In this week’s football language podcast Damon and Damian talk about how they think their favourite teams (Liverpool and Tottenham) will do this season. We also look back at some of the good, bad and ugly from the football week and look ahead to some big games this weekend in our weekly predictions battle, including Tottenham versus Liverpool! Don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary and we also have a page full of football cliches. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at: email@example.com.
Learn English Through Football Podcast: Liverpool and Tottenham 2023-24 Season Preview
DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. I’m Damian and I’m based here in London where the weather is bright and a little chilly (a little cold) – typical Autumn weather – and I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying all the football. I must admit I am – especially after last weekend’s North London derby which saw my favourite side Tottenham come from behind twice to earn a draw away at Arsenal and maintain our unbeaten start to the season.
Now, I will be looking at Tottenham’s season so far under their new manager Ange Postecoglou in our main feature later on in the show when we will also have the other member of the Languagecaster team, Damon, talking about his favourite side Liverpool. We’ll also be explaining lots of language from this report. Before then we will review some of the good, the bad and the ugly stories from the football week before finishing off with some predictions when of course we’ll be looking ahead to the Languagecaster derby: Tottenham versus Liverpool.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from an Arsenal fan)
Yes, that message was from an Arsenal fan and yes, you are listening to Languagecaster.com. Now, don’t forget to come along to our site at Languagecaster.com where you can access all our other previous football-language podcasts – we have hundreds of them that date back over the last 15 years. And of course you can take a look at our glossary which has hundreds of football language expressions.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from Vietnamese fans)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
OK, it’s time to look back at some of the football stories from last week and to explain some of the language that appeared in them. Here are some of the words and phrases that you are going to hear:
- Failed to score: This means that a team has not scored a goal.
- To mock: This means to make fun of someone and is usually seen as being negative. I am not sure that I would be happy if Damon mocked me or my favourite football team, for example!
- To sue (someone): This is when someone takes someone else to court because they have a complaint against them; maybe they want some money as compensation or they want an apology.
- Abandoned match: A game that has been stopped – maybe because of bad weather or sometimes because of bad behaviour of the fans.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Thai)
A good weekend for Atlético Madrid as they defeated their city rivals Real 3-1 in the first Madrid derby of the season. Goals from Griezmann and Álvaro Morata (a brace) gave Atlético only their second win in 18 derby games and moved them up to fifth place in the league with a game in hand over leaders Barcelona. It was also a good weekend for Harry Kane who scored a hat-trick in Bayern Munich’s 7-0 win over Bochum. Kane has now scored seven times and also has three assists from his first five games at his new club – that’s a pretty good start to the season!
It has not been a good week, or indeed, start to the season for Chelsea. They were beaten at home by Aston Villa at the weekend and now find themselves in 14th place in the Premier League table. The Blues, despite spending huge amounts of money in the transfer window, have now failed to score in their past three Premier League matches and their new manager Mauricio Pochettino is already under pressure after only six league games.
Serie A side Napoli have not had a good start to the season with the current Scudetto holders lying in seventh place; eight points behind the leaders Inter. But after the latest disappointment – a scoreless draw in Bologna – the club’s official TikTok page posted a video that mocked or made fun of their star striker Victor Osimhen. This has lead the Nigerian striker’s agent to threaten to sue the club. An ugly story indeed.
One other ugly story from the past weekend involved Ajax who were losing 0-3 to their rivals Feyenoord in De Klassieker when their fans threw objects and flares onto the pitch causing the game to be abandoned after only 56 minutes. The re-scheduled game – the remaining 34 minutes – was played behind closed doors and Feyenoord scored another to win 4-0. But ugly scenes from the Eredivisie in the Netherlands.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from an Al-Hilal SC fan from Sudan)
Learn English Through Football Podcast: Liverpool and Tottenham 2023-24 Season Preview
Right, the Premier League season is now 6 weeks old and with the ‘Languagecaster derby’ taking place next weekend we thought it would be a good time to take a look at how our two favourite teams (Liverpool and Spurs) are doing this season. First up is Damon who will be talking about the first five games of the season (they also beat West Ham at the weekend so he’ll be even happier) and listen out for some of the following football phrases that he mentions – remember that you can find out more about these expressions by clicking on the links in the transcript which will take you to posts with explanations and examples:
- new manager bounce
- dug in (or dig deep is another way)
- to snatch victory
- come-from-behind victory
OK, here’s Damon.
Right, we’re five games into the season, so how do I think my team Liverpool are doing? Well, I think it’s been a great start with four wins and a draw… in the league. They opened the season with a tough away fixture at Chelsea, who were playing their first Premier League game under their new manager, Pochettino. So, a 1-1 draw was a good result when they faced the new manager bounce. Then, they had their new signing, MacAllister sent off playing against Bournemouth, but dug in to win 3-1.
The highlight so far though was the following match, a 2-1 win away at rivals for a top four spot Newcastle. 1-0 down and then Van Dijk is sent off, it looked an impossible task, especially as the Newcastle fans were really up for it. But the bench played a massive part in turning the game around. Jota and Elliot came on and started an aggressive press, and then Núñez was introduced and scored two late goals to snatch victory. An absolutely massive win. A tricky tie against in-form Aston Villa, was Liverpool’s most comfortably win, and then another come-from-behind victory away against Wolves has given us a great start.
So, good points – the attack looks great: Salah, Núñez, Diaz, Jota, Gakpo; any combination is strong. Add to that flying winger and youngster Ben Doak, and it is an exciting line up. The midfield has been totally revamped, with Henderson, Fabinho, Oxlade Chamberlain and Keita out; Mac Allister, Endo, Szoboszlai – what a player he is – in, and Gravenberch just added. A work in progress, but overall a young and skilful group. The back line is OK on paper, but a few injuries and that could cause trouble. One surprise though is how well youth team player, Quansah, has done at centre back, looking comfortable when he’s played.
How happy am I with the start, which also includes a win in the Europa League against LASK? Well, I’d say 8/10. Fewer goals conceded first would make me happier, the Reds have gone behind four times in their six games so far, but I’m excited to see how this squad develops. Klopp’s Liverpool 2.0 will be tested over their next fixtures: home against West Ham, and Spurs, away at Brighton, and then home again for the derby against Everton coming up in the league!
Great stuff from Damon. He must be so happy with the start from the Reds. Did you hear some of the words we mentioned beforehand?
- new manager bounce: He was talking about the new Chelsea manager.
- dug in (dig deep): Liverpool had to work really hard to get their victory
- bench: This refers to the players who came on as substitutes and helped change the game.
- to snatch victory: Liverpool won the game very, very late against Newcastle
- come-from-behind victory: Liverpool have won a few games this season despite going behind or losing at the start of the game
- conceded: The Reds have let in the first goal of a game on quite a few occasions
Now I am going to speak a little about Tottenham’s season so far but here are some of the words from my section:
- Director of Football: The person in charge of all football decisions at the club (including appointing the manager)
- Sent out on loan: This is when a player is given to another club for a short period of time
- To be resilient: To have a strong character, they can bounce back
- To let our heads drop: This means to continue to feel bad after a poor performance
Well, similar to Damon with regards to Liverpool, I am really happy with the start to the season from Spurs. Tottenham fans were worried in the summer as we lost our star striker and club record goalscorer Harry Kane to Bayern Munich, we also lost our Director of Football, club captain (that’s World Cup winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris) and it seemed that the club did not know who to appoint as manager after the bitter end to Antonio Conte’s reign. The club finally decided on Australian coach Ange Postecoglou who came from Scottish side Celtic where he had just won the treble. And just like that, everything changed at the club. New signings James Maddison, Micky van de Ven and new keeper Vicario all settled in immediately, while players who were either sent out on loan last season or could not get a game under Conte such as Yves Bissouma, Papa Sarr and Destiny Udogie, were brought straight into the team. Senior players including Lloris, Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg were told they could find another club and suddenly the team were one of the youngest and quickest in the Premier League.
Results have been good and after six games the team sits in fourth place with four wins and two draws – they are still unbeaten. Although the points total is similar to last season, this time round the team are playing in a much more attacking style with an emphasis on keeping possession. We are also more resilient so when we concede a goal we do not let our heads drop and stop playing which we did under previous managers Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho. We have been behind in four of our league games so far but have still gone on to get 8 points from these losing positions which is the best in the league. We came back twice away against Arsenal in the recent North London derby and beat Sheffield United with two goals after the 97th minute which was the latest that any team has ever done before. The manager is the key to all of this – helping to change the football philosophy of the club in such a short space of time, winning over supporters and helping players to rebuild their confidence. It is early in the season and we are an inexperienced side but things are definitely looking up for Spurs.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Irish)
Now regular listeners will remember that Damon and myself used to do a regular weekly predictions battle in which we tried to guess the scores from some of the big games each week and we thought it would be fun if we brought this feature back for this season. And we’re going to have a guest predictor each week also trying to predict the scores making it Damon versus Damian versus the guests! Remember, if we get the exact score right then we get three points while if we manage to get the right result but not the exact score then we get one point.
OK, let’s take a look at the games from this week which feature the Languagecaster derby – that’s Tottenham against Liverpool of course – the Basque derby from Spain and a top-of-the-table clash from the Bundesliga. But before we look at this week’s games let’s look at the current standings – I have 5 points, the guests have 4 and Damon has 3.
Tottenham v Liverpool
OK, first up is the Languagecaster derby between Damon’s favourite team Liverpool and my favourite side Spurs. Last season Liverpool won both these games after racing into an early lead that proved too much for Tottenham to come back from. We have already heard that both teams are in good form and playing well – Damon is really confident and has gone for a 5-0 away win. I am going to go for a 1-1 draw, while John, who is this week’s guest, has gone for a 2-2 draw.
Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao
Next up is the Basque derby which is of course Real Sociedad against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga. Both teams are in good form with Bilbao in fourth and Sociedad in fifth. I would normally go for a 1-1 draw in this game – which is what Damon has done – but this time I think Sociedad’s home advantage will be important. 1-0 for me. John has gone for a 3-0 victory for the side from San Sebastián – that’s Real Sociedad.
RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich
The big top-of-the-table clash in Germany sees joint leaders Bayern Munich travel to Leipzig to take on RB who are one point behind in fourth place. Remember that Leipzig have already beaten Munich this season – in the German Super Cup – but I don’t think they will do so here but I am going to go for a 1-1 draw – the same as John. Damon has gone for a 2-0 away win.
|Tottenham v Liverpool
|Real Sociedad v A Bilbao
|RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich
What do you think of our predictions? Let us know by adding them below the post, on our predictions forum or by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And next week we’ll be looking at the following three matches:
- Brighton v Liverpool
- Arsenal v Manchester City
- Juventus v Torino
And if you’d like to play for the guest team then send on a message to us at email@example.com or you could even send us an audio file – we’d love to hear from you.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Danish)
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (a fan from France).
DF: OK, if you have any questions or comments then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Threads, so come along and say hello. We also have a football-language forum where you can ask and answer any questions you have on the language of football and where you can also make your predictions – that’s where they are. Take a look at these posts there, do some of the quizzes that are there, add a comment or a question or simply say hi!
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Dutch).
DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from a Dutch football fan – the Dutch Women’s national team had a good win over the World Cup runners-up England this week in the Women’s UEFA Nations League. And many of the players from that game will be playing in the new WSL (that’s the Women’s Super League) here in England which kicks off this weekend.
Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast with lots and lots of vocabulary support. If you look at the posts on our site you can see that we explain lots and lots of the meanings of these words in the transcript, so just come along and have a look! OK, that’s it for this week’s podcast. Let us know if you hear any of the phrases that we’ve used on today’s show – in any language of course. And don’t forget to look out for our predictions and enjoy all the football this weekend. We’ll see you again soon when we’ll be looking at some more football language. Bye bye!
Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.