This Week: Football Idioms 1
Welcome to This Week from Premier Skills English, a weekly review of football action for learners of English from across the globe. In This Week, Rich and Jack talk about the latest action from the Premier League and have lots of football English for you to learn.
This Week: Football Idioms 1
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to our weekly round-up section called ‘This Week’ on Premier Skills English.
Jack: Hi there. I’m Jack. We’ve got lots of interesting words and phrases to help you talk about football in English.
Rich: If you want to listen and read at the same time we have a transcript of this podcast on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: This week we focus on Chelsea winning the Women’s Super League, Manchester City being made to wait for the Premier League title and relegation for West Bromwich Albion.
Rich: We’re going to look at three headlines from the weekend’s action and in each headline, we will include an idiom that we then explain in a little more detail.
Jack: What’s an idiom, Rich?
Rich: Good question, Jack. An idiom is an expression with a non-literal meaning. This means that the meanings of idioms are different from what you would expect if you just looked at the words that make them.
Jack: This makes them difficult to understand and there are lots of them in English. The best way to understand them is usually to think about the topic and the sentence before and after the idiom. We call this the context.
Rich: And that is what we want you to do when you listen to our three headlines. Think about the context. Think about the football story and the sentence either before or after the idiom or both. This will help you understand.
Jack: The three idioms we are looking at this week are: to be in a league of your own, to be in the driving seat, and to lose heart.
Rich: Remember that we’ll also have a language challenge for you to have a go at later in the show so you need to be ready for that.
Jack: Chelsea are Champions!
Rich: Chelsea retained the Women’s Super League in emphatic style with a 5-0 win against Reading on Sunday. The Blues have been in a league of their own this season and this is their second trophy on their way to what could be a historic quadruple.
Jack: What a way to finish the league season - a 5-0 win!
Rich: Manchester City finished only two points behind but the way Chelsea have been playing the result was never in doubt.
Jack: The next big match for Chelsea is the Champions League Final against Barcelona. That will be a tough one.
Rich: Yes, it will but I think they can do it. Right, OK, let’s look at our first idiom. Did you hear it in the headline? The idiom is to be in a league of your own.
Jack: We said that Chelsea have been in a league of their own this season.
Rich: No, they haven’t! Chelsea have been playing in the same league as all the other Super League teams.
Jack: You’re right, Rich. Remember this is an idiom and as we said at the beginning of the podcast idioms are expressions that have non-literal meanings.
Rich: To be in a league of your own means to be far better than anyone else at something.
Jack: Chelsea have been brilliant this season. They might win every competition they have entered. They have been in a league of their own.
Rich: We can use this idiom to describe sports teams and players who have played well throughout a season or in an individual match.
Jack: And we can also use it outside sports. We can say something like when it comes to cooking or dancing or making money he is in a league of his own.
Rich: Let’s move on to our second headline.
Rich: City made to wait for the title.
Jack: Manchester City’s 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea and Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Aston Villa mean CIty need to wait a few more days to be crowned Premier League Champions. However, they are still very much in the driving seat as they only need three points from three matches.
Rich: A bit of a surprise defeat for City and that panenka penalty from Sergio Aguero! Did you see it?
Jack: I did. I can’t imagine he’ll do that when these two teams meet again in the Champions League final in a few weeks’ time.
Rich: No, I doubt it - I think we will see a very different game then. Both teams made lots of changes for this one.
Jack: City will probably have won the title by this time next week.
Rich: I think so - they are certainly in the driving seat.
Jack: And that’s the idiom we want to look at from our second headline - to be in the driving seat.
Rich: To be in the driving seat means to be in control of a situation.
Jack: Manchester City are in control of their own destiny - they need three points from their last three matches. They are favourites to win - they are in the driving seat.
Rich: Manchester United have very little chance of winning the title now so maybe we could use an idiom with chance to show this?
Jack: Maybe something like Manchester United are in the last chance saloon but to be honest I think their chances are more like one in a million!
Rich: If that’s what you think you could use an idiom like a snowball’s chance in hell. Manchester United don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the Premier League now.
Jack: Maybe that is too strong - this is football - anything can happen. Let’s move on to our third and final headline.
Jack: Relegation heartbreak for Baggies.
Rich: West Bromwich Albion have been relegated following a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal. The Baggies needed to win to keep their survival hopes alive and despite never losing heart and fighting to the end they have been relegated from the top division for the eleventh time in their history.
Jack: Bad news for West Brom and their fans but I’m sure they will bounce back.
Rich: I’m sure they will. A team that have been relegated eleven times must have been promoted lots of times, too!
Jack: That’s a nice spin on things - you should never lose heart.
Rich: And that’s the idiom we want to look at from our final headline: to lose heart.
Jack: To lose heart means to stop hoping for something often because you lose confidence or are not confident about it happening.
Rich: It’s closely connected to the phrasal verb give up - you should never give up, you should never surrender, you should never lose heart - there should always be hope.
Jack: West Brom players never lost heart during this match or throughout the season - they kept going and tried to win.
Rich: And that should help them when they try to recover and bounce back next season when they’ll be trying to get back into the Premier League.
Jack: OK, we’ve looked at three stories and three idioms in our headlines. The idioms we’ve looked at were: to be in a league of your own, to be in the driving seat, and to lose heart.
Rich: Listen to the headlines again to hear these idioms in context and don’t forget to look at the website for the transcript if you want to check your understanding of any of this vocabulary.
Headlines - Repeat
Jack: It’s time for our football prediction. Last week Rich predicted the right result and right the score when he said that Chelsea would win 2-1 at Manchester City.
Rich: It’s very satisfying when I get the exact score.
Jack: OK, I’ll let you make a prediction for this weekend’s Champions League Final between Chelsea and Barcelona.
Rich: OK, I have to be totally honest and say that I know very little about the Barcelona team and how they’ve been playing but I do know they’ve already knocked out Manchester City and Paris St.Germain so they must be very good. I know more about Chelsea and I know that Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby can score against any team in the world so I’m going for a Chelsea win. Final score: Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea.
Jack: I’m going to go for Chelsea, too. 4-2 to Chelsea.
Rich: The match is on Sunday at 8’o’ clock UK time and I recommend you find out what channel it is on in your country because it should be a great match.
Jack: We want you to make your predictions and talk about all this week’s football on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: To finish up the show we’ve got a quick language challenge connected to this week’s vocabulary.
Jack: We looked at three idioms in this week’s headlines and your language challenge is to learn three more idioms.
Rich: The idioms we looked at were: to be in a league of your own, to be in the driving seat, and to lose heart.
Jack: We’re going to give you three sentences and you have to guess the missing words from the idiom. These idioms are not the same as we have looked at already but they do use the same keywords: league, driving and heart.
Rich: You need to look at the sentences and try to guess the missing idiom? Are you ready?
Jack: Number one: I’ve tasted hundreds of pizzas before but the pizzas at the new Italian place near me are in a different ________.
Rich: Number two: My son loves listening to the Frozen soundtrack; he plays it hundreds of times a day and it’s _______ me round the bend.
Jack: Number three: Every time they pass it back to the goalkeeper my ______ is in my mouth I’m so nervous.
Rich: We want you to write the answers on the Premier Skills English website where we have some more questions and activities connected to this week’s show.
Jack: Or write your answers on Apple Podcasts or on Youtube if that’s where you listen to us. Just write the answers in the comments and say hi.
Rich: Before we finish we just wanted to say that we hope you found this lesson useful and we hope all of you stay fit and healthy.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Chelsea are Champions!
Chelsea retained the Women’s Super League in emphatic style with a 5-0 win against Reading on Sunday. The Blues have been in a league of their own this season and this is their second trophy on their way to what could be a historic quadruple.
City made to wait for the title
Manchester CIty’s 2-1 home to defeat to Chelsea and Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Aston Villa mean CIty need to wait a few more days to be crowned Premier League Champions. However, they are still very much in the driving seat as they only need three points from three matches.
Relegation heartbreak for Baggies
West Bromwich Albion have been relegated following a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal. The Baggies needed to win to keep their survival hopes alive and despite never losing heart and fighting to the end they have been relegated from the top division for the eleventh time in their history.
Phrasal verbs in the headlines
We looked at six words and phrases in our headlines that you can learn to improve your English. Take a look at the phrasal verbs in bold. Do you understand what they mean?
The Blues have been in a league of their own this season.
Manchester City are still very much in the driving seat.
Despite never losing heart and fighting to the end West Brom have been relegated.
Football Prediction: Chelsea v Barcelona
This weekend sees Chelsea play Barcelona in the Champions League Final. Both Rich and Jack think Chelsea will win their third trophy of the season. What do you think will happen? Here are all this weekend's fixtures involving Premier League clubs:
Champions League Final
Chelsea v Barcelona
FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Leicester City
Newcastle v Manchester City
Burnley v Leeds
Southampton v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Brighton v West Ham
Everton v Sheffield United
Spurs v Wolves
West Brom v Liverpool
Jack and Rich set you a language challenge. In the podcast, we used six phrasal verbs. Here are three more sentences that use three of these phrasal verbs. Can you guess the missing phrasal verbs?
I’ve tasted hundreds of pizzas before but the pizzas at the new Italian place near me are in a different _______.
My son loves listening to the Frozen soundtrack; he plays it hundreds of times a day and it’s _________ me round the bend.
Every time they pass it back to the goalkeeper my _______ is in my mouth I’m so nervous.
Write the correct answer in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Talk about the headlines
Jack and Rich looked at three stories in the news and some phrasal verbs that might be new to you. Now it's your turn! Have a look at the questions and write your answers in the comments section below.
- Which teams have been in a league of their own this season?
- Which team is in the driving seat to win the league this season?
- Which team never lost heart despite being near the bottom of the table this season?
- Have you got a prediction?
- Can you do our language challenge?
Write your comments and answers in the section below