Learn English Through Football Podcast: Premier League Opening Weekend and 2023 Women’s World Cup

In this football language podcast we look back at some of the big moments from the opening weekend of the 2023-24 Premier League season, while we also feature the 2023 Women’s World Cup which is down to the semi-final stage. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our 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 admin@languagecaster.com.

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Learn English Through Football Podcast: Premier League Opening Weekend and 2023 Women’s World Cup

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 a little grey but of course that’s perfect weather for playing football! I wonder what the weather is like in Tokyo where the other member of the Learning English Through Football team, Damon, is based? Now apologies for the delay in this podcast – there were a few technical diffculties – but it does mean that there will be a host of podcasts – lots of podcasts – for you to listen to over the next few days!

So, on this week’s football-language podcast, I will be looking back at a phrase from the Women’s World Cup, by the way, who would have thought that a Women’s World Cup quarter- final sage would not include Germany or the USA? I’ll also be explaining a phrase or two from the opening matches from the 2023-24 Premier League season: ‘smash and grab‘ and ‘fresh legs‘.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from a Japanese fan)

Yes, that message was from a Japanese fan and and yes, you are listening to Languagecaster.com. Now, don’t forget to come along to our site at Languagecaster.com where you can hear more podcasts on the 2023 Women’s World Cup and also you can access all our other football-language podcasts – we have hundreds of them that date back over the last 15 years.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from Vietnamese fans)

Right, it was the opening day of the 2023-24 Premier League season and the quarter-finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup over the weekend and here are a couple of phrases from those matches. First of all I explain the phrase, ‘fresh legs‘ from the Liverpool versus Chelsea game and then I look at the expression ‘smash and grab‘ after Fulham defeated Everton before finally explaining why the Swedish coach used the term ‘bumblebee‘ to describe their players.

Chelsea v Liverpool: Fresh Legs

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‘We needed stability and we needed fresh legs. It was super intense for everybody. That’s all I can say about it. His reaction was absolutely OK.’ (BBC.co.uk August 2023)
This was one of the games of the weekend as Liverpool and Chelsea battled to a 1-1 draw in west London – it was a game played at 100 miles an hour with both teams attacking a lot (we can say that it was an end-to-end game). The Liverpool manager Klopp was asked about why he substituted his star striker Mo Salah and he said that the team needed fresh legs which suggests that Salah (and Liverpool) were tired and needed some energy from the bench. Of course, many wondered if there was a problem between the manager and his striker after a strong reaction from Salah after being substituted. Fresh legs: I think a lot of managers are making substitutions to bring on fresh legs at this time of the year because of course players have just come back from pre-season training.

Everton v Fulham: Smash and Grab

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This was a smash and grab victory from Fulham, riding their luck for large periods of the game before hitting Everton with a sucker-punch to take home all three points. (BBC.co.uk August 2023)
This is how the BBC described the game. Everton have been tipped by many pundits to go down to the Championship, which means they will be relegated to the lower division, and this result – a 1-0 loss at home to Fulham – looks like a confirmation of this. But actually Everton played well and created lots of chances (19 of them) which (unfortunately) they were unable to take and when Fulham scored with one of only two shots on target they went home with all three points. We can call this kind of result a ‘smash and grab‘ win which is a phrase taken from robberies  and the world of crime but means in football that a team has won a game in a rather undeserving manner. So, even though they were outplayed they still won the game.

2023 Women’s World Cup Quarter-final – Sweden 2-1 Japan: Bumblebee

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The Swedish team defeated Japan in the World Cup quarter-final with a performance that may have surprised many. The Swedish side were expected to defend in numbers and then try to win on counter attacks or create a chance from a set piece but instead they put lots of pressure on the ball and made it very difficult for the Japanese team to keep the ball and to maintain any rhythm. The Swedish coach said ‘that his players were like bumblebees because they were all over the field pressing the opposition’ (BBC). What a fantastic way to describe the hard-working team! 

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Korean)


Don’t forget that you can find out more about these and hundreds more football-language phrases by coming along to our football-language glossary here at Languagecaster.com.

Football Language Glossary

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (a Zambian fan).


DF: OK, if you have any questions or comments then drop us an email at admin@languagecaster.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and on the new platform Threads, while we will be posting some material on our new YouTube page very soon too – 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 we have also been posting a daily post from the 2023 Women’s World Cup that look at some of the key phrases including, ‘curled home‘ and ‘red mist‘.  So, take a look at these posts on the forum, 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 French).


DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from a French football fan – they were disappointed to go out of the tournament on penalties – the longest ever penalty shoot-out in Women’s World Cup history. Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast with lots of vocabulary support – we explain lots of the meanings of these words in the transcript, which you can access by coming along to our site.

OK, that’s it for this podcast in which we looked back at the 2023 Women’s World Cup quarter-final stage and the opening day of the 2023-24 Premier League season. We looked at the phrases, ‘smash and grab‘; ‘fresh legs‘ and ‘bumblebees‘ – remember that’s how the Swedish coach described their players after their World Cup quarter final win over Japan. Let us know if you hear any of the phrases that we’ve used on today’s show – in any language of course. And enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon when we will be looking at more football language. Bye bye!

Related Vocabulary

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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.

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at languagecaster.com.

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2023 Women's World CupEpisode 240