History of Football
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich talk about some key moments in the history of football and last week's action in the Premier League. We also ask you who you think will win this season's FA Cup, in this week's interactive vote for listeners The language focus is on 'used to' and how it is used to speak about past habits and states.
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:
"There are only 9 teams left in the competition now and it’s really hotting up."
"I was quite surprised to read about the first televised match."
Football has changed in many ways over the years. This is Arsenal winning the FA Cup in 1936.
Language - 'Used to' to speak about past habits and actions
In the podcast, Jack and Rich talked a lot about things they did a lot in the past but have stopped doing (past habits), and things that continued for a long time in the past without changing (past states). To talk about these two things, we can use 'used to + infinitive'. You can see two examples from the podcast below. If you want to learn more, try the activity below and look at our Learn English Grammar Pages.
"That’s like how we used to play at school."
"I used to have long hair."
Jack used to have long hair like Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: Hi everyone. I’m Rich and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: This week, we’re going to talk about which teams got through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and we’re going to take a look at some important moments in the history of football. The language focus is on used to talk about past habits.
Rich: And later, we’ll tell you about this week’s vote and I’ll also make another Premier League prediction.
Jack: In last week’s vote, we asked you about this podcast and how long you think it should be. Thanks for all your responses we found your answers very helpful because they help us really think about the podcast and how we can make it better for you.
Rich: What were the results, Jack?
Jack: OK, 13% of you said that you’d like the podcasts to be less than 5 minutes, 15% said that you’d like them to be over 15 minutes, 26% of you said between 5 and 10 minutes and 44% of you told us that you’d like the podcasts to last between 10 and 15 minutes.
Rich: That’s great! It really tells us that you like the current length of the podcast. You’ll see that today’s podcast is between 10 and 15 minutes. If there is anything that you’d like to change about our podcast send us a message and we’ll see what we can do.Jack: Last week we asked you what your perfect birthday result would be. DavidCusco56 from Ecuador and Rafayel from Armenia said that they’d like to spend his birthday at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. Elghoul in Algeria would like to spend his birthday watching a Champions League match.
Rich: Salva GH from Spain would also like to spend his birthday watching the Champions League. He’d like to see Manchester City in action against Real Madrid. And Nikosonris from Ukraine would like to spend his birthday watching Arsenal win the Champions League.
Jack: Aragorn1986 would like to spend his birthday in New Zealand because the country is so beautiful. I agree but I’m not sure there’s much football in New Zealand and I don’t like rugby that much!
Rich: When we’re speaking about birthdays we often say ‘I’d like to spend’. I think this is a useful phrase to learn. The verb spend here means to use your time to do a specific thing.
Jack: Listen again to the last few comments and see how often we say would like to + spend. It’s surprising how common it is when speaking about birthdays, weekends holidays etc.
Rich: We also asked you to write some sentences about match action using the passive voice. Lots of you wrote comments and we corrected many of them in the comment section. Remember, if you want us to help you with your English, just write ‘correct me’ at the beginning of your comment! We’re always very happy to see other people correcting comments, too. Don’t worry if you’re not 100% sure if the correction is correct, if it isn’t we’ll make a comment, too.
Jack: Peer correction is a great idea. It helps the person you’re correcting but it also helps you because it gives you a good chance to think about the language.
Rich: What’s been happening in the Premier League this week, Jack?
Jack: There were no matches in the Premier League last weekend because many of the Premier League teams were in action in the FA Cup. There are only 9 teams left in the competition now and it’s really hotting up, which means getting more and more exciting. Manchester Utd and Chelsea are already through to the quarter-finals but Arsenal will need to win a replay against Hull City to progress to the next round. Who do you think will win the Cup, Rich?
Rich: Liverpool are already out so I’m supporting West Ham. I think they have a really good chance especially with Dimitri Payet playing so well.
Jack: They’re away to Manchester Utd in the next round which is a difficult tie. I still think Arsenal can do it and make it three FA Cups in a row. That would be an amazing achievement. I looked it up, actually, and it would also be a historic achievement. The last club to win the FA Cup three times in a row was Blackburn Rovers in 1884, 1885 and 1886. That’s 130 years ago!
Rich: That would be amazing! And this week’s vote is on who you think will win the FA Cup this season. Just look down at the bottom of the page and vote for who you think will win!
Jack: Speaking about historic moments, this week’s podcast is going to look a bit more at football history.
Rich: The history of English football is long.
Jack: Yes, the earliest stories date back to as early as 1170 when some young people were said to have gone to the fields for a ‘game of ball’.
Rich: That sounds funny today, I think I prefer the word football. Back then, the game was quite different to the football we know and love. You’d have whole towns getting together to kick a ball about.
Jack: Yeah, you spoke about this in a podcast a while back. Where was that town you mentioned?
Rich: Ashbourne in Derby. They play a medieval match once a year. It sounds like a lot of fun, but not much like the Premier League.
Jack: No, the game that we know now, wasn’t officially codified.
Rich: Hang on - you mean that the rules weren’t written down?
Jack: Yes, today’s rules weren’t written down until 1863 with the formation of the Football Association. These rules included the first reference in English to the verb to ‘pass’ a ball. But you know what they didn’t have?
Rich: Goal line technology
Jack: very funny - no. They didn’t have goal line technology in 1863. But they also didn’t have offside.
Rich: No offside - brilliant.
Jack: Yeah, back then, teams would play their strikers right next to the goalkeeper.
Rich: Goalhangers! That’s like how we used to play at school. There would be no offside and I’d just wait for the ball to come to me so I could put it past the keeper. I think I scored about 15 goals in one match and we only had the lunch break!
Jack: Goalhangers were so annoying! I used to play in goal!
Rich: Ok, ok offside was a good rule to introduce. And many other things have changed about football over the last 100 years or so, in the UK.
Jack: Some of today’s Premier League teams started with different names, played in different colors and played in different places.
Rich: Manchester Utd were called Newton Heath when they started and wore green and yellow.
Jack: And Arsenal were called Woolwich Arsenal and played in South London not North London where they play today.
Rich: And did you know that Everton used to play at Liverpool’s stadium Anfield?
Jack: Interesting. There were a lot of changes in the early years of the league. I was quite surprised to read about the first televised match. Did you know that the BBC broadcast the first live football in 1937?
Rich: 1937! I thought it was much later than that. One of the biggest events in football in the UK was when England won the World Cup in 1966. That was watched by over 32 million people and was the most watched television event ever in the UK.
Jack: That leads us nicely to the Premier League. In 1992, the Premier League was formed and today, the Premier League is the most watched football league in the world. Last year, an estimated 700m people tuned in to watch Manchester United play Liverpool and the combined TV audience for Premier League games is 4.7bn.
Rich: That’s a lot of football fans!
Jack: Today, we spoke about the history of the Premier League. When you’re talking about something in the past, there are lots of forms you can use. We’re going to look at a form that is easy to use, but has tricky pronunciation. The form is: used to plus the infinitive.
Rich: Earlier, I said: That’s how we used to play at school.
Jack: and I said: I used to play in goal.
Rich: We use the form ‘used to’ to talk about things that we did a lot, habits or regular actions and states, things that didn’t change.
Jack: So, I might say: I used to have long hair.
Rich: Did you? I can’t imagine that. You haven’t got much now.
Jack: Thanks for pointing that out, Rich.
Rich: You’re welcome. I might say: I used to go swimming once a week.
Jack: The pronunciation is interesting because the two words link together and become: jusde
Rich: You have to be careful not to say used to, that makes it tricky for learners.Jack: The negative form is didn’t use to. The spelling changes - the verb use drops the d.
Rich: And that’s the same for question forms. Did you use to ...?
Jack: But the pronunciation for the positive, negative and question form stays the same. I used to have long hair. Did you use to have long hair?
Rich: I didn’t use to have long hair. Now for this week’s questions.
Jack: Question 1: We spoke about the history of football in England, however, it’s such an international sport that we’d like to ask you about the history of world football. What events do you think are the most important in the world history of football?
Rich: Question 2: What events are the most important in the history of football in your country?
Jack: And for the third question, we’d like you to use used to. Question 3: Tell us about how you have changed over the years and how you looked and what you did differently when you were younger.
Jack: I see that you predicted the right result last weekend, Rich! our first for some time!
Rich: Yes, I thought Chelsea would win in the FA Cup and they did, although they were helped by the Manchester City boss, Manuel Pellegrini, choosing quite a few reserve players for this match.
Jack: What match are you talking about this week, Rich?
Rich: The League Cup Final between Liverpool and Manchester City takes place on Sunday the 28th and I’m hoping for a Liverpool win. I know that it will be difficult against City but I think that we can do it. City play in Ukraine in the Champions League a few days before and I’m hoping that this might mean they are a little tired. I think Sturridge will get the winner. Final score: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City
Jack: Good luck on your prediction this week, Rich. I know that you’re hoping for a win. I’m going to be watching Arsenal play Manchester Utd at Old Trafford on Sunday. And a win might send us to the top of the Premier LEague table so Sunday is a big day for both of us!
Rich: 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.
Jack: 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.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
What do you think?
We spoke about the history of football in England, however, it’s such an international sport that we’d like to ask you about the history of world football. What events do you think are the most important in the world history of football?
What events are the most important in the history of football in your country?
Tell us about how you have changed over the years and how you looked and what you did differently when you were younger.