjoyment from this game can come if the final whistle blows and it’s a Liverpool win. Manchester United have been grinding out wins recently and I don’t think they will lose. The best I can hope for is a draw – 1-1. What do you think?

DF: Yes, I agree with you about the draw – maybe even a scoreless one. Nil-nil for me.

Arsenal v Watford

DB: OK, the next game we’ll take a look at is Arsenal against Watford. A must-win game really for the Gunner’s manager, Wenger’s reputation; even though they won in Europe they have been dreadful recently in the league. I think this will be a win for Arsenal but as has often been the case in recent years, these points will be too little too late. 2-0.

DF: Arsenal should beat Watford – maybe 1-0 for me.

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

DF: A London derby to finish. Another team and manager under pressure, Chelsea, hosting a struggling Crystal Palace. Damon?

DB: 1-1 and Chelsea’s hopes of top four over.

DF: No, Chelsea will win this comfortably – maybe 3-0.

Quiz Answer

DF: Right, before we say goodbye, let’s get the answer to the quiz question. We wanted to now when the back pass rule was introduced – the rule that stopped goalkeepers being able to pick up balls passed to them by their own team. Damon?

DB: This rule was introduced in 1992. It seems so normal now, but I remember thinking how strange it was at the time, being brought up in a time when it was part of a team’s strategy to pass back to the goalkeeper.

DF: Yes that seems a long time ago now!

Good bye

DF: OK, that’s all for this week. Enjoy all of the football and next week we’ll be discussing the Champions League draw and the FA Cup quarter-finals. Bye bye.

DB: Ta-rah!

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here
If you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com

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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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