No way, JoseIn this football language post we explain a newspaper headline from the Guardian newspaper in the UK (March 2020 adapted from The Week, March 2020) which is about Tottenham’s Champions League defeat against Leipzig. You can see more explanations of newspaper headlines here and don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Newspaper Headline: No way, José

This headline is from the Guardian (March 2020 adapted from The Week, March 2020) and uses a popular phrase ‘No way, Jose’ to explain Tottenham’s defeat against RB Leipzig in the Champions League last 16 earlier this week. The phrase means that something is impossible to do – it is not going to happen – and in this case obviously refers to Tottenham manager José Mourinho as he watched his side being dumped out of the competition after their 3-0 defeat in Germany.

The next part of the heading is divided into two parts – the first one uses alliteration (this is when words beginning with the same letter are used together) to highlight the defeat (‘Tame Tottenham tumble out of Champions League’). Tame is an adjective that here means that Spurs were weak and didn’t really react, while to tumble out is to be knocked out or dumped out of the competition. The second part highlights their opponents (Leipzig) and in particular how their win has added more pressure onto Mourinho – ‘after Leipzig pile on agony’ which means that they have given the Tottenham boss even more pain (agony). A re-write of the headline could look something like: ‘The poor Champions League defeat of Spurs adds to Mourinho’s pain’.

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