Learn English Through Football Podcast: Languagecaster Derby – Liverpool vs Tottenham

Liverpool vs TottenhamIt’s the second languagecaster derby of the season: when Damon’s favourite team Liverpool take on Damian’s team Tottenham and so on this week’s show we focus on the big game from Anfield. We also look at some football words and phrases from the week, including Indomitable Lions and the verb ‘to shrug off a challenge‘, while we also respond to a listener’s questions about punctuation. To start the show, we will review some of the footballing news in our good, the bad and the ugly section and we also have our predictions for the weekend including that Liverpool – Tottenham game.  And of course, you can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Languagecaster Derby – Liverpool vs Tottenham

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Transcript of the show

DF: You’re listening to languagecaster’s football language podcast. My name is Damian and I am here in a cold and snowy London!  Now this week Damon will not be with us – I wonder if it’s snowing in Tokyo? which is a pity, of course, as we have the second languagecaster derby of the season taking place this weekend – that’s Damon’s favourite team, Liverpool, against my favourite team, Tottenham!

Line up

DF: Now, that game will feature in our predictions battle later on in the show along with a relegation six-pointer and Chelsea’s visit to Burnley. Before that we will have our good, the bad and the ugly section that features three stories from the week’s footballing news and we will be congratulating Cameroon, commiserating with a manager and applauding Liverpool. Then we’ll discuss a few phrases from the football world this week including the nickname of that Cameroon side and a reference to a great goal scored by Edin Hazard last weekend. And just before our predictions at the end of the show, we’ll have our weekly quiz question, which this week is connected to the league leaders around the major European leagues.

Yes indeed. You are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Catalan. Drop us a line at admin@languagecaster.com if you have the message “You are listening to languagecaster.com” in your language. OK, let’s kick off with some of the good news from the world of football.


DF: Well, congratulations to Cameroon on winning their fifth African Cup of Nations after defeating Egypt 2-1 in Gabon last weekend. The Indomitable Lions scored a late winner from substitute Vincent Aboubakar to overcome Egypt in the final. Well done to the Lions.


DF: Well for bad, this might be a little unfair on him but Héctor Cúper, the Argentinian manager of losing finalists Egypt, has finished second in the league in three different countries: in La Liga with Valencia, in Italy with Inter and with Huracán in Argentina. He has also lost two Champions League finals with Valencia, the Copa del Rey and the European Cup Winners Cup finals with Mallorca, the Greek Cup Final with Aris and now the African Cup of Nations final with Egypt. Poor guy.


DF: Well, not ugly this week but interesting. An interesting story from Liverpool football club as they have now banned The Sun newspaper from their ground after the newspaper’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. An interesting move by the club against a newspaper that clearly did not report the facts on one of the saddest days in British football.

Follow us

DF: Now, remember, as well as downloading our podcast you can also follow us on Facebook – our page is Learn English Through Football – and on twitter where our handle is @languagecaster. Spread the word and get in touch! And thanks to all those who have liked us recently including Sure, Zeinab, Hatem, Ali and Mike on Facebook and to Jacob and Carlos Hugo who have done the same on Twitter. We also have an instagram account and you can see some photos from Damon’s football match in Tokyo this weekend – it  doesn’t look like snow to me.

DF: Now, Damon responded to a listener’s question this week on our webpage – from Sandara who asked about the phrases ‘Mourinho’s United’ and ‘United’s Mourinho’. And Damon replied by saying that the possessive ‘S’ means the focus is on Mourinho in the first example. He is the manager and HIS team is Manchester United, so ‘Mourinho’s United’. Of course, you can also say the club Manchester United has a manager, and in this case it would be ‘United’s Mourinho’.

DF: I wonder how Klopp’s Liverpool did so well against Tottenham’s Pochettino this weekend… Remember, if you have any football language questions then drop us a line at admin@languagecaster.com.

Quiz question

DF: OK, it’s time for our weekly quiz question and this week our question is about the big five European Leagues: England’s Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Ligue 1 in France, the Bundesliga in Germany and Spain’s La Liga. We would like you to name the current leaders in each of those leagues. The answer will, of course, be at the end of the show.

Now next up we explain some football language that has emerged from the week.

Football Language: Indomitable Lions

DF: Now our first piece of football language this week is the nickname of the Cameroon football team which is ‘The Indomitable Lions‘ with the adjective ‘indomitable‘ meaning something that cannot be tamed though some dictionaries also suggest the meaning is ‘invincible’. So, for example, The Indomitable Lions first came to prominence with their performances in the 1982 World Cup when they were undefeated in their three group matches and, of course, as we have already heard earlier in the show, Cameroon – the Indomitable Lions – won their fifth African Cup of Nations in Gabon after defeating Egypt 2-1 last weekend.

Football Language: (to) Shrug off a challenge

DF: Now the second piece of language is the phrase ‘to shrug off a challenge‘. When a player has the ball and he or she wants to avoid being challenged or tackled by an opponent they might sometimes shrug off the challenge or the tackle. The verb to shrug means that someone wants to show that they do not really care and they do this by raising and lowering their shoulders. To shrug off something shows that you do not really care about something and so in football to shrug off a challenge or tackle means that a player is not affected by the challenge or the tackle and continues on with the ball. It is similar to the verb to dribble in that the player is running with the ball but when a player is shrugging another player off the ball it is more physical than simply going past the player. Now in last week’s London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal the home side’s Belgian midfielder, Edin Hazard, shrugged off the challenge from Coquelin and continued his dribble towards the goal. Sometimes you might hear the phrase ‘he shrugged off Coquelin‘ where the name of the player being shrugged off is used instead of the word ‘tackle’ or ‘challenge’. For example:  Kane shrugged off the defender to score a goal or Kane shrugged off the defender’s tackle to score a goal.


DF: Now next up we have our weekly predictions competition. Remember you can try your luck in our monthly predictions or for the whole season by coming along to our site languagecaster.com and then clicking on the link on the top of the homepage. You can make a free account. Now in this season’s competition I have 175 points – I’m out in front from Damon who is in second with 131 and then Jose is on 94.

Liverpool v Tottenham

DF: Now we have three games including the languagecaster derby: Liverpool versus Tottenham and… it was disappointing from my perspective as a Tottenham fan. I thought this would be a tough one for Spurs who had not won at Anfield since 2010 and I was right as they fell to a 2-0 defeat. I’d gone for a 0-0 draw while Damon had said 1-1. No points for either of us but he will be happy now I’m sure!

Swansea City v Leicester City

DF: Next is a relegation six-pointer between in-form Swansea, who under new manager Paul Clement seem to be on an upward trajectory after three wins in five games, and the champions Leicester City who remarkably find themselves in a relegation dog fight after four straight defeats in the league. Damon went for 2-1 to the Swans and I’m going for a 1-1 draw – surely the champions have to respond?

Burnley v Chelsea

DF: Now our last game is Burnley versus Chelsea. Burnley have the third-best home record in the league but they are also missing their first-choice midfield against league leaders Chelsea – I am going for a draw: 1-1, while Damon went for a 3-1 away win – that’s a Chelsea victory.

Fantasy Football

DF: Now, long-time listeners will know that we have a languagecaster fantasy football league and the current leader is Brendan Rovers who is closely followed by Gleeson’s Earguard. I notice that Damon is in 6th place but a few points behind my team Damian’s Academicals. I also notice that  last season’s winner RamblinGamblin is way down in 9th place – pretty much mirroring Leicester City’s season!

Quiz Answer

DF: OK, just before we go here is the answer to our quiz question. We asked you to name the current leaders of the top five European Leagues. Well, Chelsea are on top in England – they are running away with the title. Bayern Munich are 4 points clear of Leipzig in Germany, while Real Madrid are looking strong in Spain – they are a point clear of Barcelona but have two games in hand and Juventus look favourites to win the Scudetto in Italy. In France Monaco lead PSG by three points at the top of Ligue 1. So that’s Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus and Monaco. Well done if you got those right and we’ll have another question next week.

Good bye

DF: See you all next week when we will be looking ahead to the fifth round of the FA Cup. Don’t forget to drop us a line at admin@languagecaster.com and let us know what you think of the show. Bye bye.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here
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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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