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Wes Morgan scoring Leicester's winner against Southampton.

Podcast 45 - Captains

Podcast 45 - Captains

Premier League badge.

In this week's podcast, Rich and Jack talk about all the latest news from the Premier League and the qualities needed to be a great Premier League captain. The language focus is on the words and phrases we use to talk about leaders and leadership qualities.

How much did you understand?


In this podcast, Rich and Jack used some vocabulary that might be new for you. Try the activity below to see how much you understand:

"Leicester City and West Ham might say they got a bargain last summer when they bought N’Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet."

"West Ham dropped two points when they could only draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace."

Activity 1: In this activity, have a look at the vocabulary and try to match it to the correct definition.
Can you match the words to their definitions?

Patrick Viera and Roy Keane were two great Premier League captains.

Arsenal's Patrick Viera and Manchester Utd's Roy Keane were two great Premier League captains.

Language - Leadership Qualities

In the podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about some Premier League captains and the qualities you need to have to be a good captain. They used some expressions to describe good captains:

"I think Wes Morgan sets a fantastic example."   To set an example = to behave in a way that you would like other people to copy

"Ledley King was a good role model, on and off the pitch at Tottenham."  A role model = a person who behaves in a way that other people copy

Rich and Jack used adjectives when describing different Premier League captain's but qualities are nouns so they changed the adjective to a noun. It's very useful to learn as many deifferent parts of a word as you can. Take a look at the words from the podcast in the table below. How would you use these words in different sentences?

Word Formation

Adjective Noun Verb Adverb
determined determination determine determinedly
  leadership lead  
passionate passion   passionately
committed commitment commit  
organised organisation organise  


When you change a word from an adjective to a noun or from a verb to an adverb the beginning of the word usually stays the same but the end of the word changes. 

If you want to practise more word formation exercises, have a go at the activity below or have a look at our Learn English Teens website for more information and practice.

Activity 2: It's important to know when to use the correct part of speech in a sentence (verb, adverb, noun, adjective etc.). In this activity, read the sentence and then write the correct form of the word.
Can you write the correct part of speech?

Steven Gerrard and John Terry played many Premier League matches as Liverpool and Chelsea captains.

If the listening was a bit difficult, you can listen again and read the transcript at the same time.
Listen to the podcast and read at the same time.

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.

Jack: Hi everyone. I’m Jack and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.

Rich: This week, we’re going to talk about the latest news from the Premier League and some of the best ever Premier League captains. The language focus is on words and phrases we use to describe leaders and captains.

Jack: And later, Rich will make this week’s Premier League prediction and we have another football phrase for you to guess in our football vocabulary game.

Rich: Leicester are now 7 points clear at the top of the table with only 6 matches of the Premier League season to go. What a time for their captain - Wes Morgan to score his first goal of the season.

Jack: Yes, a great time and a great result for the Foxes! We’ll be speaking more about the race for the title, Wes Morgan and captains later on.

Rich: We had a new football phrase for you to guess last week. I think it was quite difficult so well done to those of you who got it right.

Jack: Well done to Elghoul from Algeria and Nikosonris from Ukraine - both of you got it right straightaway!

Rich: And well done to AssemJuve from Palestine and Aragorn1986 from Montenegro, too. You didn’t get it straightaway but you kept guessing and got the answer in the end!

Jack: And the phrase was - bullet header, meaning a really fast header that doesn’t give the goalie any chance to save it. We’ll have another football phrase for you later on.

Rich: In last week’s podcast, we asked you to name the best ever players from different continents and we got some interesting answers.

Jack: It would be really hard to pick the best from these players but they would make a great team although we might need a goalkeeper.

Rich: From Africa you said: George Weah, Hacene Lalmas, Abedi Pele and Didier Drogba.

Jack: From Asia you said: Keisuke Honda, Bum-Gun Cha - cor, with a name like that, I wish he’d played in the Premier League, and Hidetoshi Nakata.

Rich: And from South America you said : Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, and Lionel Messi.

Jack: From Europe you said: Alessandro Del Piero, Cristiano Ronaldo, Johan Cruyff, and  Zinedine Zidane.

Rich: And in our vote on the best ever European player… you chose Zinedine Zidane. The French midfielder got 31% of your votes with Johan Cruyff and Cristiano Ronaldo a long way back in second and third place.

Jack: We’ve got another vote on our Player of the Week article. Just go to the article about Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante on our homepage and choose who you think is this season’s biggest bargain.

Rich: ‘Bargain’ that’s quite a difficult word. It means something that you buy for less than what it is worth or valued.

Jack: So, if you see a TV in the supermarket and it was £200 a few weeks ago but it’s only £80 today, you might say that it’s a bargain.

Rich: And Leicester City and West Ham might say they got a bargain last summer when they bought N’Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet.

Jack: If they sold them now, they would sell for much more than what they paid for them.

Rich: Last week we also asked you to tell us how to do something. Thanks to HakanUslu1881 from Turkey, Aragorn1986 and Elghoul for their descriptions of different football actions.

Jack: And thanks also to Kwesimanifest from Ghana for telling us how to make a vest out of an unwanted shirt, Rafael24 from Ecuador for his instructions on how to plant a tree, and Haydi from Tunisia for her couscous recipe. Rich has told me that he’ll be cooking couscous on Friday!

Rich: What’s the latest from the Premier League, Jack?

Jack: The Premier League is very exciting at the moment and every match is important either for the Premier League title, the race for the Champions League or the battle for survival at the bottom of the table.

Rich: Rafa Benitez hasn’t had the best start as Newcastle manager, has he?

Jack: No, Norwich beat Newcastle 3-2 with a last minute winner that keeps the Canaries outside the bottom three and leaves the Magpies in big trouble.

Rich: It’s going to be very interesting to see who gets fourth place and the last Champions League spot, too.

Jack: It looks like it’s between the two Manchester clubs and West Ham for fourth. Utd beat Everton, and City looked good beating Bournemouth 4-0 away from home, but West Ham dropped two points when they could only draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace. Payet scored another amazing free-kick in that one!

Rich: It’s looking exciting at the top of the table, isn’t it?

Jack: On Saturday,  Arsenal had a great weekend and won 4-0 against Watford but Spurs dropped two points because they could only draw 1-1 with Liverpool. Then on Sunday, Leicester got a 1-0 win against Southampton that puts them 7 points clear with 6 matches to play. Did you watch the Leicester match, Rich?

Rich: Yes, I did. Another 1-0 win for Leicester, that’s five in the last six matches. It’s not pretty but it’s effective. Another clean sheet shows that Leicester have a great defence.

Jack: And Leicester’s captain, Wes Morgan, is at the heart of that defence. And it was Morgan who also scored the winning goal against Southampton.

Rich: Morgan is a great captain and leader, I think he sets a fantastic example. The week before, he played two matches for Jamaica, his national team, in home and away matches against Costa Rica, and when he returned home he was sick and it looked like he wouldn’t play against Southampton.

Jack: But he did play and he scored the winner. Morgan said after the game that he had been quite ill the day before and wasn’t sure if he could play.

Rich: But, he said that he wanted to play and had to get through it. Morgan has played every minute of every Premier League match for Leicester this season - only Leicester’s goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, has done the same.  

Jack: And he’s more or less played two seasons without a break - that shows he’s really committed and sets a good example.

Rich: That’s right. He played for Jamaica in two international tournaments last summer, which meant he’s hardly had a break. Managers often complain that players have too many games but Morgan shows that you don’t need too many holidays!  

Jack: Leading by example is one way to be a great captain. The fitness and stamina that Morgan has shown this season is something all players should try to copy.

Rich: There have been some great captains in the Premier League; Steven Gerrard at Liverpool led by example by scoring in big matches and was always very passionate, John Terry has organised the Chelsea defence for 12 years as captain, and Ledley King was a great role model on and off the pitch at Tottenham.

Jack: I think two captains I remember well are Patrick Viera at Arsenal and Roy Keane at Manchester Utd. There were lots of battles between them. Viera had great leadership qualities and was captain of the invincibles back in 2003/04.

Rich: I have to say that Roy Keane was a great captain. He was really determined and failure was never an option for Keane. He was always 100% committed.

Jack: Who is the best ever Premier League captain? I’m not sure, we’ll leave it for you to decide in this week’s vote. It’s at the bottom of the page.

Rich: We used a lot of vocabulary to talk about captains in the last section. One phrase that Jack used to speak about Patrick Viera was ‘leadership qualities’. The qualities needed to be a good leader.

Jack: You said that Roy Keane was always determined. When you are determined you are not going to let anybody stop you or get in your way.

Rich: So, we could say that the noun ‘determination’ is an important quality to be a good leader.

Jack: You also said that Keane was committed. If you are committed you work hard for something because you strongly believe in it.

Rich: We can add the noun ‘commitment’ to the qualities needed to be a good leader. I also said John Terry was a good organiser so we could add ‘organisation’ or ‘organisational skills’ to the list of leadership qualities.

Jack: And you said Steven Gerrard was passionate which means he shows strong feelings so maybe ‘passion’ is also important. And Ledley King was a great role model which means someone that you want to copy because you admire them.

Rich: So we’ve got quite a few different ways to describe a good captain or leader, which leads us to this week’s questions. Question 1: Who is the best captain in Premier League history? Why? Who is the best captain ever?

Jack: Question 2: What qualities does a good captain or leader need?

Rich: Question 3: Do you have good leadership qualities? Why / why not? Do you know someone with good leadership qualities? Can you describe what makes him or her a great leader?

Jack: And remember, if you want us to correct your comments just write ‘correct me’ at the beginning of your message.

Rich: Right, do you have a new football phrase for our listeners to guess, Jack?

Jack: Yes, I do. This week’s football phrase is clean sheet and if you’ve listened to all of the podcast you should have heard this phrase. It means to finish a game without conceding a goal. Leicester City now have five clean sheets in their last six matches. They might not have scored lots of goals recently but if they continue to keep clean sheets they will surely be Champions in May.

Rich: I think that’s a good phrase to learn if you don’t know it. It’s quite common.

Jack: Now it’s time for your prediction. I saw that your prediction wasn’t quite right last week. In fact, the only person to predict a draw between Liverpool and Spurs was Aragorn1986 from Montenegro - well done to you! Have you got a prediction for us, Rich?

Rich: Yes I have. This week’s big match is Spurs again and this weekend they are up against Manchester Utd. Both teams need three points for different reasons. Tottenham are trying to catch Leicester at the top and Utd are trying to catch City for fourth place and Champions League qualification. I think both teams will be unhappy as I don’t think there will be any goals in this one. Final score: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Manchester Utd

Jack: Right, anyway that’s it for today - we’ve run out of time! Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to write your answers to our questions, your predictions and anything you want to say about the website or football English in the comments below.

Rich: Don’t forget if you sign in, you can score points to see if you can get your club, your country and your name to the top of our leaderboard.

Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!



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What do you think?

In this week’s podcast we spoke about captains and the qualities you need to be a good leader.

  1. Who is the best captain in Premier League history? Why? Who is the best captain ever of your club, or your country?

  2. What qualities does a good captain or leader need?

  3. Do you have good leadership qualities? Why/why not? Do you know someone with good leadership qualities? Can you describe what makes him or her a great leader?

​Rich predicts that Tottenham and Manchester Utd will draw 0-0 in this weekend's big Premier League match. Do you agree?

Remember to write your predictions, your guess at this week's football phrase and answers to the questions above in the comments section below.
If you want us to correct your English, just write 'correct me' at the beginning of your comment.

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MUGEMANYI's picture

Tony Adams is the best captain.

MUGEMANYI's picture
09/04/2016 21:00

Tony Adams is the best captain.

aragorn1986's picture

I predict Tottenham's win. Spurs 2 - Man.Utd. 0

aragorn1986's picture
05/04/2016 14:42

I predict Tottenham's win. Spurs 2 - Man.Utd. 0


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Learn some new football vocabulary. 

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