Weekly Football Phrase: Form is temporary, class is permanent

Every week the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliché for learners of English who love the sport. 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 huge football glossary here. If you have any suggestions or questions about football language then contact us at admin@languagecaster.com. You can also access our huge football glossary to find more football language explanations.

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This week’s English for football is a cliche – ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent.’ This cliche is made up of two short statements. The first, form is temporary, means that form, or a player’s current level, their recent performances, are transitory, or will change soon, are not lasting. The second statement, class is permanent, means that class, or natural ability, skill, a player’s real level, is permanent. Permanent means unchanging, something that lasts forever. So when you put these two statements together in the cliche, ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent‘, you are emphasizing the fact that we shouldn’t judge a player on their recent games, but on a longer look at their playing history.

A good player doesn’t change into a bad player suddenly. An example of this is Fernando Torres of Liverpool, who has suffered poor form for some months now, but who scored two great goals against Chelsea and played very well indeed. He showed us that form is temporary, class is permanent.

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  • Example: ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent‘ – Solskjaer backs Martial to come good for Man Utd (Goal.com, February 14 2021)
  • Example: They say that form is temporary and class is permanent, something that the 30-year-old [Heung-min Son] certainly proved in north London (Talksport.com September 17 2022)
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
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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!
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