On this week’s show Damon and Damian discuss some of the news related to the Champions League (CL) groups, which were announced last Thursday. There are also some football phrases discussed, related to penalties and the awarding of yellow and red cards – harsh and clear cut. The show finishes with a look at three of the big games in the Premier League in week 3 of the season. There is also a transcript for those who wish to practise their reading and listening skills (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).
Learning English Through Football Podcast: CL Groups
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Transcript of the show
DB: You are listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hi everyone. My name’s Damon and I’m back in Tokyo after meeting up with Damian last week in London. Damian is now in France, but I’m hoping he is at the other end of the line. Damian, how is Paris?
DF: Paris is fantastic – the weather is bright and sunny and the city is loving their team PSG and their new star Neymar Jr. We saw lots of fans wearing his shirt name on Friday night as they travelled out to the stadium for the game against St Etiennne which they won comfortably 3-0. And how about Tokyo?
DB: The summer heat is still here but at least the sun is shining and there has been lots of football to enjoy. Now, you might not want to hear this question, but you went to see your team Spurs versus Chelsea last weekend. Tottenham have moved to Wembley as they build their new stadium, can you tell us how it was watching them playing in a different ground?
DF: It’s not White Hart Lane so although the atmosphere was great – there were over 75.000 fans there – I didn’t feel it was as good as our old ground. That could be because of the fact we were very high up making the view rather distant – and of course the defeat! I have posted some photos which you can see on our Instagram account. Ok, now, let’s get started with the show. Damon, what are we going to be talking about this week?
DB: Well, Damian, it was the week when the Champions League play-off games finished and the groups were decided, so we’ll take a quick look at that in our good, bad and ugly section – the part of the show when we look at the footballing news – and after that, we have a couple of football phrases that you might hear when discussing penalties and yellow and red cards – and they are clear cut and harsh.
DF: OK, and have we got predictions this week?
DB: Yes we do. I can tell you that you are leading the predictions battle with 15 points after two weeks with Johnny Magicboots second on 13 followed by HP Sauce on 12 – I’m not even on the leader board! Anyway, we have three games to talk about, including Liverpool against Arsenal – which kicks off in a few hours. There’s usually goals in this one!
You are listening to Languagecaster.com (in Korean)
DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and remember, if you want to contact us just come along to languagecaster.com. You can contact us through Facebook, through Twitter, we’ve also got a forum, and you can also contact us by email.
DB: Right, let’s kick off the good, the bad and the ugly and this week, we focus on the Champions League.
DB: And I’m going to start with good for Liverpool, who dominated Hoffenheim at Anfield winning 4-2 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate to put themselves in the group stages. They will also be pretty pleased with their group, which doesn’t look as tough as others. The Reds will face Spartak Moscow, the Russian champions, Sevilla, who of course beat them in the Europa League final in 2016, and Maribor from Slovenia. Perhaps more importantly though, qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League may mean it will be easier to keep hold of Coutinho, who Barcelona have been interested in signing, and also perhaps attracting some high profile players in the last week of the transfer window. How about bad, Damian?
DF: Well it was a pretty bad draw for Chelsea in the Champions League. Group C contains Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, and Qarabag. There is a fair amount of needle between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid with the latter wanting to bring Diego Costa back to La Liga, annoying the London club in the process of course. But more than that the Spanish side have proved very capable in European competitions and their strong defence will be hard to break down. The Italian side Roma, although they have sold several key players, will pose a tough test and not many teams will want to travel the long distance to Qarabag in Azerbaijan. Not exactly a group of death, but definitely uncomfortable.
DB: Well, very bad for Nice as they were knocked out of the Champions League qualifying round by Napoli. The team was poor all round but they will be particularly frustrated with last season’s star, Balotelli, who was complaining to the fourth official about having to cover up a bracelet when Napoli scored their first goal in the second game of the tie. His behaviour was incredibly unprofessional, as it meant his team were down to 10 men when Napoli scored a crucial away goal which basically put the tie to bed, made it impossible for Nice to recover.
DB: Right, now last week we didn’t have a quiz question but, never fear, its back this week! We’d like to know who are the current Asian Champions League holders, the winners of the Asian Champions League. So, not the European version but the top club in Asia. Answer at the end of the show.
DF: As we mentioned before you can follow us via all the usual places – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, and we’d like to thank all those who liked, followed, retweeted us this week. Spread the word and give us any questions you have on footballing language and we’ll be happy to answer them.
DB: And we have had a question from Martin Riganti who wrote to us here at languagecaster.com to ask:
“How do you call a player that holds the ball for himself and doesn’t pass it along? That one that likes to play alone?”
DF: Thanks for the question Martin, I think this means that a player is selfish and doesn’t want to pass to his or her team mates so we would maybe use the phrase ‘ball hog‘ or maybe simply describe the player as being too individualistic and not a team player. Any other questions Damon?
DB: Yes, we’ve also had a question on Facebook from Amadeu who wrote to us from Brazil about the adjective ‘swashbuckling.’
DF: Well, this means that the side likes to attack a lot and that they are always looking to go forward and try to score goals. Manchester City’s team under Pep Guardiola have been described as a ‘swashbuckling side’.
Right, next up we have some football phrases connected to referees decision making.
Football Language: Harsh
DB: First up is the word ‘harsh’. This is often used when talking about when yellow or red cards are given. A referee has to decide when to award a foul, a yellow card, or a red card. If most people watching disagree with the referee, they may say the decision was harsh – it means the referee chose a severe option when most people would not have done so. So, a phrase like ‘the yellow card was harsh‘ means the speaker thinks the referee was severe and even unfair – maybe 8 out of 10 people wouldn’t have given a yellow card. We can also use it as an adverb, ‘the player was harshly red-carded‘. An example is this headline: Zidane confirms Real Madrid to appeal Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘harsh’ red card against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup.
Any other language caught your eye?
Football Language: Clear Cut
DF: When a penalty is awarded, fans and pundits talk about the decision. Was it a good decision? Was it a harsh decision? Was it a mistake by the referee? If everyone agrees that it was a penalty, you can use clear cut in a phrase, as in ‘It was a clear-cut penalty‘. This means there was no doubt, everyone can see that the decision was correct; there is no argument. When a penalty decision is not clear cut, you might use the phrase ‘It was a harsh penalty.’ In a BBC report is the following example: Cambridge United boss Jez George tells BBC Radio Cambridgeshire he believes his side should have won a “clear-cut” penalty in the second half against Wrexham. (BBC)
DB: OK, next up it’s predictions. Come along to languagecaster.com and try and see if you can beat myself or Damian or the other predictors. Just register, for free, and follow the links to 2017-18 Predictions Competition. We will have a pre-Christmas leader and season winner prize for those who can last the whole season, but you can also play for a week or a month – it’s up to you. 3 points for a perfect score and 1 for the correct result. Now what do you think about the first tie on our list – Liverpool v Arsenal?
Predictions: Liverpool vs Arsenal
DB: Now, Liverpool have a pretty good record against Arsenal recently and have handed out some real spankings, 5-1 in 2014 and 3-1 last year. The Reds look on fire up front but concerns about their defence remain. Despite that, I’m going to go for a 2-0 home win. You?
DF: I’m going for a 1-1 draw – Arsenal need a good performace after their defeat last week at Stoke. Yes, 1-1.
Chelsea vs Everton
DB: Next is Chelsea v Everton. Everton had a good display against Manchester City last time out while Chelsea will be buoyed after their late winner against London rivals Tottenham. The Blues are at home and the Toffees last visit to London resulted in a 5-0 hiding. This Everton team is more resilient though and I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw. How about you Damian?
DF: This will be an interesting game with two very physically strong sides facing each other – maybe another 1-1 draw for me.
Huddersfield v Southampton
DB: Finally this wasn’t the most glamorous tie, but the Terriers, the nickname of the newly promoted side, Huddersfield Town, could have gone three wins in a row if they had beaten Southampton. The tie ended in a draw 0-0, which still means the team I tipped to be relegated have got 7 points out of a possible nine and remain undefeated. I thought they would win so no points there. Damian?
DF: Well, I don’t know why I’m laughing at you. I went for a Southampton away win so no points for me either – a bit like West Ham in the Premier League!
Quiz question answer
DB: And before we go, here’s the answer to our quiz question. We wanted to know the winner of the Asian Champions League last season, and the answer is the Korean team Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, who beat Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates 3-2 over two legs. Well done if you got that right!
DB: OK, thanks everybody for listening. Enjoy all of the football, ta-ra!
DF: See you next week when we will be looking at the latest World Cup qualifiers.