Every week during the 2010-11 season, the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliché for learners of English who love the sport. This time we look at the phrase ‘to squander a lead’ which is connected to comebacks. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase and you can also read the transcript below that. You can find many more examples by going to our football clichés here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here: To squander a lead.mp3


This week’s English for football phrase is to to squander a lead which means that one team builds up a lead but then does not go on to win the game. The verb to squander means to waste something in an extravagant fashion and can collocate, or link, with words such as talent or money – The player squandered his talent. The noun lead refers to the situation when one team is beating another – a 2-0 lead for instance. Last weekend in a spectacular game from the Premier League, Arsenal raced to a 4-0 lead over Newcastle United but the home side scored 4 second-half goals to complete a remarkable comeback. However, Arsenal’s title hopes were badly hit after they squandered their lead. To squander a lead.

  • Example: Hibs squander lead to go back to bad old ways (Times, December 1st 2019)
  • Example: Ancelotti sees red as Napoli twice squander lead to draw with Atalanta (Bridgwater Mercury, 30 October 2019).
  • Example: Jose Mourinho admits stats speak for themselves as Spurs squander another lead (FourFourTwo.com, April 2021)
Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and if you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com

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