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Football Shout-out: The Opposition

Football Shout-out: The Opposition

Welcome to Football Shout-out from Premier Skills English, where we talk about the language you need when watching a match. Whether you are a super fan or an armchair supporter you won't be able to avoid football on TV this summer. In Football Shout-out, Jack and Rich present useful language to shout at the TV screen when watching a match with or without friends! In this episode, they look at some words and phrases to talk about the other team (the opposition). 

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.

Jack: Hello and welcome to Premier Skills English - Football Shout-out 

Rich: Football shout-out is the series that teaches you the language you need when you’re watching the game.

Jack: Hi everybody my name’s Jack 

Rich: and my name’s Rich and welcome to lesson three of Football Shout-out where we talk about the English you need when you’re watching football.

Jack: If you listened to our last lesson, you will remember this:

Rich: Referee! That’s gotta be a pen! It’s a definite penalty!

Jack: A penalty? He never touched him! That’s a dive!

Rich: What’s the ref doing?

Jack: It’s going to VAR. Now we’ll see.

Rich: He’s gotta to go! That’s gotta be a red. You can’t fly into a tackle like that. Studs up two-footed … horrible

Jack: What are you talking about? He got the ball. It was a fifty-fifty challenge - hard but fair! He went down way too easily!

Rich: What’s the ref given? It’s a penalty! Get in!

Jack: Our last lesson was all about the language of fouls and what fans say when a player is fouled. If you haven’t heard the lesson, there is a link on the side of this page for you to go back and listen and learn lots of fan language connected to fouls.

Rich: This lesson, though, is all about … say it quietly … the other side.

Jack: What? Speak up a bit!

Rich: The other side … the opposition.

Jack: Ahh! The opposition.

Rich: 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: Listen to this.

Rich: 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.

Rich: 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.

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

Jack: We’ll see.

Rich: 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.

Rich: 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.

Rich: 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.

Rich: 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 thing 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.

Rich: 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.

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

Rich: Listen again. Do you understand everything now?

Rich: 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.

Rich: 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.

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

Jack: We’ll see.

Jack: So, that’s how you talk about the opposition in English. 

Rich: We’ve got some activities to help you remember the phrases that we’ve been speaking about in the lesson below this podcast.

Jack: We’ll be back soon with our next football English lesson, which will be about what we shout at our players and manager when watching a match.

Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.

Pronouns

The language you need to talk about the opposition

The first thing to remember is that when we are talking about the opposition while watching a game we rarely use the 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

In the listening, Rich 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

When you are confident about winning a match, you will probably use words and expressions that show this. Rich 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 Rich 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?

Opposition captains shake hands before a match.

Worried about losing

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.

It's traditional for the opposition to give a guard of honour to the team that has just won the Premier League.

Task

The Opposition

Do you understand all of the phrases below? Choose two or three of the phrases and write a mini-dialogue. Remember to use the right pronouns in your dialogues!

  1. Park the bus.
  2. A dark horse.
  3. No end product.
  4. Solid at the back.
  5. They haven't got anyone in ...

Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Quiz

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What do you think?

  • Were any of these phrases new for you?
  • Are you normally confident or worried at the start of a match?
  • Can you tell us any other phrases connected to the opposition?

Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to write your answers to the task above.

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Comments

YERKEBULAN
07/06/2018
KZ
11
points

bus solid dark product number nine PULL


YERKEBULAN
07/06/2018 14:19
Kazakhstan
Manchester United
11

bus solid dark product number nine PULL

YERKEBULAN
07/06/2018
KZ
11
points

BUS SOLID DARK PRODUCT NUMBER NINE(WHOAH NUMBER NINE IS A ORIGINAL) AND PULL


YERKEBULAN
07/06/2018 14:14
Kazakhstan
Manchester United
11

BUS SOLID DARK PRODUCT NUMBER NINE(WHOAH NUMBER NINE IS A ORIGINAL) AND PULL

Kofi's picture
Kofi
06/06/2018
GH
9
points

Bus
Solid
Dark
Product
Number nine
Pull


Kofi's picture
Kofi
06/06/2018 15:08
Ghana
Manchester United
9

Bus
Solid
Dark
Product
Number nine
Pull

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
31/05/2018
GH
4473
points

There are days that am worried about my team's opponents due to the fear I have for the players paraded by the opponent. For example, in a Manchester Derby am most often worried at the start of the game due to the caliber of City's players.


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
31/05/2018 06:54
Ghana
Manchester United
4473

There are days that am worried about my team's opponents due to the fear I have for the players paraded by the opponent. For example, in a Manchester Derby am most often worried at the start of the game due to the caliber of City's players.

acicala's picture
acicala
30/05/2018
ES
200
points

A few days ago, the final of the Champions League was played. It was such a strange match. We were worried because they were solid at the back and had got good players in the attack. So we expected a strong opposition, but finally... and this was incredible... we had got an unexpected ally in goal. Bad luck, Liverpool!
Is it all OK? ;-)


acicala's picture
acicala
30/05/2018 21:01
Spain
Chelsea
200

A few days ago, the final of the Champions League was played. It was such a strange match. We were worried because they were solid at the back and had got good players in the attack. So we expected a strong opposition, but finally... and this was incredible... we had got an unexpected ally in goal. Bad luck, Liverpool!
Is it all OK? ;-)

elghoul's picture
elghoul
30/05/2018
DZ
2261
points

I am always happy at the beginning of the match. I like watching football and do not wonder which team will win at the end.

We will pray God against the opposition team.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
30/05/2018 18:16
Algeria
Arsenal
2261

I am always happy at the beginning of the match. I like watching football and do not wonder which team will win at the end.

We will pray God against the opposition team.

anhduongspurs
30/05/2018
VN
675
points

Thank you.


anhduongspurs
30/05/2018 15:04
Vietnam
Tottenham Hotspur
675

Thank you.

anhduongspurs
29/05/2018
VN
675
points

Correct me
Yes, but I already know ''park the bus'' and ''a dark horse'' before.
At the start of a match, I usually worried because my team is very weak, only win 2 matches this year.


anhduongspurs
29/05/2018 15:08
Vietnam
Tottenham Hotspur
675

Correct me
Yes, but I already know ''park the bus'' and ''a dark horse'' before.
At the start of a match, I usually worried because my team is very weak, only win 2 matches this year.

Rich's picture
Rich
30/05/2018
ES
248
points

Hi Anhduongspurs,

Thanks for your message. The important thing here is how you are using 'worried'. Is it a verb or an adjective? If it's an adjective you need to say I AM usually worried and if it's a verb you need to say I usually WORRY following the adverb of frequency 'usually'.

Hope that helps!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

 

 


Rich's picture
Rich
30/05/2018 08:04
Spain
Liverpool
248

Hi Anhduongspurs,

Thanks for your message. The important thing here is how you are using 'worried'. Is it a verb or an adjective? If it's an adjective you need to say I AM usually worried and if it's a verb you need to say I usually WORRY following the adverb of frequency 'usually'.

Hope that helps!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

 

 

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Goals

  • Skills: Listening
  • Language: Words and phrases to talk about the opposition