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Premier League Previews: Liverpool to Wolves

Premier League Previews: Liverpool to Wolves

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rowan, Jack and Rich preview the new Premier League season by talking about ten more Premier League clubs including Liverpool, both Manchester clubs and Tottenham. They talk about what's been happening at each club, new signings and how fans are feeling about the new season. The language focus is on ten football phrases and cliches we use in the roleplays. In this week's task, we want you to choose one clubs and write about their chances and expectations for the new season. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.

Transcript

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Premier League Previews: Liverpool to Wolves  

Introduction

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rowan: My name’s Rowan

Rich: and I’m Rich 

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.

Rich: This week we’re going to speak about the ten Premier League clubs we didn’t speak about in last week’s podcast.

Rowan: That includes Liverpool, both Manchester clubs and Tottenham.

Jack: Yes, this is part two of our Premier League previews in the run-up to the new season which kicks off on September the 12th.

Rich: That’s tomorrow!

Rowan: Or it might be today or it might have kicked off already. It depends when people listen to this podcast.

Jack: In this week’s podcast, you’re going to hear ten roleplays about Premier League clubs - their managers, their players and their chances this season.

Rich: Jack has interviewed ten fans that follow each of the Premier League teams we are going to talk about. 

Rowan: But like last week when Rich did the interviews - the fans are us.

Jack: Well, we’re fans of the Premier League and all the clubs.

Rich: Liverpool mostly and Sheffield United - my hometown club but yes, yes we are fans of all the clubs in the Premier League.

Rowan: But the main reason we are here and you are listening is to learn English and like every week we’re going to focus on improving your English.

Jack: Each Premier League fan will use a common football phrase or cliche and we’ll look at the meaning of this phrase and how it is used after each roleplay.

Rich: Your task this week is the same as last week - to use some of the football phrases we introduce to talk about one of the ten Premier League teams we talk about in this week’s podcast.

Rowan: And if we don’t talk about your favourite Premier League team that’s because we spoke about them last week and you need to find Premier League Previews: Arsenal to Leicester on the Premier Skills English website or Apple Podcasts.

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

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

Rich: You’ll also find a community of friendly listeners to interact with, in our comments section.
 
Jack: And that includes us - we’re always around to answer questions and join in the discussions.

Rowan: But if you listen on Apple Podcasts you can always write answers to our questions or any other comments in the review section.

Rich: Before we do the roleplays let’s look back at last week’s football phrase.

Last week’s Football Phrase 

Jack: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. 

Rowan: It was a really difficult phrase last week and not as many of you got it right. Here it is one more time:

Rich: Last week’s football phrase was ** **** ** **. This phrase is used by fans to complain that their team are trying to score the perfect goal and they are not having any success. The team are passing and passing and passing; they don’t want to shoot - they want ** **** ** **. They want to play short passes, one-touch football, not run and get the ball in the back of the net without shooting. It’s usually got a negative connotation about teams who keep possession and don’t shoot enough.

Jack: People used to say that the trouble with Arsenal was that they wanted ** **** ** **. Not anymore though. Not with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang about.

Rowan: It was a difficult phrase to guess but a big well done to Liubomyr from Ukraine who was the first to get the right answer last week.  It’s been a while since you were first, Liubomyr.

Rich: If you’re not sure what the football phrase is we’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase. 

Jack: Well done as well to Marco Zapien from Mexico, Daniel Baron1503 and Jhon Baron-Oliveres from Colombia, and Max Alex from Vietnam. All of you got the right answer.

Rowan: Last week we asked you to write a preview for a Premier League club and it was interesting to read your replies.

Rich: Salomoah from Brazil thinks Everton will do well next season especially now they have James Rodriguez.

Rowan: FJChaves from Brazil wants to see Liverpool have the same consistency as last season.

Jack: Elghoul from Algeria thinks Chelsea have made some very good signings and Vic from Mexico thinks Arsenal will be good this season. I hope so, too, Vic from Mexico.

Rich: If you haven’t heard last week’s podcast it’s called Premier League Previews: Arsenal to Leicester. You can find it on Premier Skills English and Apple Podcasts now.

Introduction to Roleplay

Rowan: As we said earlier, this week Jack is going to interview fans from ten Premier League clubs.

Jack: Before each interview, we’ll give you a question to answer and then we’ll look at one football phrase or cliche.

Rich: This should be good listening practice because some of these fans talk very quickly.

Rowan: For that reason, like last week, we advise you not to look at the transcript. We really want you to practise your listening skills.

Jack: We will then ask you to listen to each roleplay again so you can hear the football phrase or cliche in context. OK, let’s start with the world’s worst football club - only joking Rich - it’s Liverpool. The question we want you to answer is:

Rowan: Where does Rich think Liverpool will finish this season?

Roleplay 1a

Rowan: Liverpool

Jack: So, the season kicks off in less than two weeks. How are you feeling?

Rich: I’m dead excited. We are Premier League Champions. I just love being called the reigning Champions. Who are up against the Premier League Champions this week? Don’t know oh that’s us - we’re playing Leeds, we’re playing Chelsea, we’re playing Manchester United. Manchester United are away at the Champions this week.

Jack: Can you do it again this season?

Rich: Of course, we can. That’s what we want to do. Last season isn’t going to be a flash in the pan. We want to create a dynasty. I want us to win year after year.

Jack: But you haven’t signed anyone.

Rich: Do we need to sign anyone? We won the Premier League by twenty points last season. We’ve got the same players. We go again.

Jack: What are you most looking forward to this season?

Rich: Getting fans back. I want to see the Premier League lifted in front of the Kop this season.

Language Focus 1

Rowan: So, Rich sounds quite excited about the new Premier League season. We asked you where he thinks Liverpool will finish.

Jack: Well, he doesn’t say so exactly but he thinks Liverpool will win the Premier League again. He says they will lift the trophy in front of the fans.

Rowan: OK, the phrase we want to look at is a flash in the pan. Rich said last season isn’t going to be a flash in the pan.

Rich: A flash in the pan is an idiom and it means to have success very suddenly that doesn’t last very long and is unlikely to be repeated.

Jack: Rich thinks Liverpool winning the Premier League was not a flash in the pan and he thinks they will be successful this season and over a long period of time.

Rowan: Listen to the roleplay with Rich again and listen to how we used the idiom a flash in the pan in context.

Roleplay 1b

Rowan: Liverpool

Jack: So, the season kicks off in less than two weeks. How are you feeling?

Rich: I’m dead excited. We are Premier League Champions. I just love being called the reigning Champions. Who are up against the Premier League Champions this week? Don’t know oh that’s us - we’re playing Leeds, we’re playing Chelsea, we’re playing Manchester United. Manchester United are away at the Champions this week.

Jack: Can you do it again this season?

Rich: Of course, we can. That’s what we want to do. Last season isn’t going to be a flash in the pan. We want to create a dynasty. I want us to win year after year.

Jack: But you haven’t signed anyone.

Rich: Do we need to sign anyone? We won the Premier League by twenty points last season. We’ve got the same players. We go again.

Jack: What are you most looking forward to this season?

Rich: Getting fans back. I want to see the Premier League lifted in front of the Kop this season.


Rowan: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Jack: Why is this Premier League fan disappointed? 
Roleplay 2a

Rich: Manchester City 

Jack: Was last season a good season at City?

Rowan: It wasn’t a good season but it wasn’t a bad one either. We had a few problems at the back and the Champions League was a disappointment again.

Jack: Can you bridge that gap to Liverpool?

Rowan: The gap was 18 points last season so it’s going to be a tall order but I think we have a chance and one thing’s for sure it’ll be much closer than last season.

Jack: Anyone new at the Etihad this season?

Rowan: We’ve bought Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40 million. I think he will help - we struggled in defence last season; especially in the big games.

Jack: What about Messi?

Rowan: Maybe next season. He wanted to come, Pep wanted him, we all wanted him, but in the end, it wasn’t to be.

Language Focus 2

Jack: Before the roleplay, we asked you what this Premier League fan was disappointed about.

Rowan: This Manchester City fan was disappointed that Lionel Messi didn’t sign from Barcelona.

Rich: OK, the phrase we want to focus on is a tall order.

Jack: A tall order is another idiom and it describes something that is very difficult to do. 

Rowan: The Manchester City fan said that it is a tall order to close the 18-point gap between Manchester City and Liverpool.

Rich:  Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the idiom a tall order in a natural context.

Roleplay 2b

Rich: Manchester City 

Jack: Was last season a good season at City?

Rowan: It wasn’t a good season but it wasn’t a bad one either. We had a few problems at the back and the Champions League was a disappointment again.

Jack: Can you bridge that gap to Liverpool?

Rowan: The gap was 18 points last season so it’s going to be a tall order but I think we have a chance and one thing’s for sure it’ll be much closer than last season.

Jack: Anyone new at the Etihad this season?

Rowan: We’ve bought Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for £40 million. I think he will help - we struggled in defence last season; especially in the big games.

Jack: What about Messi?

Rowan: Maybe next season. He wanted to come, Pep wanted him, we all wanted him but in the end, it wasn’t to be.


Rich: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rowan: Which position is this Premier League fan concerned about?

Roleplay 3a

Rowan: Manchester United

Jack: So what’s new at Old Trafford this season?

Rich: We’ve been making steady progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and I think this is the season where you’ll see United challenging at the top once again.

Jack: You think you’ll be up there with Liverpool and City this season?

Rich: I’m not saying we’re going to finish above them but I think we’ll challenge and yes we’ve got a chance. Bruno Fernandes is as good as anyone on his day and a strikeforce of Martial, Greenwood and Rashford, well I think it’s the best in the league.

Jack: Are you going to be good enough in defence though?

Rich: That’s where I worry. This Harry Maguire thing is a bit of a worry and then we have to decide if we persist with De Gea in goal or take a gamble on Dean Henderson being ready to be number one at the biggest club in the world. 

Jack: Where are you going to finish then?

Rich: My heart says we’ll win the League but my head says probably third or fourth.

Language Focus 3

Jack: Before the roleplay, we asked you which position is this Premier League fan concerned about.

Rowan: The answer is goalkeeper and defence. He said he was worried about who will be in goal. 

Rich: OK, the phrase we want to focus on is to take a gamble.

Jack: This phrase means to do something that is very risky. It could have very bad results or very good results.

Rowan: The Manchester United fan said it could be worth taking a gamble by playing Dean Henderson in goal.

Rich: He’s never played for Manchester United but he was really good on loan at Sheffield United last season.

Jack: But playing for Manchester United involves much more pressure and it would be a risk playing him but then again he could be brilliant.

Rowan: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrase to take a gamble in a natural context.

Roleplay 3b

Rowan: Manchester United

Jack: So what’s new at Old Trafford this season?

Rich: We’ve been making steady progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and I think this is the season where you’ll see United challenging at the top once again.

Jack: You think you’ll be up there with Liverpool and City this season?

Rich: I’m not saying we’re going to finish above them but I think we’ll challenge and yes we’ve got a chance. Bruno Fernandes is as good as anyone on his day and a strikeforce of Martial, Greenwood and Rashford, well I think it’s the best in the league.

Jack: Are you going to be good enough in defence though?

Rich: That’s where I worry. This Harry Maguire thing is a bit of a worry and then we have to decide if we persist with De Gea in goal or take a gamble on Dean Henderson being ready to be number one at the biggest club in the world. 

Jack: Where are you going to finish then?

Rich: My heart says we’ll win the League but my head says probably third or fourth.


Rowan: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: What is this Premier League fan disappointed about?

Roleplay 4a

Rich: Newcastle United

Jack: How are Geordies feeling at the start of the season?

Rowan: I’m not a Geordie and won’t have a go at the accent but I am a Newcastle fan. How are we feeling? Not great. We were hoping for a few more signings and if the takeover had gone through we’d have been very happy but it seems that we’re stuck with more of the same.

Jack: But Steve Bruce is doing a pretty good job, isn’t he?

Rowan: He is. He’s a Geordie but he wasn’t the most popular choice when his name was announced. We all wanted Rafa Benitez back. But he’s done all right - better than expected, especially because he’s done it on a shoestring.

Jack: But you’ve just bought Callum Wilson for £20 million.

Rowan: You’re right. The purse strings have been loosened a little and we’ve gone on a bit of a recruitment drive. Let’s see if it’s enough for us this season. 

Language Focus 4

Rich: Before the roleplay, we asked you what this Premier League fan was disappointed about.

Jack: She wishes that Newcastle had spent more money on new transfers.

Rowan: The bit of language we want to look at in this roleplay is on a shoestring.

Rich: On a shoestring means on a small budget - if you do something on a shoestring, you do something without spending much money.

Jack: We can use this idiom when we’re talking about budgets and finances in an informal way. We could talk about families that make meals on a shoestring or a film that has been made on a shoestring budget.

Rowan: We often use it in football to talk about clubs and managers that have little money to spend on transfers. They have a shoestring budget to work with.

Jack: A bonus phrase in that roleplay was to loosen the purse strings which means to make more money available for spending.  

Rich:  Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrases on a shoestring and loosen the purse strings in a natural context.

Roleplay 4b

Rich: Newcastle United

Jack: How are Geordies feeling at the start of the season?

Rowan: I’m not a Geordie and won’t have a go at the accent but I am a Newcastle fan. How are we feeling? Not great. We were hoping for a few more signings and if the takeover had gone through we’d have been very happy but it seems that we’re stuck with more of the same.

Jack: But Steve Bruce is doing a pretty good job, isn’t he?

Rowan: He is. He’s a Geordie but he wasn’t the most popular choice when his name was announced. We all wanted Rafa Benitez back. But he’s done all right - better than expected, especially because he’s done it on a shoestring.

Jack: But you’ve just bought Callum Wilson for £20 million.

Rowan: You’re right. The purse strings have been loosened a little and we’ve gone on a bit of a recruitment drive. Let’s see if it’s enough for us this season. 


Rowan: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: Who is important for this Premier League fan?

Roleplay 5a

Rowan: Sheffield United

Jack: Sheffield United was last season’s surprise package. 

Rich: Yes, we were everybody’s favourites to finish bottom and go straight back down.

Jack: So, how did everyone get it so wrong and what did Sheffield United get right.

Rich: Well, we surprised a few with our tactics. Few teams play their centre-halves on the wing and then there’s our never say die attitude. We never give up.

Jack: And this season? How do you think you will do.

Rich: I think we’ll do well. Our home form is important. Last season we beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham at Bramall Lane.

Jack: Another top half finish?

Rich: Why not? We want to progress and get better every season.

Language Focus 5

Rowan: Before the roleplay, we asked you what is important for this Premier League fan.

Jack: He said his club’s home form is important.

Rich: We’ve got a couple of phrases to look at from the roleplay. The first is surprise package. We described Sheffield United as last season’s surprise package. 

Rowan: A surprise package describes a team that does much better than was expected.

Jack: Last season’s surprise package was Sheffield United; I think this season’s surprise package could be Leeds or Southampton.

Rich: The other football cliche we used in this roleplay was never say die attitude. 

Rowan: The fan described their team as having a never say die attitude which means that their team never gives up and never stops trying.

Jack: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrases never say die attitude and surprise package in a natural context.

Roleplay 5b

Rowan: Sheffield United

Jack: Sheffield United was last season’s surprise package. 

Rich: Yes, we were everybody’s favourites to finish bottom and go straight back down.

Jack: So, how did everyone get it so wrong and what did Sheffield United get right.

Rich: Well, we surprised a few with our tactics. Few teams play their centre-halves on the wing and then there’s our never say die attitude. We never give up.

Jack: And this season? How do you think you will do.

Rich: I think we’ll do well. Our home form is important. Last season we beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham at Bramall Lane.

Jack: Another top half finish?

Rich: Why not? We want to progress and get better every season.


Rowan: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: Who does this Premier League fan want to do well this season?

Roleplay 6a

Rich: Southampton

Jack: What can we expect from the Saints this season? It was a bit of an up and down season last year.

Rowan: Yes, it was. The first half of the season was entirely forgettable. We couldn’t win at home, well we couldn’t win at all very often and that 9-0 home defeat to Leicester - I still don’t know how I can wipe it from my memory.

Jack: But the second half of the season was much better.

Rowan: Yes, a massive turnaround. I thought we were going to be in a relegation dogfight down at the bottom but by the end of the season, I was even thinking of the European places.

Jack: And this season?

Rowan: If Danny Ings can carry on scoring and we can add a bit of steel to the team I think we can have a really good season.

Jack: Could you challenge the European places?

Rowan: If we make a good start I think we’re in with a shout, you know.

Language Focus 6

Jack: Before the roleplay, we asked you who this Premier League fan wants to do well this season.

Rich: She said that she wants Danny Ings to continue scoring goals.

Rowan: Right, we’ve got a few football phrases we want to look at from that roleplay

Jack: The first is a relegation dogfight. This is a football cliche and is used to describe the teams at the bottom of the table that are battling or fighting to avoid relegation.

Rich: Another cliche that this fan used was to add a bit of steel to the team. Steel is a strong metal and the cliche is used when we want to say that the team needs to be physically stronger.

Rowan: We often say that a team needs a bit more steel in the centre of the pitch which means the team needs a more physical midfielder.

Jack: And one final phrase from this roleplay was in with a shout. The fan said she thought Southampton were in with a shout of getting a European place this season.

Rich: To be in with a shout means to have a chance - something is possible.

Rowan: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrases a relegation dogfight, to add some steel to a team and be in with a shout in a natural context.

Roleplay 6b

Rich: Southampton

Jack: What can we expect from the Saints this season? It was a bit of an up and down season last year.

Rowan: Yes, it was. The first half of the season was entirely forgettable. We couldn’t win at home, well we couldn’t win at all very often and that 9-0 home defeat to Leicester - I still don’t know how I can wipe it from memory.

Jack: But the second half of the season was much better.

Rowan: Yes, a massive turnaround. I thought we were going to be in a relegation dogfight down at the bottom but by the end of the season, I was even thinking of the European places.

Rich: And this season?

Rowan: If Danny Ings can carry on scoring and we can add a bit of steel to the team I think we can have a really good season.

Rich: Could you challenge the European places?

Rowan: If we make a good start I think we’re in with a shout, you know.


Rowan: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: What does this Premier League fan want most this season?

Roleplay 7

Rowan: Tottenham Hotspur 

Jack: After a dreadful start to last season Spurs hired Jose Mourinho and ended up finishing sixth.

Rich: It took a few months but Mourinho’s team has started to take shape. We finished last season strongly.

Jack: Is it the Tottenham way?

Rich: It’s different. We are used to attacking and free-flowing football at Spurs but where has it got us? We were pipped at the post by Liverpool the season before last and we’re outside of the top four at the moment.

Jack: Will this change under Mourinho?

Rich: I think so. He’s a winner. He’s won trophies wherever he’s been and if we have to play a more counter-attacking game to win something I’m happy with that. We’ve won the FA Cup once and the League Cup a couple of times in the last 35 years - that’s not good enough.

Jack: So what will happen this season?

Rich: Jose will get us back into the Champions League but more than anything I want us to win some silverware. The FA Cup, League Cup, Europa League any of them then we’ll go for the Premier League the year after.

Language Focus 7

Rowan: Before the roleplay, we asked you what this Premier League fan wants most this season.

Jack: He wants Tottenham to win something. He said more than anything he wants Spurs to win a trophy.

Rich: The phrase we want to look at from this roleplay is to be pipped at the post. 

Rowan: The Tottenham fan said they were pipped at the post by Liverpool the season before last.

Jack: To be pipped at the post means to be beaten at the last moment. In football, it’s used to describe competitions rather than full matches.

Rich: Spurs were pipped at the post by Liverpool two seasons ago. They got all the way to the final but then lost.

Rowan: It’s often used to describe league title races when two teams are very close together at the top of the table. 

Jack: The phrase comes from horse racing where a post is the finishing line and one horse beats another in a very close finish.

Rich: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrase pipped at the post in a natural context.

Roleplay 7b

Rowan: Tottenham Hotspur 

Jack: After a dreadful start to last season Spurs hired Jose Mourinho and ended up finishing sixth.

Rich: It took a few months but Mourinho’s team has started to take shape. We finished last season strongly.

Jack: Is it the Tottenham way?

Rich: It’s different. We are used to attacking and free-flowing football at Spurs but where has it got us? We were pipped at the post by Liverpool the season before last and we’re outside of the top four at the moment.

Jack: Will this change under Mourinho?

Rich: I think so. He’s a winner. He’s won trophies wherever he’s been and if we have to play a more counter-attacking game to win something I’m happy with that. We’ve won the FA Cup once and the League Cup a couple of times in the last 35 years - that’s not good enough.

Jack: So what will happen this season?

Rich: Jose will get us back into the Champions League but more than anything I want us to win some silverware. The FA Cup, League Cup, Europa League any of them then we’ll go for the Premier League the year after.STING

Rowan: Let’s move onto our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: Where does this Premier League fan expect her team to finish?

Roleplay 8

Rich: West Bromwich Albion

Jack: The Baggies are back in the big time after just two seasons away.

Rowan: It’s a great feeling. Promotion is such a high even if we couldn’t celebrate it in the stadium.

Jack: A tough start - Leicester, Everton and Chelsea.

Rowan: I think everyone knows it’s not going to be easy but we’re going to scrap for every Premier League point we can get our hands on.

Jack: Do you think you can stay up?

Rowan: Of course, there would be no point turning up if we didn’t think we could compete. The Premier League season is a marathon, not a sprint so we won’t be too disappointed if we’re near the bottom early on.

Jack: What should the Premier League be looking out for?

Rowan: Our manager - Slaven Bilic is great and on the playing side I think Mateus Pereira will surprise a few. He got 8 goals and 16 assists last season and we need him to play well.

Jack: So where will you finish?

Rowan: I think it will be a battle and it’ll go down to the wire but I’m going for 17th place and we stay up on the last day of the season.

Language Focus 8

Jack: Before the roleplay, we asked you where this Premier League fan expects her team to finish.

Rich: The answer is 17th and safe from relegation although she expects it to be a hard season. 

Rowan: The football cliche we want to look at from this roleplay is a marathon, not a sprint.

Jack: When we describe something as a marathon, not a sprint we are saying that something needs to be done well over a long period of time and not just for a short period of time.

Rich: The Premier League season is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to play well in 38 matches, not just one or two.

Jack: Another cliche the West Brom fan used was to go down to the wire.

Rowan: The fan said that it will go down to the wire whether West Brom will stay up or not.

Rich: To go down to the wire is used to describe something that won’t be decided until the last possible moment. The wire is the finishing line or deadline. 

Rowan: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrases a marathon not a sprint and to go down to the wire in a natural context.

Roleplay 8b

Rich: West Bromwich Albion

Jack: The Baggies are back in the big time after just two seasons away.

Rowan: It’s a great feeling. Promotion is such a high even if we couldn’t celebrate it in the stadium.

Jack: A tough start - Leicester, Everton and Chelsea.

Rowan: I think everyone knows it’s not going to be easy but we’re going to scrap for every Premier League point we can get our hands on.

Jack: Do you think you can stay up?

Rowan: Of course, there would be no point turning up if we didn’t think we could compete. The Premier League season is a marathon, not a sprint so we won’t be too disappointed if we’re near the bottom early on.

Jack: What should the Premier League be looking out for?

Rowan: Our manager - Slaven Bilic is great and on the playing side I think Mateus Pereira will surprise a few. He got 8 goals and 16 assists last season and we need him to play well.

Jack: So where will you finish?

Rowan: I think it will be a battle and it’ll go down to the wire but I’m going for 17th place and we stay up on the last day of the season.


Jack: Let’s move on to our next roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: What is this fan worried about?

Roleplay 9

Rowan: West Ham United

Jack: The Hammers successfully fought off relegation last season. Are West Ham fans hoping for a better season this time around?

Rich: Of course, we are, yes. We shouldn’t be down near the bottom of the table but we are where we are and the table doesn’t lie - performances haven’t been good enough.

Jack: What’s going to change this season?

Rich: I’m not sure anything is going to change and that’s what I’m worried about. We haven’t really brought any new players in. We need to sort out our defence and we need a new striker.

Jack: And you’ve got a really tough start to the season?

Rich: Yes, we play six of last season’s top eight in our first seven matches. We’ve just got to take one game at a time but I expect to be bottom in November and we’ve just got to kick on from there.

Jack: That’s a bit pessimistic.

Rich: Not really. We have a tough start. I don’t think we’ll be relegated and I think we’ll start to pick up points once we start playing teams that are around us in the table.

Language Focus 9

Rowan:  Before the roleplay, we asked you what this Premier League fan is worried about.

Rich: He’s worried about the lack of transfer business and the difficult matches West Ham have at the start of the season.

Jack: We want to look at a couple of phrases from this roleplay. The first is the table doesn’t lie.

Rowan: This football cliche is used when managers, fans and commentators compare results with performances.

Rich: The table is the league table and the phrase is used to say that the position in the table a team is in is a fair reflection of the team’s ability and performances.

Jack: A manager might say performances have been good when the results haven’t been so good and say the table doesn’t lie we need to get better results.

Rowan: The other cliche the West Ham fan used is to take one game at a time. This cliche is very common in football.

Rich: It’s usually used when a manager or player is asked about future matches and they say they are not looking ahead to future matches, only the next match. We take one game at a time.

Jack: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrase the table doesn’t lie and one game at a time in a natural context.

Roleplay 9b

Rowan: West Ham United

Jack: The Hammers successfully fought off relegation last season. Are West Ham fans hoping for a better season this time around?

Rich: Of course, we are, yes. We shouldn’t be down near the bottom of the table but we are where we are and the table doesn’t lie - performances haven’t been good enough.

Jack: What’s going to change this season?

Rich: I’m not sure anything is going to change and that’s what I’m worried about. We haven’t really brought any new players in. We need to sort out our defence and we need a new striker.

Rich: And you’ve got a really tough start to the season?

Jack: Yes, we play six of last season’s top eight in our first seven matches. We’ve just got to take one game at a time but I expect is to be bottom in November and we’ve just got to kick on from there.

Rich: That’s a bit pessimistic.

Jack: Not really. We have a tough start. I don’t think we’ll be relegated and I think we’ll start to pick up points once we start playing teams that are around us in the table.


Rowan: Let’s move onto our final roleplay. Your question is:

Rich: What is this fan happy about?

Roleplay 10

Rich: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Jack: Seventh again for Wolves. Are you moving forwards or standing still?

Rowan: We’re definitely moving forwards. Two seventh-placed finishes in a row and last season we combined it with a great run in the Europa League.

Jack: But do you think you can break into that top six?

Rowan: I really do. This season we haven’t got extra matches in Europe which was hard with a small squad but this season we can concentrate on the Premier League.

Jack: How’s the team shaping up?

Rowan: For me, the most important thing is we’ve still got Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore. Jimenez gets the goals and Traore well he’s unbelievable and can make something out of nothing.

Jack: Any new signings?

Rowan: Not many but I don’t think we need many. We’ve brought in an exciting teenager called Fabio Silva from Porto. He’ll be one to watch.

Jack: So where will you finish?

Rowan: I think we can go higher. With no European distractions, I think all Wolves fans are targeting that top four.

Language Focus 10

Jack:  Before the roleplay, we asked you what this Premier League fan is happy about.

Rich: She seemed most happy about Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore staying at the club although she seemed happy in general - like all Wolves fans probably.

Rowan: The football phrase we want to look at from our final roleplay is to make something out of nothing.

Jack: The Wolves fan described Adama Traore as a player who can make something out of nothing.

Rich: This football cliche is used to describe a player who can create opportunities to score where other players couldn’t; where it doesn’t look possible to create something.

Rowan: This phrase is usually used to describe players who are especially skilful.

Jack: Listen to the roleplay again and see how we used the phrase to make something out of nothing in a natural context.

Roleplay 10b

Rich: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Jack: Seventh again for Wolves. Are you moving forward or standing still?

Rowan: We’re definitely moving forward. Two seventh-placed finished in a row and last season we combined it with a great run in the Europa League.

Jack: But do you think you can break into that top six?

Rowan: I really do. This season we haven’t got extra matches in Europe which was hard with a small squad but this season we can concentrate on the Premier League.

Jack: How’s the team shaping up?

Rowan: For me, the most important thing is we’ve still got Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore. Jimenez gets the goals and Traore well he’s unbelievable and can make something out of nothing.

Jack: Any new signings?

Rowan: Not many but I don’t think we need many. We’ve brought in an exciting teenager called Fabio Silva from Porto. He’ll be one to watch.

Jack: So where will you finish?

Rowan: I think we can go higher. With no European distractions, I think all Wolves fans are targeting that top four.

TASK

Jack: Our task for you this week is similar to last week. We want you to choose one of the teams we’ve been speaking about and write a pre-season preview.

Rich: Tell us who you think their best players are, what do you think about the manager, what the club should be hoping for this season and give us a prediction of where you think they will finish.

Rowan: Try to use some of the language from the podcast and write all your answers on the Premier Skills English website or Apple podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.

Football Phrase

Jack: Have you got a football phrase for us, Rowan? 

Rowan: I have a phrase and it’s a bit easier than last week’s. This week’s football phrase is just a word and it’s * ********. * ******** is a dribbling technique which involves stepping over the ball with one or both legs in order to confuse an opponent. It’s a tactic of technical players and fast wingers - Cristiano Ronaldo does them a lot.

Rich: I think saying stepping over the ball helps quite a lot!

Jack: Let’s see who can get our football phrase right. If you are still wondering what the answer was to last week’s football phrase it was to walk it in.

Rowan: 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 in next week’s show. 

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 or Twitter feed.

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

Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

Here is the vocabulary you saw at the top of this page and how Rowan, Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?

Roleplay 1: Who are up against the Premier League Champions this week?

Roleplay 2: We had a few problems at the back.

Roleplay 3: A strikeforce of Martial, Greenwood and Rashford, well I think it’s the best in the league.

Roleplay 4: If the takeover had gone through we’d have been very happy.

Roleplay 5: Our home form is important. Last season we beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham at Bramall Lane.

Roleplay 6: The second half of the season was much better. It was a massive turnaround

Roleplay 7: More than anything I want us to win some silverware.

Roleplay 8: We’re going to scrap for every Premier League point we can get our hands on.

Roleplay 9:  I don’t think we’ll be relegated. I think we’ll start to pick up points once we start playing teams around us in the table.

Roleplay 10: Two seventh-placed finishes in a row and last season we combined it with a great run in the Europa League.

Listen to the roleplays again to hear how Rich, Rowan and Jack used these words and phrases.

Kevin De Bruyne was the Premier League's Player of the Season for 2019/20.

Language

Football Phrases & Cliches

In the roleplays, you heard Rich talking to ten Premier League fans from ten different Premier League clubs. After each roleplay, they looked at one football phrase or cliche. Take a look at the photos below and read the captions. Do you understand all of the phrases? 

Liverpool

Rich says that Liverpool's success is no flash in the pan.

Manchester City

It's a tall order for Manchester City to close the gap on Liverpool.

Manchester United

Will Manchester United take a gamble on Dean Henderson?

Newcastle United

Steve Bruce worked on a shoestring budget last season.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United were last season's surprise package.

Southampton

Southampton are always in with a shout of Europe if Danny Ings scores.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham were pipped at the post by Liverpool a couple of seasons ago.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom's season will go down to the wire.

West Ham United

West Ham need to take one game at a time.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Adama Traore can make something out of nothing for Wolves.

Quiz

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Task

Premier League Previews: Changes & Chances

We want you to write a Premier League preview  in this week's task.

In the roleplays, we spoke about ten Premier League clubs. Our task for you this week is to choose one (or more) of the teams and write your own preview and tell us how you think they will do this season.

  • who are the club's best players
  • has the club made any good signings
  • what do you think about the manager and the team's style of play
  • where do you think the team will finish

Try to use some of the football phrases we used in the podcast and write all your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!

Fantasy Football

Have you ever played fantasy football? For the 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League season, you can join our mini-league "Premier Skills English" on the Premier League's official fantasy football game.

Joining the league couldn't be easier and it's free. Simply use the link below and you'll be added automatically after you've entered the game.

https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/n4rwjn

League Code: n4rwjn

Looking forward to playing against you this season!

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Comments

hsn's picture
hsn
20/10/2020
TR
1402
points

I’m a Tottenham fan so I’d like to make comment on this team. In my opinion Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, and Heung-Min Son are the best players of the team. Also Christian Eriksen who used to be one of best players unfortunately has gone to Italy.

Tottenham is a stable and challenging team that makes steady progress. Its sucess isn’t flash in the pan. Being champion also isn.t tall order. Why not?

Team has modest budget for transfers and don’t need to loosen the purse strings.

Gareth Bale who is member of strikeforce returned to his home. it’s a good signing. Manager is experienced but behaviourally unpredictable-:)

Team plays a counter-attack football. Players pass second zone very fast. Midfielders good at giving pass to the strikers who are hide behind opponent defensive line.

I hopefully think that team will finish this season in the top three.


hsn's picture
hsn
20/10/2020 19:12
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
1402

I’m a Tottenham fan so I’d like to make comment on this team. In my opinion Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, and Heung-Min Son are the best players of the team. Also Christian Eriksen who used to be one of best players unfortunately has gone to Italy.

Tottenham is a stable and challenging team that makes steady progress. Its sucess isn’t flash in the pan. Being champion also isn.t tall order. Why not?

Team has modest budget for transfers and don’t need to loosen the purse strings.

Gareth Bale who is member of strikeforce returned to his home. it’s a good signing. Manager is experienced but behaviourally unpredictable-:)

Team plays a counter-attack football. Players pass second zone very fast. Midfielders good at giving pass to the strikers who are hide behind opponent defensive line.

I hopefully think that team will finish this season in the top three.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
18/09/2020
TR
5488
points

I will talk about my beloved club since childhood , Manchester United.
Unfortunately our transfer market wasn't good enough as we only signed Donny Van De Beek from Ajax and the GK Dean Henderson has returned from loan. But I still believe that we will sign Jadon Sancho this Summer.

We'll play in the same style as last season as we ended up in high but the only problem we are having is the bench players are far away from the starting up players' level so if there's any injuries or lack of fitness , we will definitely struggle.

I think we will finish second or third if we sign Sancho and we might challenge for the title nevertheless our squad is not experienced enough to win it yet.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
18/09/2020 07:37
Turkey
Manchester United
5488

I will talk about my beloved club since childhood , Manchester United.
Unfortunately our transfer market wasn't good enough as we only signed Donny Van De Beek from Ajax and the GK Dean Henderson has returned from loan. But I still believe that we will sign Jadon Sancho this Summer.

We'll play in the same style as last season as we ended up in high but the only problem we are having is the bench players are far away from the starting up players' level so if there's any injuries or lack of fitness , we will definitely struggle.

I think we will finish second or third if we sign Sancho and we might challenge for the title nevertheless our squad is not experienced enough to win it yet.

Daniel_Baron1503's picture
Daniel_Baron1503
18/09/2020
CO
111
points

There are so many great players in Chelsea, but i think that Werner, Kante and Mount are the best.

The club made great signings which are Havertz, Ziyech, Werner, Silva, Chilwell.

Lampard's idea of ​​the game is offensive and fast due to the speed of his forwards.The signings they made this season help that style even more.

This season Chelsea can be champion or at least second in the Premier.


Daniel_Baron1503's picture
Daniel_Baron1503
18/09/2020 05:45
Colombia
Chelsea
111

There are so many great players in Chelsea, but i think that Werner, Kante and Mount are the best.

The club made great signings which are Havertz, Ziyech, Werner, Silva, Chilwell.

Lampard's idea of ​​the game is offensive and fast due to the speed of his forwards.The signings they made this season help that style even more.

This season Chelsea can be champion or at least second in the Premier.

Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
16/09/2020
BR
290
points

Hi lads.
The football football phase is ********.
See ya!


Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
16/09/2020 00:50
Brazil
Leeds United
290

Hi lads.
The football football phase is ********.
See ya!

elghoul's picture
elghoul
15/09/2020
DZ
3888
points

Manchester City's best players are Laporte, Gundogan, Mahrez, Sterling, Alguero, De Bruyne, Walker, 

This season has not yet performed any good signing. Some good players are being aged like Sylva, Fernandyno, ...

The manager has not given this last season a great idea in fixing the line-up squad. Even the style of play is lost when frequentaly changing the line-up.

The team could finish in the top four.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
15/09/2020 13:37
Algeria
Manchester City
3888

Manchester City's best players are Laporte, Gundogan, Mahrez, Sterling, Alguero, De Bruyne, Walker, 

This season has not yet performed any good signing. Some good players are being aged like Sylva, Fernandyno, ...

The manager has not given this last season a great idea in fixing the line-up squad. Even the style of play is lost when frequentaly changing the line-up.

The team could finish in the top four.

elghoul's picture
elghoul
15/09/2020
DZ
3888
points

Hi, Hope your are fit and healthy.

I think the word is 'pedalada'.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
15/09/2020 13:21
Algeria
Manchester City
3888

Hi, Hope your are fit and healthy.

I think the word is 'pedalada'.

Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
16/09/2020
BR
290
points

Hi mate!
You're right, but "pedalada" is the Brazilian name for this dribbling.
I think that they want the english name.

Best regards!


Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
16/09/2020 00:59
Brazil
Leeds United
290

Hi mate!
You're right, but "pedalada" is the Brazilian name for this dribbling.
I think that they want the english name.

Best regards!

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
14/09/2020
UA
4157
points

I think that a word is * ********'.


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
14/09/2020 16:16
Ukraine
Watford
4157

I think that a word is * ********'.

MAYU's picture
MAYU
13/09/2020
JP
36
points

This week's phrase is a scissors.
Last week's was so tough for me!


MAYU's picture
MAYU
13/09/2020 22:46
Japan
Liverpool
36

This week's phrase is a scissors.
Last week's was so tough for me!

Emmanuel's picture
Emmanuel
12/09/2020
FR
58
points

Hi everyone,
The phrase might be "* **** ****".
Have a good day


Emmanuel's picture
Emmanuel
12/09/2020 20:25
France
Manchester City
58

Hi everyone,
The phrase might be "* **** ****".
Have a good day

hayato
12/09/2020
JP
212
points

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


hayato
12/09/2020 01:53
Japan
Everton
212

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

Jhon Baron-Oliveros's picture
Jhon Baron-Oliveros
12/09/2020
CO
16
points

Hi! the phrase of the week is * ********.


Jhon Baron-Oliveros's picture
Jhon Baron-Oliveros
12/09/2020 00:57
Colombia
Chelsea
16

Hi! the phrase of the week is * ********.

wsanta's picture
wsanta
12/09/2020
AR
4574
points

The phrase could be "* ********".


wsanta's picture
wsanta
12/09/2020 00:52
Argentina
Leeds United
4574

The phrase could be "* ********".

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
18/09/2020
TR
5488
points

Glad to see you changed to Leeds United surely because of Marcelo Bielsa , mate :)
Wish Leeds the best of luck this season and looking forward to watching Leeds vs United.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
18/09/2020 07:21
Turkey
Manchester United
5488

Glad to see you changed to Leeds United surely because of Marcelo Bielsa , mate :)
Wish Leeds the best of luck this season and looking forward to watching Leeds vs United.

wsanta's picture
wsanta
23/09/2020
AR
4574
points

Thanks Mobeckham, ​​I hope a great match comes out. Cheers!!!


wsanta's picture
wsanta
23/09/2020 03:51
Argentina
Leeds United
4574

Thanks Mobeckham, ​​I hope a great match comes out. Cheers!!!

Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
11/09/2020
MX
46
points

* ********


Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
11/09/2020 22:52
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
46

* ********

Daniel_Baron1503's picture
Daniel_Baron1503
11/09/2020
CO
111
points

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


Daniel_Baron1503's picture
Daniel_Baron1503
11/09/2020 22:20
Colombia
Chelsea
111

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

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
11/09/2020
TR
5488
points

This week’s football phrase is * ********


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
11/09/2020 20:40
Turkey
Manchester United
5488

This week’s football phrase is * ********

Max Alex's picture
Max Alex
11/09/2020
VN
400
points

This week's football phrase would be: "* ********".

Thank you guys very much. <3


Max Alex's picture
Max Alex
11/09/2020 19:08
Vietnam
Tottenham Hotspur
400

This week's football phrase would be: "* ********".

Thank you guys very much. <3

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham5488
2Alex_from_Ukraine5380
3kwesimanifest4754
4wsanta4574
5Liubomyr4157
6elghoul3888
7assemjuve3705
8aragorn19863557
9Gergő Nagy3396
10haydi3189
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71030
2Ukraine32512
3Serbia27042
4Spain22911
5Albania20475
6Macedonia19063
7Brazil17081
8Bosnia and Herzegovina16268
9Vietnam15362
10Armenia13667
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United134256
2Liverpool91361
3Chelsea78421
4Arsenal71538
5Manchester City44322
6Tottenham Hotspur11784
7Leicester City11763
8Newcastle United9832
9Leeds United4991
10West Ham United4987

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Football Phrases

Language: Football Cliches

Task: Choose a club and write about their chances and expectations for the new season