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This Week - Pulling the strings montage

This Week: Pulling the strings

This Week: Pulling the strings

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, Jack talks about three stories from this week in the Premier League and there are lots of football English words and phrases for you to learn.

Transcript

If the listening was difficult, you can listen and read the transcript at the same time.
Read the transcript and listen at the same time.

Introduction

Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to the weekly round-up called This Week on Premier Skills English.

In this week, we’ve got lots of interesting words and phrases to help you talk about football in English.

If you are listening to this podcast on Apple podcasts or Spotify you can also visit the Premier Skills English website at britishcouncil.org/premierskillsenglish where you’ll be able to download the podcast.

On the Premier Skills English website, 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 from the stories from the Premier League.

The words and phrases we are looking at this week are: to swagger, to pull the strings, to suit someone, a standing ovation, to save the day, to head for something and to slot through.

Listen out for these phrases in the headlines and stories.

Last week's football phrase

After each story there will be a short language focus and then there will be a task for you to complete and then at the end of the podcast there will be a new football phrase.

But before that, I want to look at last week’s football phrase. If you didn’t hear it last week, here’s one more chance to guess now.

Last week’s football phrase was quite a long phrase: it was to *** **** *** ***** ** ******. It’s a colourful expression. The ***** ** ****** is the rhythm of an activity. When you *** **** *** ***** ** ******, it’s like you find the rhythm. This means that the activity is easier and you feel like you’re getting better at it.

Congratulations to 258963 from Vietnam, Mobeckham from Turkey, and Linas from Lithuania. Well done to HSN for a good guess, but I think it was a bit too hard. The answer was to get into the swing of things. I think I’ll choose something a bit easier at the end of this podcast.

OK, let’s get on with this week’s three football stories!

Swaggering Maddison recovers his finest from

Maddison made his 200th league performance against Brighton and pulled the strings when his team were on top. In his last 12 games Maddison has been in outstanding form for Leicester with thirteen goals or assists including the goal against Brighton when following a one-two off Ademola Lookman he took the shot which the goalkeeper blocked into the path of Patson Daka who scored.

This fantastic headline is from the Guardian’s regular 10 talking points from the Premier League article. It’s just lovely to say: Swaggering Maddison recovers his finest form. The first word I want to talk about is swaggering. The verb to swagger normally describes a way of walking. If you swagger, you walk in a very confident way, kind of confident and relaxed, like a cool cowboy in an old western. Some definitions describe a swagger as an over confident or arrogant stroll, but in a football context, it means playing with a strong belief in your ability, kind of confident and relaxed.

Maddison was certainly confident and relaxed when he pulled the strings from the midfield. This is another interesting bit of language: to pull the strings. This means to control a situation when there are more people involved. It means to control other people. The idiom to pull the strings comes from puppets. Puppets are the dolls that are controlled by strings so that a puppeteer can make them move. The puppeteer controls their puppets by pulling their strings. When a person pulls the strings, they control the people they are involved with. You might hear someone say: I want to know who’s pulling the strings when the want to know who is really responsible.

There is another quite advanced expression which is to pull some strings or probably more commonly pull a few strings. This is used by people who have some power or influence to say that they can help you by using this power. So if you need help with something official, perhaps a decision at work or if you are looking for some sensitive information, you might ask for help from somebody with power who can pull a few strings to help you.

Let’s move on to the next headline.

Ziyech scores with a stunner against Spurs

Hakim Ziyech won the King of the Match award after a beautiful curled left footer that dropped into the far corner out of reach of the Spurs keeper. Chelsea manager played a wider formation than normal that suited the Moroccan midfielder who, from 97 touches, made 34 passes including 10 crosses into the box. When he left the pitch after 91 minutes, he received a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Ziyech was in amazing form against Spurs. I only got to watch the highlights and the commentators were repeating his name like it was a tribute compilation. Tuchel played a different formation against Spurs that allowed Ziyech to play a little wider than normal and the extra space really suited him. If something suits a person, it is right for that person in that situation. You can say that an item of clothing really suits someone. Perhaps because the colour looks good on them. Or you can say that a situation suits someone if they are happy or more successful in that situation. And of course there’s the opposite form. When I was working in Indonesia, I had to start work at 730 in the morning. I’m really not a morning person and the early starts didn’t suit me at all.

At the end of the match, well just before the end, Ziyech was substituted to a standing ovation. A standing ovation is a round of applause, that is when a crowd all claps for something, but it’s a special type of a round of applause because everyone stands up to show how much they appreciate what they have seen. It’s probably most commonly used in theatres and musical performances. If the performance is really special, when the performer takes a bow, the audience will stand up and applaud, they will give the performer a standing ovation. When Ziyech feft the field, the Chelsea crowd stood up to applaud his performance; he received a standing ovation.

It’s time to move onto the final headline.

Tobin Heath’s stoppage time equaliser saves the day

In the Women’s Super League, Arsenal looked like they were heading for a loss at Manchester City. The Gunners were a goal down and running out of time. Tobin Heath rescued a point in stoppage time with a powerful strike that somehow slotted through a crowd of City defenders. The result means that Arsenal sit two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table.

Tobin’s strike saved the day. If you save the day, you do something that stops a defeat or a failure. In comic books, whenever there is a disaster, a superhero swoops in at the last minute and saves the day.They stop the disaster. Arsenal were heading for defeat at the Academy Stadium in Manchester but were rescued in stoppage time by Tobin Heath.

I said that Arsenal looked like they were heading for a loss. If you are heading for something, you are normally travelling in that direction. I saw Billy in town. He was heading for the bank. This means he was walking towards the bank. You can also use the phrasal verb more figuratively to say that something is going to happen in the future. I think when it’s used figuratively, it’s usually used to say that someone is going to be in a bad situation. You hear people say heading for trouble, heading for disaster and in football heading for defeat or heading for a loss.

The last phrase I want to talk about is to slot through. A slot formally is a long narrow hole. The most common slots were coin slots, holes you would use to put coins into machines. In phone boxes, you would put coins into the coin slot so you could make a phone call. You still find coin slots in vending machines for drinks and sweets and in video game arcades. You also get slots for cds in car stereos and on the front of a playstation, that you have to feed a disk into.

To slot something means to put or push something through a narrow opening, a bit like a coin slot. In football, when a striker manages to shoot through a narrow gap between defenders, you will hear the commentators say that the ball was slotted through.

OK - that’s plenty of vocabulary for today. The words and phrases from the stories were: to swagger, to pull the strings, to suit someone, a standing ovation, to save the day, to head for something and to slot through.

Listen to the headlines again to hear these words and phrases in context.

Swaggering Maddison recovers his finest from

Maddison made his 200th league performance against Brighton and pulled the strings when his team were on top. In his last 12 games Maddison has been in outstanding form for Leicester with thirteen goals or assists including the goal against Brighton when following a one-two off Ademola Lookman he took the shot which the goalkeeper blocked into the path of Patson Daka who scored.

Ziyech scores with a stunner against Spurs

Hakim Ziyech won the King of the Match award after a beautiful curled left footer that dropped into the far corner out of reach of the Spurs keeper. Chelsea manager played a wider formation than normal that suited the Moroccan midfielder who, from 97 touches, made 34 passes including 10 crosses into the box. When he left the pitch after 91 minutes, he received a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Tobin Heath’s stoppage time equaliser saves the day

In the Women’s Super League, Arsenal looked like they were heading for a loss at Manchester City. The Gunners were a goal down and running out of time. Tobin Heath rescued a point in stoppage time with a powerful strike that somehow slotted through a crowd of City defenders. The result means that Arsenal sit two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table.

Language Challenge

Right, now it’s time for you to think about the language again.

Here are seven sentences with gaps in them and you have to complete the gaps with the words and phrases from this podcast.

Number 1. At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a _____________.

Number 2: Tommy was determined to look cool as he _______ into the middle of the disco dance floor.

Number 3: I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really _____ me.

Number 4. When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and _________.

Number 5. Let’s play FIFA - you need to _____ the disk into the machine to play.

Number 6: There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really ____________.

Number 7: If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re _________ relegation.

Leave your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.

Football phrase

Now it’s time for this week’s football phrase. This phrase will be the same in this podcast and the podcast on Friday so I will announce the answer and the usernames of people who have got it right next Monday.

As last week’s was too difficult, this week I have chosen a word from the Premier Vocabulary section from the easy vocabulary.

The word is ******. This word is used to describe a match in a cup competition that is played because the original match ended in a draw. In the past, FA Cup matches were only 90 minutes. If the match ended in a draw, the teams would have to play a ******, usually at the other team’s stadium. This word is also used on TV to describe a recorded footage that is shown again, usually because of something exciting that happened.

I think that this is much easier and so I hope lots of you will leave a comment on Premier Skills English with your answer.

That’s all I have time for today. Before I finish, I just wanted to say that I hope you found this lesson useful, and I hope all of you stay fit and healthy.

Bye for now and enjoy your football.

Headlines

Swaggering Maddison recovers his finest from

James Maddison of Leicester City in action

Maddison made his 200th league performance against Brighton and pulled the strings when his team were on top. In his last 12 games Maddison has been in outstanding form for Leicester with thirteen goals or assists including the goal against Brighton when following a one-two off Ademola Lookman he took the shot which the goalkeeper blocked into the path of Patson Daka who scored.

Headlines

Ziyech scores with a stunner against Spurs

Hakim Ziyech of Chelsea celebrates with teammate Jorginho

Hakim Ziyech won the King of the Match award after a beautiful curled left footer that dropped into the far corner out of reach of the Spurs keeper. Chelsea manager played a wider formation than normal that suited the Moroccan midfielder who, from 97 touches, made 34 passes including 10 crosses into the box. When he left the pitch after 91 minutes, he received a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Headlines

Tobin Heath’s stoppage time equaliser saves the day

Tobin Heath of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their side's first goal

In the Women’s Super League, Arsenal looked like they were heading for a loss at Manchester City. The Gunners were a goal down and running out of time. Tobin Heath rescued a point in stoppage time with a powerful strike that somehow slotted through a crowd of City defenders. The result means that Arsenal sit two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table.

Vocabulary

Task

This week, there are seven sentences with gaps in them. Complete the gaps with the words and phrases from this podcast. 

Number 1. At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a _____________.

Number 2: Tommy was determined to look cool as he _______ into the middle of the disco dance floor. 

Number 3: I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really _____ me. 

Number 4. When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and _________.

Number 5. Let’s play FIFA - you need to _____ the disk into the machine to play.

Number 6: There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really ____________.

Number 7: If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re _________ relegation. 

Vocabulary

Football Phrase

Have you had a go at this week's football phrase? 

The word is ******. This word is used to describe a match in a cup competition that is played because the original match ended in a draw. In the past, FA Cup matches were only 90 minutes. If the match ended in a draw, the teams would have to play a ******, usually at the other team’s stadium. This word is also used on TV to describe a recorded footage that is shown again, usually because of something exciting that happened. 

Write all your answers in the comments section below.

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Komentar

Douglas
03/02/2022
BR
28
points

Number 1: standing ovation.
Number 2: swaggering
Number 3: suits
Number 4: saved the day
Number 5: slot
Number 6: pulling the strings
Number 7: heading

Football Phrase: Reply


Douglas
03/02/2022 19:39
Brazil
Manchester United
28

Number 1: standing ovation.
Number 2: swaggering
Number 3: suits
Number 4: saved the day
Number 5: slot
Number 6: pulling the strings
Number 7: heading

Football Phrase: Reply

hsn's picture
hsn
03/02/2022
TR
5531
points

Hi Jack! A player who will pull the strings in the team also called "Skipper". I think it might be football phrase question.Stay fit and healthy. Best wishes from Turkey-:)


hsn's picture
hsn
03/02/2022 13:32
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
5531

Hi Jack! A player who will pull the strings in the team also called "Skipper". I think it might be football phrase question.Stay fit and healthy. Best wishes from Turkey-:)

Etto's picture
Etto
02/02/2022
EG
41
points

- At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a standing ovation.

- Tommy was determined to look cool as he swaggered into the middle of the disco dance floor.

- I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really Suits me.

- When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and saved the day.

-Let’s play FIFA - you need to slot the disk into the machine to play.

- There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really pulling the strings.

- If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re heading for relegation.


Etto's picture
Etto
02/02/2022 09:18
Egypt
Liverpool
41

- At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a standing ovation.

- Tommy was determined to look cool as he swaggered into the middle of the disco dance floor.

- I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really Suits me.

- When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and saved the day.

-Let’s play FIFA - you need to slot the disk into the machine to play.

- There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really pulling the strings.

- If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re heading for relegation.

Taha Gashout's picture
Taha Gashout
28/01/2022
LY
492
points

This week's word is playoff
Num1- standing avation
Num2-swaggered
Num3-suits
Num4-saved the day
Num5-slot
Num6-pulling the strings
Num7-heading to


Taha Gashout's picture
Taha Gashout
28/01/2022 17:30
Libya
Liverpool
492

This week's word is playoff
Num1- standing avation
Num2-swaggered
Num3-suits
Num4-saved the day
Num5-slot
Num6-pulling the strings
Num7-heading to

Simone Cavassi
27/01/2022
IT
3
points

This week's word is ******.


Simone Cavassi
27/01/2022 06:20
Italy
Newcastle United
3

This week's word is ******.

hsn's picture
hsn
26/01/2022
TR
5531
points

Task
Number 1. At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a standing ovation.
Number 2: Tommy was determined to look cool as he swaggering into the middle of the disco dance floor.
Number 3: I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really suit me.
Number 4. When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and saved the day
Number 5. Let’s play FIFA - you need to slot through the disk into the machine to play.
Number 6: There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really pulling the strings
Number 7: If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re heading relegation.
Football phrase-******
Phrases
• Walking swaggeringly could provoke someone who find it offensive and challenging. Overconfident, instead of attracting attention of the people bring risk of to be beaten-:)
• Main but hidden issue at the marriages is to determine who will pull the strings in the family-:)
• In the memory of singer a tribute compilation album has been released recently.
• The boss promised pay rise then furious crowd of worker went back to work.By this way he prevented strike and saved the day.
• After addicting to narcotic he was heading for trouble, there might has been a disaster but his family saved him.
• The striker was very close to goal line around goal then the ball was slotted through.


hsn's picture
hsn
26/01/2022 18:16
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
5531

Task
Number 1. At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a standing ovation.
Number 2: Tommy was determined to look cool as he swaggering into the middle of the disco dance floor.
Number 3: I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really suit me.
Number 4. When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and saved the day
Number 5. Let’s play FIFA - you need to slot through the disk into the machine to play.
Number 6: There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really pulling the strings
Number 7: If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re heading relegation.
Football phrase-******
Phrases
• Walking swaggeringly could provoke someone who find it offensive and challenging. Overconfident, instead of attracting attention of the people bring risk of to be beaten-:)
• Main but hidden issue at the marriages is to determine who will pull the strings in the family-:)
• In the memory of singer a tribute compilation album has been released recently.
• The boss promised pay rise then furious crowd of worker went back to work.By this way he prevented strike and saved the day.
• After addicting to narcotic he was heading for trouble, there might has been a disaster but his family saved him.
• The striker was very close to goal line around goal then the ball was slotted through.

CTLN
26/01/2022
RO
393
points

hello! this week's footbal phrase is: ******


CTLN
26/01/2022 16:10
Romania
Liverpool
393

hello! this week's footbal phrase is: ******

258963
26/01/2022
VN
1315
points

This week phrases is "******".


258963
26/01/2022 07:33
Vietnam
Leeds United
1315

This week phrases is "******".

hayato
26/01/2022
JP
442
points

I think the phrase is a ******


hayato
26/01/2022 00:24
Japan
Everton
442

I think the phrase is a ******

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
25/01/2022
TR
6510
points

This week's football phrase is a ( ******)


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
25/01/2022 21:38
Turkey
Manchester United
6510

This week's football phrase is a ( ******)

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
25/01/2022
TR
6510
points

Number 1. At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a ( standing ovation ).

Number 2: Tommy was determined to look cool as he ( swaggered ) into the middle of the disco dance floor.

Number 3: I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really ( suits ) me.

Number 4. When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and ( saved the day ).

Number 5. Let’s play FIFA - you need to ( slot ) the disk into the machine to play.

Number 6: There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really ( pulling the strings ).

Number 7: If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re ( heading for ) relegation.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
25/01/2022 21:37
Turkey
Manchester United
6510

Number 1. At the end of the performance, the lead actor received a ( standing ovation ).

Number 2: Tommy was determined to look cool as he ( swaggered ) into the middle of the disco dance floor.

Number 3: I have to pick my kids up from school so working from home really ( suits ) me.

Number 4. When my car broke down, I thought I’d never make it, but my sister turned up at the last minute and ( saved the day ).

Number 5. Let’s play FIFA - you need to ( slot ) the disk into the machine to play.

Number 6: There’s a lot going on at the club and they are planning to make lots of changes, but who do you think is really ( pulling the strings ).

Number 7: If we don’t sign some new talent, I’m afraid we’re ( heading for ) relegation.

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6510
2Alex_from_Ukraine6287
3hsn5531
4wsanta5086
5kwesimanifest4768
6Liubomyr4408
7elghoul3988
8assemjuve3705
9aragorn19863557
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71520
2Ukraine33376
3Spain28596
4Serbia27294
5Brazil22757
6Albania20578
7Vietnam19978
8Turkey19877
9Macedonia19074
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16333
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United142415
2Liverpool110002
3Chelsea89231
4Arsenal85290
5Manchester City57338
6Tottenham Hotspur19068
7Newcastle United10470
8West Ham United7516
9AFC Bournemouth4539
10Crystal Palace4464

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Goals

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  • Develop your listening skills