Poke Home- Football Language Podcast: 2021-22 Season

This football language podcast features language from the Estonia vs Wales World Cup Qualifier, including to poke home. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, and you can also access 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 please contact us at admin@languagecaster.com or leave a question or comment on our forum. (DB=Damon)

Poke Home- Football Language Podcast: 2021-22 Season

DB: You’re listening to languagecaster.com’s football language podcast.  Hi everyone, my name’s Damon, one half of the Languagecaster team. I’m recording this in a cool, cloudy Japan after watching some of the World Cup qualifier highlights. And, on this podcast, we’re going to focus on some football language from one of those qualifiers, Estonia versus Wales played in Tallin. First of all though, congratulations to Germany, who became the first team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup by beating North Macedonia 4-0 away. Not a surprise that the four-time winners will be going again.

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

DB: Thank you for that message, which was of course in German. Right, let’s kick off with some language connected with the game between Estonia and Wales, which the Welsh won 1-0. We’ll start with poke home.

Poke Home

DB: Right, this phrase comes from descriptions of Welsh forward, Moore’s, important winning goal. Here is the Guardian: (the goalkeeper) ‘could not prevent Moore poking home from a few inches.’ And here is the BBC’s description: ‘Kieffer Moore poked in from a yard out to give his attack-minded but defensively shaky side a half-time lead.’

Notice that both emphasise that the striker was close to the goal : a few inches and a yard, which is about a metre. To poke the ball is to kick it, usually with the end of your foot, your toes, and so it often describes a quick, reaction kick from inside the six-yard area. If there was more power in the action, it might be described as being stabbed home or stabbed in.


DB: Notice also that the Guardian description adds home after the verb – poke home. In this case, home means in the goal, and so a verb plus home equals to score. There are a number of verbs we can use in this way. Some of the most common are to head home, to fire home, and to sweep home.

Of course, ‘home’ also refers to a team’s home ground. If they play at home, they play at their stadium. If they play away, they travel to their opponent’s ground. But in this case ‘home‘, as we’ve talked about, refers to the goal.

Rode their luck

DB: Let’s go back to the BBC description and its mention of Wales’ play in general. Wales were ‘attack-minded but defensively shaky’. Defensively shaky means they had a lot of problems at the back and allowed a lot of chances. Estonia actually had a lot of chances and Wales rode their luck. We use to ride their luck when we want to say a team was lucky not to concede, or the opponents were unlucky not to score.

So, in this game, Estonia had several good chances which were either saved or missed. While we can say Wales rode their luck, we might also say that Estonia will rue their missed chances, with to rue meaning to regret.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.co m (in Welsh).

Good Bye

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that was in Welsh! Right, that brings us to the end of this short football language podcast. Remember these phrases – poke home, stab home, rode their luck and  rue their misses. 

Drop us a line anytime at admin@languagecaster.com. Remember, you can read the transcript for the show by coming along to our website at languagecaster.com and post on our forum! Enjoy all the football. Ta-ra!

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