Medium: Play out from the back
Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
This episode is medium so we’re looking at football words and phrases you need to describe what’s happening on the pitch or words and phrases fans and commentators on TV might use. There are lots of phrasal verbs to learn at this level.
Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the phrase to play out from the back.
You can find more lessons on the side of this page.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.
Jack: Hi there! I’m Jack. We’re here to help you with your football English. Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time.
Rich: Don’t forget you can always find the transcript for all our podcasts on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
Jack: This episode is medium so we’re looking at football words and phrases you need to describe what’s happening on the pitch or words and phrases fans and commentators on TV might use. There will be lots of phrasal verbs to learn at this level.
Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is to play out from the back.
Jack: This football phrase is used to describe teams that like to keep hold of the ball - teams that like to keep possession.
Rich: When these teams have a goal kick, the goalkeeper doesn’t just kick the ball as far and as hard up the pitch as possible.
Jack: No, the keeper looks for a defender who is nearby and is in space and passes to that defender. This is done to keep possession of the ball.
Rich: The defender will then look for a teammate and the team will pass and run with the ball as they move up the pitch.
Jack: This is what we call playing out from the back. The team passes the ball out from the goalkeeper to defenders instead of kicking the ball long upfield.
Rich: In the past, lots of teams would kick the ball long. This meant that the two teams had to fight for possession in the middle of the pitch. Players needed to be physically strong and generally, there was a fifty-fifty chance of who would win possession.
Jack: The idea of playing out from the back is that a team keeps possession, but they are further away from the opposition goal. Players need to be more skilful to pass the ball around the opposition.
Rich: Most Premier League teams play out from the back these days but still kick the ball long sometimes; especially when they are under pressure or losing in the last few minutes of a match.
Jack: These days the ball doesn’t have to leave the penalty area when a goal kick is taken so playing out from the back is easier.
Rich: A goalkeeper can pass to a teammate in the area but opponents have to stay outside the area until the kick has been taken.
Rich: One problem, however, with playing out from the back is that some opponents will press the ball.
Jack: This means their attacking players will put a lot of pressure on the defenders to force them into making mistakes.
Rich: If a defender makes a mistake, attackers are in a much better position to create scoring opportunities.
Jack: In this situation, playing out from the back is a bit risky and a team has to have players that are very good on the ball to make playing out from the back worthwhile.
Rich: At lower levels of football you see the keeper kicking the ball long more often as defenders are not as skilful as in the Premier League and playing out from the back is often too risky.
Jack: There is the final whistle!
Rich: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
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Which teams are best at playing out from the back?
Is it a good idea to play out from the back when the opposition play with a high press?