The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Independiente, a Little Englander and Fabrice Muamba

[print_link] | Subscribe: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

On this week’s review section salute a thriller in Buenos Aires, we shake our heads at an arrogant Englishman, and hope Fabrice Muamba makes a full recovery. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.


independienteWell, Messi is Barcelona’s all time top goal scorer, but to be honest he’s been in our good section so often that this week we’re looking somewhere else – It could be Bayern and Dortmund reaching the German Cup final or Napoli and Juve doing the same in the Italian Cup, or perhaps the return of Carlos Tevez and his exquisite lay-off for Nasri to score the winning goal for City over Chelsea. All of these were good, but we’re going to back to a week and a half ago and an extraordinary game in Argentina that saw Independiente beat Boca Juniors 5-4 at the Bombonero. Ernesto Farias scored a hatrick in this pulsating game. Boca had made a comeback from two goals down and were leading 4-3 with one minute to go. Then Farias completed his hatrick with two goals, one in the 90th minute and then a last-gasp winner in injury time. What a game that must have been!  


ricachardsBad – yes, but embarrassing, banal, and narrow minded are some of the words that come to mind when reflecting on the Premier League Chairman, Dave Richards’ comments last week. Speaking at a sports conference in Doha, Richards aggressively accused FIFA of stealing football from England. He then branded UEFA a gang, and said they stole the game from the English, too. Although he is not an English FA representative, his words must have damaged the all ready weak position of England in FIFA and UEFA – England is often accused of being arrogant and many believe this is the reason England was not awarded the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Richards rant included comments such as, ‘We gave them (the world) the game’, ‘We owned the game’, ‘We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.’ Languagecaster hopes that Richards stops being a little Englander and shuts up.


muambaThe biggest news in the football world this week has to be the collapse of Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton player, who is still in a serious condition after suffering cardiac arrest in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham last weekend. In front of shocked players and fans, medics battled on the pitch to keep the 23-year old’s heart beating and he was finally driven to a specialist heart hospital to receive more emergency care. It was a reminder to all football fans, players and coaches that this kind of event can happen, even to professional athletes and good medical care should be on hand at all times. In 2007, Clive Clark, a Leicester City player collapsed at half time with a heart attack but was revived and survived, but in the same year in Spain, Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta tragically died after suffering multiple heart attacks. Like everyone in the football world, we are hoping for a speedy and full recovery for Fabrice.


lay off: a short pass for another player to run on to

Bombonero: ‘the nickname for Boca Juniors ground – ‘the chocolate box’

hatrick: three goals cored by the same player

last-gasp winner: a goal that wins a game in extra time or the last minute of play (see English for football)

narrow minded: intolerant; prejudiced; lacking a wide range of views

to brand: to name; to call; to mark

arrogant: self-important; believing you are the best; thinking you are superior

little Englander: someone who believes foreign influences are damaging England’s culture; a (English) nationalist; someone who believes England is better than other countries

cardiac arrest: a heart attack (when the heart cannot get enough blood and stops)

on hand: close by; available; easy to reach

Hosted by

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!
Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Thanks for adding some historical background to this term. However, as you point out, in common usage the term is used to mean a bigoted and/or intolerant (of other cultures) English person rather than the more nuanced definition that you propose.

  • Your definition of ‘Little Englander’ is incorrect.

    Little Englanders was an insult coined by the British establishment and leveled at English people who took the principled stance against expansion of the British Empire around the time of the Boer War in South Africa.

    Modern Little Englanders want independence for England – not because they think England is better than other countries but because under current arrangements England has no parliament – despite parliamentary democracy being invented in England.

    Those who hate the English have twisted to term Little Englander 180 degrees to mean intolerant and bigoted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Little Englanders want the same rights for the English as every other country has.

More from this show

The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 216