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Weekly Football Phrase: On the back/front foot

On the back/front footWhat is the meaning of the phrase ‘On the back/front foot’ in football?

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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On the back/front foot

When a team is playing well and putting on lots of pressure on their opponents we say that they are on the front foot and conversely when the team is under pressure we say they are on the back foot. If a team is on the back foot it probably means that they are having to defend a lot and have been pushed back from their opponents’ goal. To be on the back foot/ To be on the front foot.

  • Example: The team was on the front foot and pushing for the winning goal.
  • Example: England were on the back foot after their captain had been sent off.

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