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Football English: The Opposition

Football English: The Opposition

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rowan and Jack are at home watching a match. The language focus is on words and phrases to talk about the other team (the opposition). In this week's task, we want you to talk about a rival team. 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: The Opposition
Introduction

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rowan: and I’m Rowan 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. 

Rowan: 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 talk about the opposition.

Rowan: We’re going to talk about the other team?

Jack: Yes, in this week’s roleplay, we’re going to talk about the phrases we use about the opposition when we are confident about winning and when we’re worried about losing.

Rowan: After the roleplay, we’ll look at these phrases in detail and then we’ll also have a task for you to do with other listeners in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.

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

Rowan: 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.

Social

Jack: We want to give you the answer to last week’s football phrase and congratulate those of you who got the right answer.

Rowan: The first to get it right was Omar El Bardicy from Egypt. Well done Omar! These listeners also got the right answer. The football phrase was a nil-nil draw.

Jack: Let’s listen to last week’s football phrase again:

Rowan: Last week’s football phrase was a nil-nil draw. When neither team win a match and no goals are scored we say that the match finished in a nil-nil draw. This is much more common in British English than in American English where someone might say that the match finished in a tie or finished zero zero.

Jack: At the end of the show we’ll have a new football phrase for you.

Introduction to roleplay

Rowan: As we said earlier, this lesson, though,  is all about … say it quietly … the other side.

Jack: What? Speak up a bit!

Rowan: The other side … the opposition.

Jack: Ahh! The opposition.

Rowan: Yes, that’s right. Fans always speak about the other team before and during a game, and as always, what you say depends on who you are playing.
  
Jack: In the roleplay, we’re watching football on TV. We support different teams.

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

Jack: The question is: Who is confident that their team will win and who is worried that they will lose?

Roleplay

Rowan: We’re going to beat this lot today. They’re just going to park the bus. Play with eleven behind the ball.

Jack: I’m not so sure. They’re pretty solid at the back and quick on the counter-attack. Lots of people have been saying they could go quite far in the tournament. They’re a bit of a dark horse.

Rowan: Nah! It’ll be attack against defence, like a training match. They play nice football but there’s no end product.

Jack: Mmm ... I hope you’re right but we need to keep an eye on their number nine. He’s pretty quick.

Rowan: Mmm … he’s alright but they haven’t got anyone else. We should turn them over easily.

Jack: We’ll see.

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Rowan: Before the roleplay, we asked you a question. The question was: Who is confident that their team will win and who is worried that they will lose?

Jack: The answer is that Rowan was confident and I was worried about how good the other team was.

Rowan: Talking about the opposition can be tricky. We usually don’t use team name’s we say ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ when talking about the team we support and ‘they’ ‘them’ and ‘their’ when talking about the opposition.

Jack: In the conversation, you heard they’re solid at the back and we need to keep an eye on their number nine.

Rowan: I also referred to the other team as this lot. I said we’re going to beat this lot today. This is probably a sign of being overconfident and the other team is not very important.

Jack: Rich shows this overconfidence when he uses ‘just’. He says the other team are going to just park the bus. They are not going to do anything else.

Rowan: Being confident or nervous about winning the match is definitely an important factor when speaking about the opposition.

Jack: In the conversation, I’m worried about the opposition, but Rich is confident about winning.

Rowan: Jack says good things about the other team because he’s worried. He says they’re solid at the back which means they are good in defence and we have to keep an eye on their number nine which means our team has to watch the other team’s number nine carefully because he’s a good player.

Jack: Rich says things like they will just park the bus which means the other team will only defend. He also says they play nice football, but there is no end product. This means that they pass the ball well in the middle of the park but can’t score goals.

Rowan: I also said that their number nine is OK, but they haven’t got anyone else. This phrase - they haven’t got anyone else means I think that the other team haven’t got any other good players. 

Jack: It’s very common to hear people saying they haven’t got anyone in attack or in midfield. Of course, they do, but it means that you don’t think they have any good players in that area of the pitch.

Rowan: We’ll look at these phrases and a few more in the lesson which you can find below this podcast.

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

ROLEPLAY REPEAT

Rowan: We’re going to beat this lot today. They’re just going to park the bus. Play with eleven behind the ball.

Jack: I’m not so sure. They’re pretty solid at the back and quick on the counter-attack. Lots of people have been saying they could go quite far in the tournament. They’re a bit of a dark horse.

Rowan: Nah! It’ll be attack against defence, like a training match. They play nice football but there’s no end product.

Jack: Mmm ... I hope you’re right but we need to keep an eye on their number nine. He’s pretty quick.

Rowan: Mmm … he’s alright but they haven’t got anyone else. We should turn them over easily.

Jack: We’ll see.

TASK

Jack: You’re going to hear two friends telling you about the opposition team. Your task is to respond to each of them using the language from this podcast.

Rowan: Team 1: They’re on a really bad run and haven’t won for ages. Their number nine is pretty good but apart from that ...

Jack: Team 2: They’ve got all the way to the semi-finals without letting a goal in. They’ve scored quite a few, too.

Rowan: Write all your responses in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.

Football Phrase

Rowan: 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: You will hear this football phrase in every podcast we release this week.

Rowan: 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?

Rowan: This week’s football phrase is **** ***. This phrase can be a phrasal verb or a noun and it’s what’s happening this weekend - the Premier League season is going to **** *** - it’s going to start. **** ** is at 8 o’clock on Friday when newly-promoted Brentford host Arsenal.

Jack: A nice and easy phrase this week, Rich!

Rowan: Yes, I think so. 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 now but we will be back later this week on Apple Podcasts and Spotify with the Premier Skills English podcast.

Rowan: 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.

Pronouns

The language you need to talk about the opposition

Opponents usually just shake hands and get on with the game.

The first thing to remember is that when we are talking about the opposition while watching a game we rarely use team names. Look at these examples from the listening:

We should turn them over easily.

They're pretty solid at the back.

We need to keep an eye on their number nine.

We're going to beat this lot today.

When we are talking about a match we use pronouns. When we talk about our team we use 'we', 'us' and 'our', but when we talk about the other team we use 'they', 'them' and 'our'. It's definitely 'us against them' when it comes to talking about the opposition. One other phrase you can see above is 'this lot' which means 'the opposition' and is used in an informal way.

Language

Words and phrases

Sometimes there can be some tough tackles between opponents.

In the roleplay, Rowan and Jack said that one important factor is whether you are confident or not about winning a match. The split the language into two categories:

  1. Confident about winning
  2. Worried about losing

Confident about winning

Opponents challenging for the ball.

When you are confident about winning a match, you will probably use words and expressions that show this. Rowan used these examples:

They're just going to park the bus.

They play nice football but there's no end product.

He's alright but they haven't got anyone else.

These expressions show that Rowan is confident because he doesn't think the opposition is very good. To park the bus means to defend a lot and not attack, no end product means they can't score goals or create chances and haven't got anyone else is an expression we use to say the opposition has one good player but no more. Look at the sentences below can you fill in the gaps?

What other phrases did you hear that describe the opposition when you're confident about winning?

Language

Worried about losing

It can be difficult when you lose a close match to an opponent.

When you are worried about losing a match, you will probably use words and expressions that show this. Jack used these examples:

They're pretty solid at the back and quick on the counter-attack.

Some people have said they could go quite far. They're a bit of a dark horse.

We need to keep an eye on their number nine.

These expressions show that Jack is worried about the opposition. In the first example, he talks about the opposition's quality 'solid at the back' means good in defence while 'quick on the counter-attack' emphasises that the opposition can move quickly from defensive to attacking positions. In the second example, he talks about what other people have been saying, 'to be a dark horse' is an idiom to describe a team that is better than what people think and could surprise a lot of people. Finally, Jack talks about an individual player. He says 'we need to keep an eye on their number nine; this means to watch this player carefully because he's good.

Did you hear any similar examples? Can you think of more? Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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

Quiz

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Task

They're not going to beat us!

A half and half scarf? Have you ever bought one?

In this podcast, Jack and Rowan described two teams. You need to respond using some of the language that was used in the podcast. Here is what they said again: 

  • Team 1: They’re on a really bad run and haven’t won for ages. Their number nine is pretty good but apart from that ...
  • Team 2: They’ve got all the way to the semi-finals without letting a goal in. They’ve scored quite a few, too.

Think how you could use some of the phrases Rowan 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

Liavon
09/09/2021
BY
306
points

Prhrase is kick off


Liavon
09/09/2021 10:29
Belarus
Arsenal
306

Prhrase is kick off

Roberto Avelar's picture
Roberto Avelar
23/08/2021
BR
110
points

Their number nine is pretty good, but other than that they have no one else.

They’ve got all the way to the semi-finals without letting a goal in. They’ve scored quite a few, too more goals


Roberto Avelar's picture
Roberto Avelar
23/08/2021 19:30
Brazil
Manchester City
110

Their number nine is pretty good, but other than that they have no one else.

They’ve got all the way to the semi-finals without letting a goal in. They’ve scored quite a few, too more goals

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
21/08/2021
TR
6397
points

Team 1 :
We’re going to beat this lot today. They’re just going to park the bus. They are going to play with eleven behind the ball.
It’ll be attack against defence, like a training match. They play nice football but there’s no end product.
Their number 10 is quite good but they don't have any other good players apart from him. We can finish the game easily.
I guess we can win 4-0 easily.

Team 2 :
They’re pretty solid at the back and quick on the counter-attack. Lots of people have been saying they could go quite far in the tournament and they have done it so far. They are obviously qualified to the semi-finals already. They’re a bit of a dark horse.
Their number 9 is a massive striker and scored quite few goals.
I'm worried about this game but I believe if we play our football , we can beat them. I would be happy if we won 2-1.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
21/08/2021 06:52
Turkey
Manchester United
6397

Team 1 :
We’re going to beat this lot today. They’re just going to park the bus. They are going to play with eleven behind the ball.
It’ll be attack against defence, like a training match. They play nice football but there’s no end product.
Their number 10 is quite good but they don't have any other good players apart from him. We can finish the game easily.
I guess we can win 4-0 easily.

Team 2 :
They’re pretty solid at the back and quick on the counter-attack. Lots of people have been saying they could go quite far in the tournament and they have done it so far. They are obviously qualified to the semi-finals already. They’re a bit of a dark horse.
Their number 9 is a massive striker and scored quite few goals.
I'm worried about this game but I believe if we play our football , we can beat them. I would be happy if we won 2-1.

pacedill
17/08/2021
MX
53
points

The football phrase is to **** ***


pacedill
17/08/2021 00:29
Mexico
Chelsea
53

The football phrase is to **** ***

gitaandari
16/08/2021
ID
23
points

The phrase is **** ***


gitaandari
16/08/2021 05:42
Indonesia
Manchester United
23

The phrase is **** ***

Vic
15/08/2021
MX
817
points

**** ***


Vic
15/08/2021 19:25
Mexico
Liverpool
817

**** ***

ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
15/08/2021
ZW
1742
points

Football Phrase

The answer is **** ***


ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
15/08/2021 14:31
Zimbabwe
Chelsea
1742

Football Phrase

The answer is **** ***

Tiago Delazari's picture
Tiago Delazari
15/08/2021
BR
145
points

Hi everyone. I'm from Brazil and finally listened to all episodes. I don't know when I started, but was a long time to listen all 400 episodes. It's a wonderful job that Rich, Rowen and Jack does, congratulations!

My guess for this week football phrase is **** ***


Tiago Delazari's picture
Tiago Delazari
15/08/2021 10:58
Brazil
Southampton
145

Hi everyone. I'm from Brazil and finally listened to all episodes. I don't know when I started, but was a long time to listen all 400 episodes. It's a wonderful job that Rich, Rowen and Jack does, congratulations!

My guess for this week football phrase is **** ***

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Hi Tiago,

That is a mammoth task! A big well done from me, Rowan and Jack!

We're very happy to know that you've been listening and we're even happier to hear from you at last! Did you have a favourite episode or topic?

All the best,

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:26
Spain
Liverpool
594

Hi Tiago,

That is a mammoth task! A big well done from me, Rowan and Jack!

We're very happy to know that you've been listening and we're even happier to hear from you at last! Did you have a favourite episode or topic?

All the best,

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Tiago Delazari's picture
Tiago Delazari
16/08/2021
BR
145
points

I went to UK 3 times (2015/2017/2019), but only in London. Next time I plan to visit other cities... because of this, my favourite topic is "English and the UK", I love to hear what to do in cities.

I hear this podcast a lot, your voice is already very familiar to me :)

Now that I'm up to date with podcasts, I'm going to do the tasks

Tks again by the amazing job


Tiago Delazari's picture
Tiago Delazari
16/08/2021 12:37
Brazil
Southampton
145

I went to UK 3 times (2015/2017/2019), but only in London. Next time I plan to visit other cities... because of this, my favourite topic is "English and the UK", I love to hear what to do in cities.

I hear this podcast a lot, your voice is already very familiar to me :)

Now that I'm up to date with podcasts, I'm going to do the tasks

Tks again by the amazing job

Rich's picture
Rich
17/08/2021
ES
594
points

That's good to know - maybe we can do more about what to do in the city.

We look forward to reading your comments when you do the tasks. They should keep you busy for a while :)


Rich's picture
Rich
17/08/2021 08:41
Spain
Liverpool
594

That's good to know - maybe we can do more about what to do in the city.

We look forward to reading your comments when you do the tasks. They should keep you busy for a while :)

Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
14/08/2021
MX
79
points

To **** ***


Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
14/08/2021 23:56
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
79

To **** ***

gerardo94's picture
gerardo94
14/08/2021
CU
9
points

This week's football phrase is "**** ***"


gerardo94's picture
gerardo94
14/08/2021 19:04
Cuba
Chelsea
9

This week's football phrase is "**** ***"

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Well done with the football phrase, Gerardo and welcome to Premier Skills English!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:21
Spain
Liverpool
594

Well done with the football phrase, Gerardo and welcome to Premier Skills English!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Emmanuel's picture
Emmanuel
14/08/2021
FR
90
points

Hi,
The phrase is **** ***.
Thank you for your perfect podcasts !
Have a good day


Emmanuel's picture
Emmanuel
14/08/2021 18:52
France
Manchester City
90

Hi,
The phrase is **** ***.
Thank you for your perfect podcasts !
Have a good day

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Hi Emmanuel,

Good work on the football phrase as ever and thanks for your positive feedback! We're very happy that you enjoy listening!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:20
Spain
Liverpool
594

Hi Emmanuel,

Good work on the football phrase as ever and thanks for your positive feedback! We're very happy that you enjoy listening!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

hsn's picture
hsn
14/08/2021
TR
3479
points

Task ( I responded in a role play-:)
1- What a boring match! The away team parked the bus for keeping one nil score till end of the game. They haven't got anyone to set an attack. I mean play maker. Funnily enough, before the final last whistle they saw an own goal in their net. It's finished one-all . All the players struggled and sweated blood during the match however there wasn't any end product.
2- Eleven are playing in coordinated coordination and cooperative cooperation way. That is team-spirit. They're solid at the back. Having a perfect goalkeeper gives advantage of a clean sheet? closed goal. They aren’t easily turned over. They never worried about losing because there was no defeat.
Football phrase---**** ***.
Phrase
• Being confident so much, in other words not worrying about the rival might cause a big disappointment. There is no certainty to turn over the rival. Dosage is important. Neither more nor less.
Notes
• We've a proverb; "With one flower the spring doesn't come " From this point of view; with one “star player” it won't be always possible to win the match.
• Here, managers also never use opponents' name while talking to the media after match.


hsn's picture
hsn
14/08/2021 13:05
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
3479

Task ( I responded in a role play-:)
1- What a boring match! The away team parked the bus for keeping one nil score till end of the game. They haven't got anyone to set an attack. I mean play maker. Funnily enough, before the final last whistle they saw an own goal in their net. It's finished one-all . All the players struggled and sweated blood during the match however there wasn't any end product.
2- Eleven are playing in coordinated coordination and cooperative cooperation way. That is team-spirit. They're solid at the back. Having a perfect goalkeeper gives advantage of a clean sheet? closed goal. They aren’t easily turned over. They never worried about losing because there was no defeat.
Football phrase---**** ***.
Phrase
• Being confident so much, in other words not worrying about the rival might cause a big disappointment. There is no certainty to turn over the rival. Dosage is important. Neither more nor less.
Notes
• We've a proverb; "With one flower the spring doesn't come " From this point of view; with one “star player” it won't be always possible to win the match.
• Here, managers also never use opponents' name while talking to the media after match.

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Good work as always, HSN! I've made a few corrections to your post which you can see in red above.

Hope that helps!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:16
Spain
Liverpool
594

Good work as always, HSN! I've made a few corrections to your post which you can see in red above.

Hope that helps!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

hsn's picture
hsn
16/08/2021
TR
3479
points

Thanks for help Rich. You're a real gentleman teacher, I've ever met-:)


hsn's picture
hsn
16/08/2021 11:41
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
3479

Thanks for help Rich. You're a real gentleman teacher, I've ever met-:)

Rich's picture
Rich
17/08/2021
ES
594
points

You're very welcome and thanks for the kind words :)


Rich's picture
Rich
17/08/2021 08:38
Spain
Liverpool
594

You're very welcome and thanks for the kind words :)

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
14/08/2021
TR
6397
points

This week's football phrase is **** ***
I believe it has the same meaning of afoot , is that right ?


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
14/08/2021 07:16
Turkey
Manchester United
6397

This week's football phrase is **** ***
I believe it has the same meaning of afoot , is that right ?

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Hi Mobeckham,

Good work as ever on the football phrase!

Afoot is actually an adjective that is used to describe something that is being planned. You may say something like: "Changes are afoot where I work but nobody is sure what exactly will happen."

It is often used when we don't know much about what is being planned and maybe we are a little suspicious of those plans.

Hope that helps!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:14
Spain
Liverpool
594

Hi Mobeckham,

Good work as ever on the football phrase!

Afoot is actually an adjective that is used to describe something that is being planned. You may say something like: "Changes are afoot where I work but nobody is sure what exactly will happen."

It is often used when we don't know much about what is being planned and maybe we are a little suspicious of those plans.

Hope that helps!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
16/08/2021
TR
6397
points

Hello Rich

Thanks for your reply
It definitely helps a lot
Much appreciated :)


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
16/08/2021 12:58
Turkey
Manchester United
6397

Hello Rich

Thanks for your reply
It definitely helps a lot
Much appreciated :)

Mehmet SISMAN
13/08/2021
TR
91
points

This week football phrase is **** ***.


Mehmet SISMAN
13/08/2021 23:16
Turkey
Liverpool
91

This week football phrase is **** ***.

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Good work, Mehmet!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:07
Spain
Liverpool
594

Good work, Mehmet!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Isshin's picture
Isshin
13/08/2021
JP
11
points

This week’s phrase is **** ***
That’s exposed


Isshin's picture
Isshin
13/08/2021 18:50
Japan
Manchester United
11

This week’s phrase is **** ***
That’s exposed

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Hi Isshin,

Thanks for letting us know. I changed the transcript.

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:07
Spain
Liverpool
594

Hi Isshin,

Thanks for letting us know. I changed the transcript.

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

wsanta's picture
wsanta
13/08/2021
AR
5027
points

Hi, you forgot to hide the football phrase "**** ***"


wsanta's picture
wsanta
13/08/2021 16:44
Argentina
Leeds United
5027

Hi, you forgot to hide the football phrase "**** ***"

Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021
ES
594
points

Hi Wsanta,

Thanks for letting us know. I changed the transcript although it was a little late for some!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
16/08/2021 08:06
Spain
Liverpool
594

Hi Wsanta,

Thanks for letting us know. I changed the transcript although it was a little late for some!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6397
2Alex_from_Ukraine6176
3wsanta5027
4kwesimanifest4754
5Liubomyr4408
6elghoul3988
7assemjuve3705
8aragorn19863557
9hsn3479
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia68692
2Ukraine33936
3Serbia27090
4Spain24501
5Brazil20919
6Albania20577
7Macedonia19063
8Vietnam18189
9Turkey16761
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16268
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United129849
2Liverpool98547
3Chelsea82242
4Arsenal77919
5Manchester City48824
6Tottenham Hotspur14588
7Leicester City12456
8Newcastle United9878
9Leeds United6044
10West Ham United5375

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Phrases to talk about the opposition

Task: Talk about a rival team