On this football language podcast for learners of English, we spotlight one of the Premier League games from the weekend and the phrase ‘play off the park’. We’ll discuss what this phrase means and why it was used to describe the match between Brentford and Manchester United. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, and you can also access our massive glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2022-23 Season: Play off the park
DB: Hi there everyone! Welcome to languagecaster’s football language podcast. My name is Damon, and I am one half of the languagecaster team, the other half being Damian. Now Damian is based in London, but he has been on his travels around north Europe while I have been sweating in a hot and humid Tokyo summer.
It was a hot Saturday in the Premier League for the second round of the season, when west London side Brentford – The Bees – hosted The Red Devils, Manchester United from the northwest of England. And this is the match that gives us the focus phrase for this podcast – to play off the park.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Danish)
DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Danish. Thank you Mads! Right, let’s start looking at some football language. The game between Brentford and Manchester United ended 4-0 to the home side, Brentford.
Well worth the win & Play off the park
The 4-0 scoreline accurately reflected the game. That is to say, Brentford were well worth the win: well worth the win means they deserved to win. They played Manchester United off the park – this expression refers to village and town parks, where children, teenagers and young adults meet to play informal games of football. If you ‘play someone off the park‘, it means you are so good the other team or player cannot play you; they have to leave the game, they cannot compete.
DB: Manchester United couldn’t handle Brentford’s energy and pressing. They were thrashed, easily beaten by a lot of goals. There was a gaffe, a mistake, by De Gea, the Man United goalie, who let a fairly long range, tame effort by Dasilva slip threw his hands and into the corner of the net. Erikson was then caught on the ball in the box by Jensen, who slotted home neatly. The Red Devils then struggled with a ball into the box, conceding a header at the far post before a counter attack saw the Bees score their fourth.
Not only were Manchester United played off the park, thrashed, they looked shellshocked. A shell is a bullet or a bomb and if you are shellshocked, you have psychological trauma after being involved in a war or a battle. It’s a great phrase to use in football too, to describe a team, that looks shocked, confused, and has no idea what to do.
Brentford ran their socks off, – they were full of energy and never stopped running. They looked like they had a plan and took their chances: they played Man United off the park.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Cantonese)
DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Cantonese. Remember, if you have any football-language questions or want to just say hello then you can do that by adding a comment at languagecaster.com. You can also use our forum, send an email to email@example.com. Look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too.
DB: Right, that’s it for this short football-language podcast. We looked at: play off the park, well worth the win, thrashed, shellshocked, run their socks off. All these phrases were connected with the match. We’ll be back soon with more football language. Ta-ra.