This Week: Premier League Kick-off
Welcome to This Week from Premier Skills English, a weekly review of football action for learners of English from across the globe. In This Week, Rich and Jack talk about the latest action from the Premier League and have lots of football English for you to learn.
This Week: Premier League kick-off
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to our weekly round-up section called ‘This Week’ on Premier Skills English.
Rich: Hi there. I’m Rich. We’ve got lots of interesting words and phrases to help you talk about football in English.
Jack: If you are listening to this podcast on Apple podcasts or Spotify or watching this podcast on youtube, you can also visit the Premier Skills English website at britishcouncil.org/premierskillsenglish where you’ll be able to download the podcast.
Rich: On the podcast page on Premier Skills English, you can read the transcript and join the Premier Skills English community by completing a language task in the comments section. This will really help you remember the new words and phrases we talk about from the stories from the Premier League.
Jack: The words and phrases we are looking at this week are: a full house, to step up, upset, debut, a comfortable win and to set up. Listen out for these phrases in the headlines and stories.
Rich: After we look at the language we’ll have a task for you to do and then we have a couple of other sections at the end of the show.
Jack: We’ll announce our Player of the Week, we have a Premier League Prediction and we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Rich: All these sections are designed for you to interact with us and other listeners in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: OK, let’s hear this week’s three football stories!
Rich: Spurs stun Champions as Premier League crowds return.
Jack: This weekend saw the first Premier League football in front of full capacity crowds in over a year. Tottenham had their fans behind them as they got their season off to a winning start. Spurs beat Manchester City in front of a full house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Son Heung min stepped up in Harry Kane’s absence to score the only goal of the game.
Rich: It was great to have crowds back, wasn't it?
Jack: Yeah, the atmosphere was sensational across the country to be honest. I think I’d nearly forgotten what a full capacity stadium sounded like.
Rich: And that’s the meaning of the first bit of vocabulary that we want to focus on this week. Jack said that Spurs beat Manchester City in front of a full house.
Jack: This phrase comes from the theatre originally but it can now be used for any public venue. If a theatre was full, that is, if all the seats had someone sitting in them, then they would say it was a full house.
Rich: It feels a bit strange describing a stadium as a house.
Jack: Because it’s so large?
Rich: No. I think it’s because it doesn’t have a roof.
Jack: But we do.
Rich: Yes. When a stadium is full, when every seat is taken, you can say that there’s a full house.
Jack: I read a story about a manager who said he was worried that his players might be a bit daunted or intimidated by a full house.
Rich: For some players, it’s going to have been a long time since they played in front of a large crowd.
Jack: I wonder if they were more nervous or excited.
Rich: One player who certainly wasn’t worried about the pressure was Son Heung-min.
Jack: No - he played really well. Harry Kane wasn’t playing on Sunday so this meant Son Heung-min had to take on the role of leader up front - and against the champions.
Rich: But he didn’t flinch or wobble. He took on the challenge and responsibility and led his club.
Jack: And that’s the meaning of the second bit of language we want to focus on. The phrasal verb to step up. This means to take action when there is an opportunity or a need.
Rich: I think we use it more when there’s a problem that someone needs to solve. In Son Heung-min’s case, the problem was not having Harry Kane up front. He stepped up and filled the Kane shaped gap in attack.
Jack: And he did a good job in that role and scored the winning goal.
Rich: Let’s move on to our second headline.
Jack: Brentford upset Arsenal on opening day.
Rich: There was a big upset in the opening Premier League fixture as Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0 on their debut in the competition. Goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard were enough for a famous win for the Bees.
Jack: A great win for Brentford but not a good start for Arsenal. I’m a bit disappointed; I was never confident that we’d get a result.
Rich: It can be difficult against promoted teams on the opening day on the other hand …
Jack: Yeah, OK, but well done to Brentford they played really well. Let’s look at some language.
There are two words that we want to look at. Upset and debut. Which do you think we should look at first, Jack?
Jack: Upset - let’s get it out of the way. Upset can be an adjective, a verb and a noun. The adjective form is the simplest. It means unhappy or worried. It’s not quite as strong as sad ...
Rich: But it’s stronger than miffed or peeved. I think it’s closest to down. I’m feeling down - I’m feeling upset.
Jack: When we use it as a verb, it means to make somebody feel upset. I have to tell my kids not to upset each other. What upsets you Rich?
Rich: I get upset when my team are beaten. Does that upset you, Jack?
Jack: And we can use the word upset as a noun to describe an event that made people feel upset. This is commonly used in sport to describe a result that surprised people. So I was upset by the upset this weekend - it made me upset.
Rich: But it was great for Brentford. It was always going to be a big day for them. Hosting the Gunners on the first day of the new season in their shiny stadium. In front of a capacity crowd and then pulling off a win like that!
Jack: Yes - an impressive performance on their debut in the Premier League. This is a word we’ve spoken about once or twice in the podcast. It means a person or club’s first performance. So we often talk about a player’s debut performance.
Rich: And we can talk about a team’s debut performance. You’d think that there would be extra pressure playing in a match like that. But you couldn’t tell.
Jack: No, Rich. You couldn’t. Let’s move on to our final headline.
Rich: Pogba and Fernandes shine at Old Trafford.
Jack: Manchester United beat Leeds United 5-1 at Old Trafford. It was a comfortable win for the Red Devils despite Leeds equalising early in the second half. Bruno Fernandes got a hat-trick and Paul Pogba set up four of the goals.
Rich: It was a brilliant performance from Manchester United.
Jack: That’s why we’ve predicted United to win the league this season.
Rich: But we also predicted Leeds to finish fifth and be this season’s surprise package.
Jack: There’s still a long way to go. Let’s look at a bit of language. Let’s start with the phrase a comfortable win.
Rich: This phrase is used a lot in football when a team wins easily. I suppose an easy win would be similar in meaning.
Jack: It was quite comfortable for Manchester United against Leeds - especially towards the end of the second half.
Rich: Yeah, it wasn’t so comfortable when Leeds equalised - it probably felt quite uncomfortable then.
Jack: I like the pronunciation of comfortable - comfortable - a comfortable win.
Rich: I know that this word is pretty difficult to pronounce for some. It’s difficult because there are only three syllables and two of them are unstressed. Let’s hear it again slowly and then more quickly.
Jack: Comf - ter - ble , Comf - ter - ble, Comfortable. It was a comfortable win.
Rich: The other word I want to look at is a phrasal verb and it is to set up.
Jack: In football English, to set up means to provide a chance to score or to provide an assist.
Rich: It was an amazing performance by Paul Pogba. He set up four goals.
Jack: He didn’t set up that many in the whole of last season!
Rich: But set up has a number of other meanings. Let’s look at a few.
Jack: What about to set up a new business?
Rich: Yes, it can mean to start or create something.
Jack: A band needs to set up before a concert.
Rich: Yes, they do. Here set up means to prepare equipment so it can be used.
Jack: We might need to set up a meeting with our boss or a business partner.
Rich: Yes, it can also mean to arrange something with someone. These are just a few of the most common meanings of set up.
Jack: Phrasal verbs can be tricky sometimes. You can read the transcript and look at all the language we have discussed today in more detail on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: Right, now we’re going to give you a chance to think about one bit of language in more detail.
Jack: When we were speaking about the Tottenham - Manchester City match we spoke about how Son Heung-min stepped up.
Rich: Remember we spoke about how this means to take responsibility for something. Harry Kane wasn’t playing for Tottenham so someone needed to take over and take responsibility for scoring goals.
Jack: And Son Heung-min stepped up. He took responsibility for this by scoring the only goal of the game.
Rich: So our task for you this week is to tell us about a time when you had to step up. A time when you had to take over from someone and take responsibility for something.
Jack: Your example might be about a sports match you played in in the past. How did you step up? What role did you take on or what did you take responsibility for?
Rich: Or it could be something connected to your studies or job. Maybe you had to step up when someone said they couldn’t do a certain task.
Jack: Tell us whether you enjoyed stepping up and whether it was a success in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: It’s time for our Premier League prediction.
Rich: OK, good. I’ve been waiting for ages for this. Now, my predictions weren’t that good last season so I’m hoping that I have more luck this season.
Jack: OK, so I decide the match and you’ll give us a prediction, how does that sound?
Rich: Sounds good to me.
Jack: So, I’m looking at the matches for matchweek two this weekend. Some good looking matches here. Leeds-Everton will be a good match and so is Wolves-Tottenham.
Rich: Yeah that’s Nuno going back to where he was manager last season.
Jack: But this is the one that stands out for me - Arsenal - Chelsea. Let’s hear your prediction, Rich.
Rich: It’s got to be Chelsea, hasn’t it? They looked great against Palace and Arsenal, well they looked less great against Brentford.
Jack: But you never know, do you?
Rich: No, you don’t but I’d be worried. You might have Romelu Lukaku to deal with too. I’m going for a 3-0 win to Chelsea.
Jack: Maybe we’ll see a reaction from Arsenal after last week. Let us know if you think Rich’s prediction is a good one in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Player of the week
Rich: Jack - I think it’s time to tell everyone who we’ve chosen as our Player of the Week.
Jack: There were some brilliant performances, weren't there? Mohamed Salah had a great game for Liverpool.
Rich: Yep, he was my pick of the Liverpool players in their 3-0 win at Norwich. What about a Chelsea player? Chelsea looked really comfortable in their 3-0 win against Palace.
Jack: That Alonso free-kick was great but what about Trevoh Chalobah?
Rich: Yeah, he’s only played twice for Chelsea. He won the UEFA Super Cup on his debut last week and then scored on his Premier League debut on Saturday.
Jack: He’s been at Chelsea since he was eight and looked absolutely made up when he scored.
Rich: But we’re going to go with a player from the biggest winners of the weekend.
Jack: But it’s not a Brentford player, is it? I’m still upset about that Arsenal performance!
Rich: No, it’s a Manchester United player. We could have gone with a few actually but in the end, it was between Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
Jack: And we chose Paul Pogba. I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that he’s won our Player of the Week award.
Rich: Tell us what you think about our choice and who you think should be player of the week.
Rich: OK, it’s time for our football phrase. If you’ve not listened to the podcast before, every week we set our listeners a challenge. We explain a football phrase or word and you have to guess what it is.
Jack: You will hear this football phrase in every podcast we release this week.
Rich: When you know the answer, go to the podcast page on the Premier Skills English website or the review section on Apple Podcasts and write the word or phrase in the comments. If you’re correct we’ll announce your name on next week’s podcast.
Jack: So what is this week’s football phrase, Rich?
Rich: This week’s football phrase is ****** *******. This phrase is used when a club pays more money for a player transfer than they ever have before. Jack Grealish is Manchester City’s ****** ******* and Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea’s ****** *******
Jack: Maybe Lukaku won’t play against Arsenal this weekend. I’d be quite happy about that!
Rich: If you have a football phrase that you would like us to use in the podcast, just get in touch and let us know.
Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for but we will be back later this week on Apple Podcasts and Spotify with the Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: Before we finish we just wanted to say that we hope you found this lesson useful and we hope all of you stay fit and healthy.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Spurs stun Champions as Premier League crowds return
This weekend saw the first Premier League football in front of full capacity crowds in over a year. Tottenham had their fans behind them as they got their season off to a winning start. Spurs beat Manchester City in front of a full house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Son Heung min stepped up in Harry Kane’s absence to score the only goal of the game.
Brentford upset Arsenal on opening day
There was a big upset in the opening Premier League fixture as Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0 on their debut in the competition. Goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard were enough for a famous win for the Bees.
Pogba and Fernandes shine at Old Trafford
Manchester United beat Leeds United 5-1 at Old Trafford. It was a comfortable win for the Red Devils despite Leeds equalising early in the second half. Bruno Fernandes got a hat-trick and Paul Pogba set up four of the goals.
Language in the headlines
We looked at six words and phrases in our headlines that you can learn to improve your English. Take a look at the phrasal verbs in bold. Do you understand what they mean?
Spurs beat Manchester City in front of a full house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Son Heung min stepped up in Harry Kane’s absence to score the only goal of the game.
There was a big upset in the opening Premier League fixture.
Brentford beat Arsenal 2-0 on their debut in the competition.
It was a comfortable win for the Red Devils
Paul Pogba set up four of the goals.
Language Task: To step up
Jack and Rich set you a language task in the podcast. Look at this sentence again:
Son Heung min stepped up in Harry Kane’s absence to score the only goal of the game.
To step up means to take responsibility for something. Harry Kane wasn’t playing for Tottenham so someone needed to take over and take responsibility for scoring goals. Son Heung-min stepped up.
We want you to tell us about a time when you had to step up. A time when you had to take over from someone and take responsibility for something. Your example could be:
- In sports: What role did you take on? Who did you take over from? What did you take responsibility for?
- At work or school: What did you take responsibility for? Did you have to step up when someone said they couldn’t do a certain task?
Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Football Prediction: Arsenal v Chelsea
This weekend sees Chelsea travel to the Emirates to play Arsenal. Rich thinks it will be a comfortable win for Chelsea. He's predicted a 3-0 win to the European Champions. What do you think will happen? Make your prediction and talk about any of this week's football in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Player of the Week
Have you had a go at this week's football phrase? Every week in our main podcast we ask our listeners to guess a football phrase. We are now also including the football phrase in This Week. Did you hear it? Guess the right answer and we'll announce your name on next week's show.
Write all your opinions and answers in the comments section below.