Andrei Arshavin, AZ Alkmaar and Serie A all feature on this week’s good, the bad and the ugly section of languagecaster’s football podcast. Click on the links below to find out more on all of these stories. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the page.
It was a lethal display by Arshavin, the Russian, as he fired four past Liverpool at Anfield. the Arsenal man is the first player to do that in the league for over sixty years. If anyone is wondering, the Wolverhampton player Dennis Westcott was the last player to do it. The game ended a 4-4 draw and means they have scored four or more goals six times in the last eight matches – surely the most exciting team around!
In Holland, AZ Alkmaar win the title with three games still to go despite losing to Vitesse Arnhem. Ajax, the only club who could mathematically catch them were crushed 6-2 by PSV Eindhoven the following day handing the title to Alkmaar. It’s the second time they have done it – the first coming 28 years ago in 1981.
And briefly, in the Super Clasico in Mexico, Guadalajara, or ‘Chivas’ beat bitter rivals America 1-0. And in Brazil, Ronaldo scores again for Corinthians as they win 2-0 against Sao Paulo and he continues his recovery.
The showcase Wembley pitch, which hosted the two FA Cup semi-finals in England, has been criticised by Wenger and Ferguson for its poor quality and playing surface. It seems the football pitch is coming second to money concerns in the list of priorities, as Wembley hosts concerts and other events to pay off its debt. But while we’re on the subject of Wembley and FA Cup semis, wasn’t it great to see the tremendous support the Everton fans gave their team in their win over Manchester United.
It was time to gang up on Liverpool’s boss Benitez last week as Fergie and Allardyce launched a coordinated attack on the Spanish manager. Apparently they took offence at a ‘gesture‘ that was meant to signal that the game was over at 2-0 against Blackburn. They said it showed contempt for Allardyce and his team and Fergie said it was ‘beyond the pale‘. Most pundits realise Benitez was signalling to his team that he’s made a mistake and the players were correct when they used a long ball instead of a short pass from a free kick. Bad and sad but at least the Manchester United and Blackburn bosses didn’t get much support for their comments.
Racist chanting by Juve fans saw the Italian Serie A club ordered by FIFA to play a game behind closed doors. Juventus fans had targeted Mario Balotelli, born in Italy but whose parents are Ghanaian. Sad and Ugly, but good to see that Balotelli scored the equaliser for his team Inter which effectively put an end to Juve’s hopes of the title.
Here are some of the words and phrases from the good, the bad and the ugly section from this week’s show. You can download the podcast here
lethal: deadly, dangerous
fired past: scored, usually with a powerful shot
be crushed: be defeated / be beaten badly, lose by a large score (3-0, 4-0 etc)
hand the title to: give the title to, do something for someone
list of priorities: list of important things
tremendous: fantastic, great
gang up on: bully, join together to attack someone, to pressurise someone
contempt: disregard, disrespect, disgust, hatred
beyond the pale: something that can’t be forgiven, so terrible that no one can ignore it
behind closed doors: with no fans