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Learn English Through Football Podcast: Leicester v Liverpool

Leicester v LiverpoolOn this week’s show we will start with a review of some of the football stories this week in the good, the bad and the ugly section of our podcast. We will also highlight some football language including ‘new manager bounce’ and ‘to run down the clock‘. In our final section, predictions, we spotlight three games: Leicester v Liverpool, Tottenham v Stoke and Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough. Of course, you can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Leicester v Liverpool

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Transcript of the show

DB: You’re listening to languagecaster’s football language podcast. My name is Damon and I’ve been enjoying a bright and sunny day in Tokyo. I’m hoping the weather is being kind to Damian 6,000 miles away in London. Damian! How are you?

DF: Hello Damon. I’m good. The weather here has calmed down a little bit after storm Doris blew through the UK recently. Good to hear from you. What football have you been watching recently, Damon?

DB: Well, I enjoyed some of the highlights from the Champions League this week – Manchester City versus Monaco was crazy – and a few of the Asian Champions League group games where the Japanese sides started well. You?

DF: I watched some of the FA Cup ties last week and also the Champions League games this week and there were some fantastic matches, as you said. Manchester City vs Monaco was a real cracker. What’s the line up on this week’s show?

Line up

DB: OK, well, we’ll start with some news from the world of football in the good, the bad and the ugly, where we’ll talk about the sacking of Claudio Ranieri from Leicester among other things. After that, we have couple of footballing phrases, including ‘new manager bounce’. And to finish is our predictions section, and we’ve got three games from the Premier League to try to guess the scores for.

DF: Yes indeed. You are listening to and that message was in Italian. Drop us a line at if you have the message “You are listening to” in your language. OK, let’s start with some of the good news from the world of football.


DB: We have to mention minnows Lincoln City in this section. Lincoln, a non-league side, that is not in the top four leagues in England, have made it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup – just one win away from a trip to Wembley. They are the only non-league side to do so for over 100 years! They snatched a dramatic win against Premier League side Burnley with a late headed goal, and then held out for five minutes of injury time to clinch the win. Well done to the Imps! How about bad, Damian?


DF: Well for bad, I am going to talk about another non-league team in the FA Cup – Sutton United. They faced Premier League side Arsenal on Monday and did not disgrace themselves in a 0-2 defeat. However, their goalkeeping coach was involved with a betting company which meant that he had to resign from the club, so that was sad and rather embarrassing for the club as the focus was on the scandal rather than the team’s performances. Now, I think I know what will feature in the ugly section Damon.


DB: Indeed! Well, for ugly, I’m going to go for the sacking of Leicester City’s manager Claudio Ranieri. Ranieri led the team to the title last year, a feat which stunned the English football world, and yet he has been given the axe while still in the Champions League and with enough time to try to avoid relegation. Now I understand some pundits feel that if he’s not getting results, his past achievements don’t matter, but he is in the middle of a two-leg fixture in the Champions League with a fair chance of progressing. Leicester have an away goal against Sevilla and a 1-0 win at home next week puts them in the quarter-finals. Surely, the club could have waited until that tie was decided. Personally, I agree with former Leicester legend Gary Lineker who said, “I think they should be building statues to him, not sacking him.” Damian, what do you think? Were the club right to sack him?

DF: No! It was a poor decision that failed to take into account the football side of things. I have never seen my team Spurs win the league (and maybe never will) and so I am sure Leicester fans do not really care what happens this season because Ranieri won them the title last year. Oh, it’s a bad decision that may well backfire on the club.

DB: Yes.

Follow us

DF: Now here’s the section where we remind you to get in touch with us and spread the word via our Facebook page – Learn English Through Football – and on twitter where our handle is @languagecaster. Thanks to all those who have liked us recently including Mohammed, Sara, Hasibor and Kalsoum on Facebook and to Peter Pun and Ahmed on Twitter. Actually, we posted a link to a lesson on conditionals using football from Peter on our Facebook page, so come along and have a look at that. We also have an Instagram page where you can see some football pictures from Damon in Tokyo and myself here in London. Remember, if you have any football language questions then drop us a line at

Quiz question

DF: OK, it’s time for our weekly quiz question and this week it’s connected with the English League Cup. This weekend Manchester United take on Southampton in this competition, and our question is when was the last time these sides won a major trophy or title? And the answer will be at the end of the show.

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

Football Language: New manager bounce

DB: Well one football language phrase in the news this week is new manager bounce. This phrase refers to the feeling that when a club sacks a manager after some poor form, the team bounces back, does well, under a new manager or coach. This week, as we’ve heard, Leicester City sacked their manager, Claudio Ranieri and now have Craig Shakespeare in temporary charge. Will they get a new manager bounce when they play Liverpool next? I hope not! Damian anything else?

Football Language: (to) Run down the clock

DF: Yes, I’ve got ‘run down the clock‘. Now, each football match lasts for 90 minutes plus added time and so when a team is winning, especially by a narrow margin of one goal, say 1-0 or 2-1, they usually want the game to end as soon as possible. However, the referee decides when to blow the whistle to signal the end of the game, and anyway, they must play 90 minutes minimum. You have to play to the whistle. So, teams will try to run down the clock. Run down means to expend, use, or decline. To run down the clock means to use or waste time. Teams will do this by trying to keep possession of the ball, taking their time over set pieces like throw-ins, and even by faking injury. This idea of running down the clock is also known as good ‘game management’ – a phrase I’m not a big fan of.


DB: 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 and then clicking on the link on the top of the homepage. This month, I’m on 16 points ahead of Damian on 11, but he’s still way ahead in the season’s league. Hopefully, I’ll be able to wrap up February anyway with the last fixtures this month.

Damian what do we have?

Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough

DF: Well, we’ll start with a relegation six-pointer between Crystal Palace from south London and Middlesbrough from the north east of England. Now, obviously neither team was in great shape coming in to this fixture. Damon, what do you predict?

DB: I went for  a very boring 0-0.

DF: I guessed that Palace would react and would beat Boro – 1-0, and I was right. Palace won 1-0 with a first half goal by Van Aarnholt. Yes, it was a terrible game by all accounts.

DB: Yes.

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City

DB: Next is your team Damian, Spurs, taking on Stoke a little later today, The last two games ended in 4-0 wins for Tottenham, but the last two games at White Hart Lane between these two sides have ended winless for Spurs. Will they get the victory this time?

DF: This will be tough for Spurs, particularly after their Europa League elimination on Thursday, but I’m hopeful for a win – 2-0.

DB: I agree. Spurs will win 1-0.

Leicester City v Liverpool

DF: OK, and for our final game we have the champions, Leicester hosting Liverpool. Damon, do you fear the new manager bounce?

DB: Yes, I do! But I still think Liverpool will sneak a win 2-1. You?

DF: Leicester are in disarray at the moment – a perfect time to play them – so I think Liverpool will win this comfortably. 3 or 4 … 4-0 for me.

Quiz Answer

DF: OK, just before we go here is the answer to our quiz question. We asked you when did Manchester United and Southampton last win major trophies or titles. Well, United should have been easy as they won the FA Cup last year in 2016, but Southampton might have been trickier. They won the FA Cup in 1976 – against Manchester United. Can they beat the Red Devils again?

Good bye

DB: I hope so. Enjoy the football! Ta-rah!

DF: 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

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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