Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2020 North London Derby and Champions League Draw. This week’s football-language podcast looks back at the North London derby and reviews some of the language from the football week including words and phrases from the Champions League draw. We also look back at two major World Cup stories: The final of the 2010 World Cup and the England World Cup winner and Irish World Cup manager Jack Charlton. We also have a football-language quiz question and try and predict some of the upcoming games. Listen to the podcast by clicking on the file below – you can also subscribe and listen to all our football-language podcasts – there are hundreds of them dating from way back in 2006! Improve your English by reading the transcript as you listen, or if you are a teacher of English you can use the transcript to make several listening and/or reading activities for your learners. If you have questions or comments then you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Damon=DB; Damian=DF).
Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2020 North London Derby and Champions League Draw
DF: You are listening to languagecaster.com. Hello everyone, we hope you are all safe and well and welcome to the podcast for fans of football, especially those wishing to improve their English language skills. My name is Damian and I’m here in a very sunny London after another weekend full of football action.
DB: Lucky you. Still raining pretty much everyday here in Tokyo. It has been another week packed with football. I’ve watched my team, Liverpool outplay Burnley but only get a draw, a lot of highlights from around Europe including AC Milan shocking Juventus 4-2 and then playing out an entertaining draw with Napoli 2-2. I also saw your team, Tottenham, Damian, win in the North London derby. How about you?
DF: Hi Damon, good to hear you. Well, like you, I’ve managed to see lots of football this week. You mentioned my team Spurs – thank you – and I saw them play really badly in a scoreless draw against lowly Bournemouth and then bounce back to win the North London derby three days later. There are so many games taking place that at times it’s hard to keep track – I saw Chelsea beat Crystal Palace in a cracker in mid-week and then them saw badly lose against a resurgent Sheffield United a couple of days later. Teams can bounce back quickly with so many games to play – though there are only three more fixtures remaining.
DB: And after that, the next question is, when do the new seasons start?
DF: Indeed. Well, let’s start our show and what have we got on the line up today?
DB: We’ll start with a little look back at some of our archived posts and we’ll specifically go back in time 10 years. After that it’s some football news with stories from the Premier League and news of the passing of one of the greats of football – Jackie Charlton. And that will bring us to our football language sections, and we’ll look at, ‘wayward pass’ and ‘whip the ball’. And to finish, we’ve got a few big matches to predict – one from Spain and one from England.
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DF: OK, let’s take a look at our archives and look back to 10 years ago because I wanted to highlight the fact that it is ten years since Spain won the World Cup in South Africa – they beat the Dutch side 1-0 after extra time in the final. Now, on our podcast just before the final we offered some predictions about the big game in Soccer City Johannesburg.
DF: Neither of these two sides have previously won the trophy before and despite having great players in their team, good form coming into the competition and strong footballing traditions, few pundits had tipped them to reach the final. That is except those here at languagecaster – Damon predicted a Holland victory while I went for Spain.
I still think it will be Spain for despite a slow start – remember their first game defeat against Switzerland? – they have been improving ever since. If they were to win the World Cup, it would mean they would be the first ever team to lose their opening match and still go on to win the competition. Though they have been criticised for not scoring goals – only 7 so far in the tournament – they have won most of their games comfortably. David Villa has been receiving many of the plaudits for his performances and goals but the midfield have been immense, constantly probing for openings, setting up scoring chances and maintaining a solid shape throughout. Xavi and Iniesta have been wonderful while Xavi Alonso has also been very consistent… Doubts about their defence have been answered with only 2 goals conceded in the whole competition, while we also have to praise the fact that Spain have only had 3 yellow cards and are one of the teams that have given away the least amount of fouls in the whole of the World Cup. They never panic, their footballing technique is second to none and their performance in the semi-final was amazing as they destroyed a very strong German side to win through. Holland are organised and have great players throughout the team but I am going for a dominant 1-0 win for Spain.
DF: I can’t believe that it was ten years ago! Oh, and yes, I did win the 2010 World Cup predictions!
DB: You had to mention that, didn’t you? 10 years – time flies! Right, let’s turn to the footballing news and start with some of the good news.
Football News: Good
DB: OK, well done to West Ham United striker Michail Antonio who scored all four goals in West Ham’s win away at Norwich at the weekend. If a player scores three times then we use the word ‘hat-trick‘ but what do we say when a player scores four times?
DF: Well, two goals is a brace, but I don’t know of any special phrase for four times, which is unsurprising as it’s so rare!
DB: It is indeed. Also good for Bournemouth as they stunned Leicester with a 4-1 victory. This keeps their slim hopes of staying in the top flight alive. Currently, the south coast side are in the drop zone and only three, one win, behind Watford and West Ham, and those two sides play each other this weekend! What about bad?
Football News: Bad
DF: Well staying with the relegation zone, it has been coming for a while but Norwich City have been relegated after being thrashed 4-0 at home by West Ham in the game we have just mentioned. The team from the east of England had only returned to the Premier this season and will go straight back to the Championship after this defeat. The Canaries have only won six games all season, currently only have 21 points and have lost their last seven matches. A poor season for Norwich indeed.
DB: Very poor. Although I’d like to thank them for getting Liverpool’s season off to a flier when we beat them 4-1 in the opening game. I remember then, though, thinking Norwich played some really nice football. Maybe too nice, or at least too open. Anything else, Damian?
Football News: Sad
DF: Well, there was some sad news at the weekend from the world of football when we learned that former World Cup winner and World Cup manager Jack Charlton passed away at the age of 85. He played all his club football at Leeds United during their heyday in the 1960s and ’70s, playing an incredible 773 times for them. That Leeds side was a fearsome one under manager Don Revie and Charlton won everything in the domestic game including the Player of the Year Award in 1967. He also played 35 times for England and of course he was part of the World Cup winning side in 1966 alongside his brother Bobby.
He became a successful manager at Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United but when he took over the Irish national team in 1986 most Irish fans were a little underwhelmed. He left ten years later having not only transformed the football team but some say the country as well. Under ‘Big Jack’s’ leadership Ireland qualified for their first ever European Championship tournament in 1988 and also made two World Cups – their first ever in 1990 and then again in 1994. In all three tournaments Ireland, mainly by putting teams under constant pressure, enjoyed wonderful moments. Defeating England in Stuttgart in 1988, qualifying for the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals after overcoming Romania on a penalty shoot-out and then beating Italy 1-0 in New Jersey in 1994. Thanks Jack for the wonderful memories!
DB: A true great!
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2020 Champions League Draw
DF: Now, the draw for this season’s European tournaments: the Champions and Europa Leagues took place last Friday and it has thrown up some interesting ties. Potentially we’ve got Real Madrid or Manchester City taking on Juventus or Lyon and in the same side of the draw the other quarter final is Bayern Munich or Chelsea who will take on either Barcelona or Napoli. What about the other quarters Damon?
DB: Well, these have been decided, so we’ll see French side PSG taking on surprise package Atalanta from Italy and RB Leipzig and Atlético Madrid, the former knocked your team Spurs out and the latter dispatched my team Liverpool – ouch! Both of those draws look fairly open, although PSG will fancy their chances. There are four last-16 ties still to be played and these will go ahead from August
DF: I really fancy Atlético to win it all. They have returned to form in recent weeks and are on the slightly ‘easier’ side of the draw – they are the only side to have reached a Champions League final – they lost twice, of course, to city rivals Real. By the way, talking about Real Madrid, I’m not sure that City will beat them – this is their tournament and they know how to win – can’t wait for August. Right let’s turn to some football language.
Football Language: Wayward Pass
DB: Yes, next up we explain some football language and this week we look at the adjective, ‘wayward’ when describing a pass. Damian.
DF: Passing is one of the most important aspects of football as teams try to build attacks by moving the ball from one team mate to another. There are lots of words used to describe a good pass – a pinpoint or slide rule pass are passes that are very accurate, while a no-look pass demonstrates the confidence of the player who knows where to put the ball without even looking. Of course, there are lots of expressions describing bad passes – a loose pass, a hospital pass, a sloppy pass and a wayward pass. Wayward means that something is not quite right; it is not regular and so when it is used to describe a pass it means that this pass has not reached its intended target but has been misplaced – the pass was a bad one and probably the opposition now have the ball. When teams started playing again after lockdown there were games that had many wayward passes as players had become rusty – they were not up to speed and their passing was wayward.
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Football Language Quiz: To Whip the Ball
DB: OK, it’s time for our regular weekly quiz about football language and this week we are going to ask about the phrase, ‘to whip the ball’. Which of the following best describes the meaning of ‘whip the ball’.
- To mis-kick the ball
- To throw in the ball
- To pass back to the goalkeeper
- To strike the ball with pace
And we’ll have the answer at the end of the show.
DB: Next up we look at some of the big games this week in our predictions section. Come along to our site at languagecaster.com and join our post-lockdown mini predictions league and see if you can beat myself and Damian. Remember that it’s three points for a perfect score and one for the correct score. We are going to focus on the upcoming mid-week fixtures from the Premier League and La Liga and let’s start with Real Madrid’s trip to Granada.
La Liga: Granada vs Real Madrid
DF: La Liga leaders Real Madrid take on 8th place Granada on Monday knowing that another win will almost guarantee them this season’s title. Madrid have won five in a row and although the hosts have only lost one of their last five, the fact that there will be no home crowd to roar on Granada means that Madrid should win fairly easily – maybe 2-0.
DB: An easy win for real Madrid: I’ll go for 3-0.
Premier League: Arsenal vs Liverpool
DF: The champions were held at home by Burnley, as you mentioned, at the weekend but they will surely have too much for an Arsenal side that will be hoping to bounce back after the North London derby. I think this will be a 2-1 away win.
DB: I’m not so sure. If Liverpool had beaten Burnley, then they’d have a few more records to play for – winning all their home games, getting over 100 points, but the draw against Burnley, not to mention the loss against Man City, means that the Reds don’t really have much to play for. Maybe a 1-1 draw with some of the younger players seeing some action for Liverpool.
Football Language Quiz Answer: Whip the ball
DB: OK, it’s coming up towards the end of the show, so let’s turn to our football language quiz question and its answer. We wanted to know which of the following best describes the meaning of the phrase, ‘whip the ball‘.
- To mis-kick the ball
- To throw in the ball
- To pass back to the goalkeeper
- To strike the ball with pace
DB: Well, the answer is number 4 – to strike the ball with pace. If a player adds some bend to the pass or the cross we can say that the ball has been whipped in.
DF: Well done if you got that right and we’ll have another football language quiz question next week.
DB: We will indeed.
DF: Yes, see you next week. And remember to drop us a line at languagecaster through our various social media platforms or just give us some likes, retweets, and generally spread the word – we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. See you next week. Bye.