In this football language podcast for learners of English who love the beautiful game, we look at some language that describes a team’s performance over a series of matches, including: ‘in a row‘; ‘consecutively‘ and ‘on the bounce‘. You can read a 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.

Learning English Through Football Podcast: In a row

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Languagecaster.com team and we hope you are all well and staying safe. We also want to wish a Happy New Year to all our listeners around the world. Now, how did your team get on over the festive period? I saw my favourite team Spurs play three times and they picked up seven points with two wins and a draw so not too bad at all.

Now, on this week’s football language podcast for learners of English who love the beautiful game, we look at some examples of language that describe a team’s performance over a series or run of matches, including: ‘in a row‘; ‘consecutive‘ and ‘on the bounce‘.

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

In a row

Example: Why does 10-in-a-row matter so much? (BBC.co.uk, July 2020)
Now, in this example here from the BBC looks at whether Celtic could win their tenth Scottish title in a row. So this phrase ‘in a row‘ has a meaning of one after the other – think about it as lining up the games or titles in a line. In football, if we hear this phrase it is usually describing a list of matches that have taken place one after the other. So, an in-form team can maybe win six games in a row – they win six matches one after the other. Of course, we can also use this phrase when a team is not playing so well – when a team loses a number of games in a row it means they have no wins or draws just defeat after defeat.

On the bounce/On the spin

‘Despite a largely heroic defensive effort, Watford lose their fourth home game on the bounce‘, (Guardian.co.uk, January 1st 2022)
So these two phrases also have a similar meaning to the phrase ‘in a row‘ as they both describe how a team performs over a run of matches: on the bounce and on the spin. I think on the bounce is slightly more common than on the spin but you will hear both of these phrases used when describing a good or bad run in football. So in the example from the recent Guardian report on the Spurs win at Watford, it means that even though Watford played well they lost again – they lost for the fourth time in a row, for the fourth time on the spin or on the bounce.

In succession/Successive/Consecutive

Man City break more records after winning 15th successive game at Swansea in the FA Cup (Sky Sports.co.uk, February 2021)
Another couple of phrases that are used to describe this phenomenon include successive and in succession. In the example from Sky Sports we can see how they describe Manchester City’s 15th win in a row – they won their 15th successive game, while we could also say that they had won their 15th game in succession. Another way of saying this would be that Manchester City won 15 consecutive matches.

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

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Catalan. Right, that’s it for this podcast in which we looked at phrases all connected to describing runs or series of matches or wins, losses and titles, including in a row, in succession and consecutive.

Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. We also have a football language forum where fans of the beautiful game can ask and answer questions on all kinds of football language – come along and join in the football language discussion. OK, enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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