Learn English Through Football Podcast: Season 2022-23: Rooted to the Spot

This football language podcast for learners of English, looks at the phrase ‘rooted to the spot’ and other language related to it. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, and you can also access our huge 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.

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Season 2022-23: Rooted to the Spot

football languageDB: Hi there everyone! Welcome to the football language podcast for everyone who enjoys football and also wants to learn the language of football in English. My name is Damon, one half of the languagecaster team. I’m currently in a cloudy, cool Japan, as autumn has arrived. Damian, the other half of the team is in London. I wonder how he is feeling after his side, Tottenham got all three points by beating Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 away. I know how I’m feeling about football at the moment – not great!  And this is because Arsenal have just beaten the team I support Liverpool 3-2. Oh well, there is always the next match!

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (Turkish)

Rooted to the Spot

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com, and that message was in Turkish.

Embed from Getty Images

OK, let’s turn to some football language, and we’re going to focus on a minute-by-minute report in the Guardian on the match I mentioned at the start of the show: Brighton vs Tottenham. Here is a description of a shot by Brighton.

MacAllister tees up March, just to the right of the Spurs D. He takes a touch inside and creams a low drive millimetres wide of the right-hand post. Had that been on target, Lloris, rooted to the spot, was never getting there. Brighton getting closer and closer.

Now, in that description we have Lloris, the Tottenham goalkeeper was rooted to the spot. This phrase means to stand still, to not move. Your legs and feet are stuck to the ground, almost like a tree trunk and its roots, which keep it in the ground. In a  football match, we want players to be mobile to move, especially goalkeepers if there is a shot. Here, Lloris does not move at all, and the shot flies towards the goal. He is rooted to the spot.

(to) Cream a shot

DB: So, why doesn’t Lloris move? Well, the shot is hit so hard, the keeper has no time to react. Maybe a defender is also standing in front of the keeper. The commentary says March creams a low drive wide of the post. To cream a shot or cream the ball is to hit it fiercely; to hit it hard. You may hear someone say, she absolutely creamed it into the top corner. She hit the ball hard and scored.

Low Drive (piledriver)

In the description we are focused on, the shot is described as a low drive, so the ball is driven, hit hard, along the ground or just above the ground. A related word is a piledriver – a really hard shot.

So, March drove the ball hard towards the goal, he creamed a low drive. Lloris didn’t move, he was rooted to the spot.

(to) Tee Up

DB: We also have one more nice football phrase n the description, to tee up. Those familiar with golf will understand this phrase. In golf, the tee is what you place the golf ball on before taking your shot. In football, as a verb, to tee someone up, notice the preposition up, to tee up, means to create a chance for someone to score.

MacAllistar tees up March, he gives a pass to March which is a good shooting opportunity.

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


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Italian. OK. We looked at some phrases from the match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur: rooted to the spot, to cream, as well as low drive and piledriver, and finally, to tee someone up.

Remember, that if you want to ask any football-language questions or simply say hello then you can do so by adding a comment on our site here at languagecaster.com or by using our forum. You can also send us an email at admin@languagecaster.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


DB: Right, that’s it for this short football-language podcast and we’ll be back soon with more football as the build up to the World Cup continues. Oh yes, remember we have a predictions competition on our site. Why don’t you check it out. Ta-ra.

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
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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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