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Football English: Instructions

Football English: Instructions

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich and Jack are at home watching a match. They are nervous as the match moves towards the final whistle. The language focus is on words and phrases fans shout at their own players. Do you know what man on means? In this week's task, we want you to shout some instructions to players on the pitch. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.

Transcript

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

Football English: Instructions

Introduction

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.

Jack: In the Premier Skills English podcast, we talk about football and help you with your English. 

Rich: Don’t forget you can find the transcript for all our podcasts on the Premier Skills English website.

Jack: This week we’re going to focus on football English and, more specifically, words and phrases we use to give our team instructions.

Rich: You mean what coaches and trainers tell players to do from the side of the pitch. Do you mean in-depth, detailed tactical instructions?

Jack: No, not exactly, although some managers might use some of these instructions sometimes - you never know. No, what I mean are the instructions that supporters shout at players from the stands or even what they scream at the TV when they are watching a game.

Rich: I see what you mean. These are sometimes a bit simpler - less tactical. 

Jack: Usually, yes. I’m always shouting instructions at the TV screen. I know the players can’t hear me but I shout and scream anyway! Pass it!, Cross it!, Shoot! My favourite is ‘man on!’ - you shout this when a player from the other team starts closing down your player.

Rich: We all shout at our players through the TV sometimes so we’re going to look at some of the words and phrases we use to shout at players on our team.

Jack: Yes, I think we should leave the phrases we shout at the opposition for another podcast.

Rich: Good idea. In our roleplay this week, we support the same team and you’ll hear us watching the last few minutes of a match on TV. 

Jack: After the roleplay, we’ll look at some football English we often use to give instructions to our team.

Rich: After the language focus, we have a task for you to do. This week we are going to give you five different football situations on the pitch and you have to tell us what instructions you would give to the player.

Jack: If you are listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out our website.

Rich: On the Premier Skills English website you’ll find the transcript, examples and activities to help you understand the language, and a task for you to complete.

Jack: Before we start this week’s roleplay we need to look back at last week’s football phrase.

Last week’s Football Phrase

Rich: OK, 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: When you know the answer, go to the podcast page on the Premier Skills English website and write the word or phrase in the comments. If you’re correct we’ll announce your name on next week’s podcast.

Rich: Thanks for all your answers and guesses last week. The first listener with the correct answer was HSN from Turkey - well done HSN! 

Jack: Congratulations also go to Liubomyr from Ukraine, Marco Zapien and Mario from Mexico, Hayato and Kazu from Japan, Farid Rahimli from Azerbaijan, MoBeckham and Woodpecker74 from Turkey, and Emmanuel from France.

Rich: Later on, at the end of the podcast, we’ll tell you the answer to last week’s football phrase but we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. Are you ready?

Jack: Last week’s football phrase was group of death. This week’s phrase sounds more like a hard rock or metal band than a football phrase but this phrase describes when a number of high-quality teams are put together in a competition and only some of them can qualify. In EURO 2020, France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary were put together in what was called the group of death.

Rich: Last week’s podcast was about anecdotes and disastrous journeys and we asked you to share an anecdote about a journey that you have been on.

Jack: MoBeckham from Turkey told us about his trousers ripping on the bus on the way to the opera. That’s definitely embarrassing but quick-thinking Mo got off the bus and visited a tailor to mend his trousers and still got to the opera on time.

Rich: Kazu from Japan told us about losing his go-pro camera in the sea in Hawaii. What a disaster! Kazu hopes that his camera carried on taking beautiful pictures of the ocean even if he couldn’t see them.

Jack: And HSN also from Turkey told us about the time that he took the wrong suitcase by mistake. He opened it up in his hotel room and found a suitcase full of .... actually he didn’t tell us what was in it … maybe it wasn’t too bad.

Rich: It was really nice to see you using the vocabulary we used in the podcast when sharing your anecdotes.

Jack: If you haven’t heard this podcast and you want to learn some phrases you can use when sharing anecdotes it’s called Speaking Skills: Anecdotes ... and you can find it on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts. 

Introduction to roleplay

Rich: As we said earlier, in this week’s roleplay we’re watching our team on TV.

Jack: It’s the last few minutes and the score is still nil-nil. We’re a bit nervous.

Rich: While you’re listening to the roleplay, we want you to answer a question. 

Jack: The question is: Does our team win the game?

Roleplay

Jack: Come on! We need to get the ball off them. Get stuck in!

Rich: That’s it! Good tackle. You’ve got time. Pass it. Pass it! Man on! Ohh. Straight into touch. Come on?!

Jack: We need to keep hold of the ball.

Rich: We need to get it in the box. There are only a couple of minutes left.

Jack: That’s it. Down the line. Go on skin him. That’s it, go on ... cross it!

Rich: Go on. Have a pop! Goal!! Get in!! 

Jack: We need to hold on to this. Here they come. Get rid of it!! Get it out!

Rich: That’s it. Take it to the corner. That should do. Referee! Come on! That’s got to be it! 

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Rich: Before the roleplay, we asked you a question. The question was: Does our team win the game?

Jack: Of course, we did. The result was never in doubt. A nail-biting 1-0 win. 

Rich: In the roleplay, we were shouting at the TV screen even though nobody can hear us.  Every fan shouts at the screen sometimes. Why do we do it?

Jack: I suppose we want to be the coach. We might shout at the stadium, too. It’s probably from that. 

Rich: Do you think the coach is shouting the same things?

Jack: Maybe ... sometimes. The coach probably sounds less desperate though!

Rich: So, what we shout at our own players are usually instructions. Let’s look at some language.

Jack: That’s right. Short instructions using the imperative. We say pass it, tackle, shoot.

Rich: We say it a lot. This refers to the ball. Pass the ball, cross the ball, get the ball in the box all become pass it, cross it and get it in the box.

Jack: Get it in the box is what we often shout near the end of a game when our team is losing. We just want the ball to be in the opposition penalty area as quickly as possible to create a chance to score.

Rich: Another useful phrase is to get stuck in. We use this when we want our team or a player to tackle more or be more aggressive.

Jack: Down the line is another common expression. This means to pass the ball down the sides of the pitch in an attacking position.

Rich: That’s when a winger might get the ball in a wide position. The player usually has two options; to cross the ball into the area or try to dribble the ball past a defender.

Jack: This is where you can use the expression skin him.

Rich: It sounds disgusting but it actually means to dribble the ball past a defender or to knock the ball past the defender and run past him.

Jack: It’s really common for football fans to shout shoot! But some alternatives are ‘go on! Have a crack!’ or ‘go on! Have a pop!’ both of these mean to have an attempt at goal.

Rich: Football fans usually shout when they are excited or nervous. You are probably really nervous when your team is winning near the end of the game and the opposition is attacking.

Jack: Some common expressions here are ‘get rid of it’ and ‘get it out’.

Rich: They both mean to clear the ball as quickly as possible preferably the ball leaving the stadium and not coming back!

Jack: We’ll look at these phrases and a few more in the lesson which you can find on the Premier Skills English website and there are some activities to check your understanding.

Rich: We’re now going to play the roleplay again. Have a listen and listen out for some of the phrases we’ve been talking about.

ROLEPLAY

Jack: Come on! We need to get the ball off them. Get stuck in!

Rich: That’s it! Good tackle. You’ve got time. Pass it. Pass it! Man on! Ohh. Straight into touch. Come on?!

Jack: We need to keep hold of the ball.

Rich: We need to get it in the box. There are only a couple of minutes left.

Jack: That’s it. Down the line. Go on skin him. That’s it, go on ... cross it!

Rich: Go on. Have a pop! Goal!! Get in!! 

Jack: We need to hold on to this. Here they come. Get rid of it!! Get it out!

Rich: That’s it. Take it to the corner. That should do. Referee! Come on! That’s got to be it! 

TASK

Jack: This week’s task is to use some of the language we introduced in this podcast to talk about what you would say in five different situations.

Rich: We want you to imagine that you are either watching your team at the stadium or on TV. We’re going to give you five different situations and you have you to decide what you would shout at your player. 

Jack: Remember to use some of the phrases that we used in the roleplay.

Rich: Situation one: A player has the ball in the middle of the pitch. Your team is losing 1-0 in the 90th-minute.

Jack: Situation two: Your team is winning 1-0 in the 90th-minute and a player has the ball in his own penalty area.

Rich: Situation three: A winger for your team has the ball at his feet. He is facing a defender.

Jack: Situation four: A striker has the ball on the edge of the penalty box.

Rich: Situation five: A midfielder has the ball and an opponent is running towards her.

Jack: Think about the phrases we introduced in this podcast and see how many of them you can use.

Rich: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.

FOOTBALL PHRASE 

Jack: It’s time for this week’s football phrase. Have you got one, Rich?

Rich: I have. This week’s football phrase is ***** *****. This phrase describes all the numbers that happen in a game. These things might include the number of corners, number of shots on and off target, amount of possession and things like that. I always look at the ***** **** but the most important one is how many goals the teams have scored.

Jack: If you are still wondering what the answer was to last week’s football phrase it was group of death.

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 this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s podcast. 

Rich: If you have a question for us about football or English you can email us at premierskills@britishcouncil.org

Jack: or you can leave your questions and comments on the website in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Rich: or you could give us a rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.

Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Raheem Sterling celebrates a goal for England against Germany.

The Imperative

The language you need to give instructions to players

Every football fan wants to be a coach. Whether we are watching a match in the stadium or sat at home watching the TV, when our favourite team is in action, we always try to tell the players what to do. It's not important that they can't hear us!  The first thing to remember is that when we are giving instructions to players we use the imperative. Look at these examples from the listening:

Pass it!

Cross it!

Tackle her!

Shoot!

An imperative is an instruction or command. The important thing to remember is that we only use the base form of the verb (pass not to pass or passing) and we don't use subject pronouns (pass not you pass). In football, you will often hear fans shout the imperative e.g. shoot! or we might add an object pronoun e.g. tackle her or pass it. These words 'him' and 'it' are used frequently and refer to an opposition player and the ball. When we use the imperative we rarely say the player's name or say 'the ball'.

Switzerland celebrate their surprise win against France.

Language

Words and phrases

In the listening, Rich and Jack spoke about the instructions fans shout at players on the pitch. Let's split the words and phrases into three categories:

  1. Defending
  2. Passing
  3. Attacking

Leicester City's Youri Tielemans leads Belgium's celebrations after victory against Portugal.

Defending

When your team is defending, you want your team to win the ball. Look at these examples from the podcast: 

Come on! We need to get the ball off them. Get stuck in!

We need to hold on to this. Here they come. Get rid!! Get it out!

That’s it. Take it to the corner. That should do. Referee!

There are three different types of instruction here. The first phrase, get stuck in, is connected to tackling. It's an expression that is used to tell the player to tackle the opposition more and be more aggressive. The second phrase is, get it out or get rid (of it), is connected to clearing the ball. It's an expression that is used to tell the player to clear the ball quickly from a dangerous area. The third phrase, take it to the corner, is connected to keeping hold of the ball or keeping possession in a safe area of the pitch. Fans instruct defenders to do this near the end of a match to stop the opposition getting the ball. 

Did you hear any other phrases connected to defending?

Ukraine players celebrate their last-gasp win over Sweden.

Passing

When your team has possession of the ball, you want your team to win the ball. Look at these examples from the podcast: 

That’s it. Down the line! 

We need to get it in the box.

There’s only a couple of minutes left. You’ve got time. Pass it. Pass it! Man on!

There are three different types of instruction here. The first phrase, down the line, is connected to passing the ball on the sides of the pitch. It's an instruction that is used to pass the ball forward along the touchline. The second phrase, get it in the box, is connected to passing the ball quickly. It's an instruction that is used when a player needs to pass the ball long into the penalty area. It's usually used near the end of a match when a team is losing. The third example uses the phrases, you've got time and man on, and are connected to time on the ball. The first phrase means that a player has time and is not under pressure and the second means that a player has no time and an opponent is coming towards them.

Did you hear any other phrases connected to passing?

Italy players celebrate a win at Euro 2020. Can they go all the way?

Attacking

When your team is attacking, you want your team to create chances and score. Look at these examples from the podcast:

Go on ... skin him! That’s it, go on ... cross it!

Go on. Have a pop! Goal!! Get in!

There are two different types of instruction here. The first phrase, skin him, is connected to dribbling the ball. It's an instruction that is used when fans want a player to take the ball past a defender. The second phrase, have a pop, is connected to shooting. It's an instruction that means take a shot or shoot. Another phrase that can be used here is have a crack.

Do you know any other phrases connected to attacking?

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta scores for Spain at Euro 2020.

The answers to the quiz below are all words that Rich and Jack used in the conversation. Can you remember what they said?

Quiz

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Task

What would you shout?

Czech Republic have surprised a few people at Euro 2020.

In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich described five different situations on the football pitch. We want you to say what instructions you would shout in each situation. Here are the situations again: 

  1. A player has the ball in the middle of the pitch. Your team is losing 1-0 in the 90th-minute.
  2. Your team is winning 1-0 in the 90th-minute and a player has the ball in their own penalty area.
  3. A winger for your team has the ball at his feet. They are facing a defender.
  4. A striker has the ball on the edge of the penalty box.
  5. A midfielder has the ball and an opponent is running towards them.

Think how you could use some of the phrases Rich and Jack introduced in this podcast and then write your answers below. And, don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!

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Comentários

Vic
09/07/2021
MX
817
points

final *****


Vic
09/07/2021 16:36
Mexico
Liverpool
817

final *****

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
09/07/2021
TR
6510
points

Instructions :

1. A player has the ball in the middle of the pitch. Your team is losing 1-0 in the 90th-minute. ( Get it in the box! You've got time! Man on! )

2. Your team is winning 1-0 in the 90th-minute and a player has the ball in their own penalty area.
( Get rid of it! Get it out! Take it to the corner! )

3. A winger for your team has the ball at his feet. They are facing a defender.
4. A striker has the ball on the edge of the penalty box.
( Skin him! Have a pop! )

5. A midfielder has the ball and an opponent is running towards them.
( Pass it! Down the line! )


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
09/07/2021 00:09
Turkey
Manchester United
6510

Instructions :

1. A player has the ball in the middle of the pitch. Your team is losing 1-0 in the 90th-minute. ( Get it in the box! You've got time! Man on! )

2. Your team is winning 1-0 in the 90th-minute and a player has the ball in their own penalty area.
( Get rid of it! Get it out! Take it to the corner! )

3. A winger for your team has the ball at his feet. They are facing a defender.
4. A striker has the ball on the edge of the penalty box.
( Skin him! Have a pop! )

5. A midfielder has the ball and an opponent is running towards them.
( Pass it! Down the line! )

Maikon Militão's picture
Maikon Militão
05/07/2021
BR
51
points

The phrase of the week is **********.


Maikon Militão's picture
Maikon Militão
05/07/2021 21:18
Brazil
Manchester City
51

The phrase of the week is **********.

woodpecker74
04/07/2021
TR
9
points

I think the football phrase is ***** *****


woodpecker74
04/07/2021 08:58
Turkey
Liverpool
9

I think the football phrase is ***** *****

Max Alex's picture
Max Alex
03/07/2021
VN
438
points

Hi Jack and Rich,

How are you doing?
I think the football phrase is: "****** *****".


Max Alex's picture
Max Alex
03/07/2021 14:08
Vietnam
Tottenham Hotspur
438

Hi Jack and Rich,

How are you doing?
I think the football phrase is: "****** *****".

gitaandari
03/07/2021
ID
23
points

I think it's ***** *****


gitaandari
03/07/2021 14:00
Indonesia
Manchester United
23

I think it's ***** *****

hsn's picture
hsn
03/07/2021
TR
5532
points

TASK;
In my opinion; the positions in which include more than one possible instructions.
1-Get in the box.2-Take it to the corner, Get it out, Get rid of it. 3- Man on, Skin him, Cross it. Pass it 4-Have a pop, Get it in the box.Have a crack.Shoot it. 5-Man on.Pass it.,Down the line, Get stuck in.
FOOTBALL PHRASE; ***** Facts
PHRASES
• The defender who try to close down opponent attacker always should keep her/his eyes on the ball and should aim to get and clear the ball.
• Pitch splitted into three zone.First zone defending area.Second zone both attacking and defending area and third zone attacking area.
P.S.
• Players should think twice about objection to the referee desicions.Is there any benefit of it! Has referee ever changed her/his decision after objection even it was wrong?
• Hi Jack! Instead of Pandora's Box-:) there were typical classic things for journey in it . Good luck to the England today-:)
INFO: Opening a Pandora's box causes starting of lots of problems. (Pandora woman in an ancient Greek story who opened a box and let all evils out into the world)


hsn's picture
hsn
03/07/2021 12:22
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
5532

TASK;
In my opinion; the positions in which include more than one possible instructions.
1-Get in the box.2-Take it to the corner, Get it out, Get rid of it. 3- Man on, Skin him, Cross it. Pass it 4-Have a pop, Get it in the box.Have a crack.Shoot it. 5-Man on.Pass it.,Down the line, Get stuck in.
FOOTBALL PHRASE; ***** Facts
PHRASES
• The defender who try to close down opponent attacker always should keep her/his eyes on the ball and should aim to get and clear the ball.
• Pitch splitted into three zone.First zone defending area.Second zone both attacking and defending area and third zone attacking area.
P.S.
• Players should think twice about objection to the referee desicions.Is there any benefit of it! Has referee ever changed her/his decision after objection even it was wrong?
• Hi Jack! Instead of Pandora's Box-:) there were typical classic things for journey in it . Good luck to the England today-:)
INFO: Opening a Pandora's box causes starting of lots of problems. (Pandora woman in an ancient Greek story who opened a box and let all evils out into the world)

Bertoldt
03/07/2021
ID
222
points

this week's football phrase is ***** **********


Bertoldt
03/07/2021 11:20
Indonesia
Liverpool
222

this week's football phrase is ***** **********

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
03/07/2021
TR
6510
points

I guess this week's football phrase is ***** *****


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
03/07/2021 03:18
Turkey
Manchester United
6510

I guess this week's football phrase is ***** *****

Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
03/07/2021
MX
79
points

***** ***** or maybe score sheet?


Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
03/07/2021 01:01
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
79

***** ***** or maybe score sheet?

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
02/07/2021
UA
4408
points

I think that the phrase is a "***** *****"


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
02/07/2021 18:23
Ukraine
Watford
4408

I think that the phrase is a "***** *****"

Rich's picture
Rich
03/07/2021
ES
594
points

Good luck tonight, Liubomyr! I hope it's a good game!


Rich's picture
Rich
03/07/2021 19:12
Spain
Liverpool
594

Good luck tonight, Liubomyr! I hope it's a good game!

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
03/07/2021
UA
4408
points

Thank you, Rich! After the first half it looks so. Let the best team win.


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
03/07/2021 20:52
Ukraine
Watford
4408

Thank you, Rich! After the first half it looks so. Let the best team win.

hayato
02/07/2021
JP
442
points

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


hayato
02/07/2021 17:47
Japan
Everton
442

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

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6510
2Alex_from_Ukraine6289
3hsn5532
4wsanta5086
5kwesimanifest4768
6Liubomyr4408
7elghoul3988
8assemjuve3705
9aragorn19863557
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71520
2Ukraine33378
3Spain28608
4Serbia27294
5Brazil22758
6Albania20578
7Vietnam19979
8Turkey19878
9Macedonia19074
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16333
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United142463
2Liverpool110021
3Chelsea89261
4Arsenal85345
5Manchester City57339
6Tottenham Hotspur19071
7Newcastle United10470
8West Ham United7516
9AFC Bournemouth4539
10Crystal Palace4464

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Football instructions

Task: What would you shout?