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Hard: Between the lines

Hard: Between the lines

Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.

This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms.

Summary

Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the phrase between the lines

You can find more lessons on the side of this page.

Transcript

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.

Jack: Hi there! I’m Jack. We’re here to help you with your football English. Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. 

Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.

Jack: This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms. 


Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is: between the lines.

Jack: OK, we’re going to look at two meanings of between the lines. First, we’re going to look at how the phrase is used in football and then we’ll look at how it used as an idiom more generally.

Rich: Most teams play specific formations although these can change during a match. A team might play a 442 formation or a 352 formation.

Jack: This means there are three lines of players on the pitch. In a 442 formation, very generally, there is a line of four defenders, a line of four midfielders and two attackers.

Rich: Opposition attackers will try to play between the lines of defenders and midfielders because they will find more space to play in these areas.

Jack: Attackers will be marked less in these areas because if a defender decides to mark a player when they are between the lines this will break the shape of the defending team and create space in other places on the pitch.

Rich: It’s a technical coaching phrase that I am now hearing a lot in football commentary - especially when ex-players or coaches are speaking.

Jack: Yes, they will often describe the importance of playing between the lines and talk about players finding space between the lines.

Rich: Players like David Silva are experts at finding space between the lines.


Jack: So, there is the meaning of between the lines on the pitch but we said we also wanted to look at an idiom that can be used more generally.

Rich: The idiom we are going to look at is read between the lines.

Jack: To read between the lines means to look for a meaning that is not directly said or stated. Listen to this conversation:

Rich: How’s Gemma doing? I heard she got a pay increase.

Jack: Yeah, she did and she said she was happy with it but reading between the lines I can tell she’s still annoyed that she didn’t get that promotion.

Rich: So we use the expression read between the lines when we try to understand someone’s real feelings.

Jack: Or also their intentions. This is common in football. Listen to this conversation between a player and a journalist.

Rich: There are rumours that Manchester United are interested. Do you think you will still be here playing with Stalybridge Celtic next season?

Jack: I’m very happy here. I will listen to what the manager says and if the club accepts an offer I have to see where that takes me.

Rich: A player will very rarely say that he or she wants to leave a club but often, by reading between the lines, you can get a better understanding of their real intentions.


Jack: There is the final whistle!

Rich: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.

Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.

Comment

Discuss

Which players are good at finding space between the lines?

Reading between the lines do you think any players at your club will move away this season?

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Comments

Gabriel Amaral's picture
Gabriel Amaral
17/05/2021
BR
1512
points

I think Neymar and Messi are the bests on doing that.
Unfortunately, I think our best player, Claudinho, should probably move to Europe next transfer window.


Gabriel Amaral's picture
Gabriel Amaral
17/05/2021 17:37
Brazil
Arsenal
1512

I think Neymar and Messi are the bests on doing that.
Unfortunately, I think our best player, Claudinho, should probably move to Europe next transfer window.

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
29/09/2020
UA
6220
points

Reading between the lines sometimes helps one not to judge a book by its cover. :-)


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
29/09/2020 12:14
Ukraine
Liverpool
6220

Reading between the lines sometimes helps one not to judge a book by its cover. :-)

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
29/09/2020
UA
6220
points

Reading between the lines I might take it for granted that some "Liverpudlian" would fly this season away.


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
29/09/2020 12:12
Ukraine
Liverpool
6220

Reading between the lines I might take it for granted that some "Liverpudlian" would fly this season away.

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
29/09/2020
UA
6220
points

In my opinion, Firmino quite often shows a talent of finding space between the lines.


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
29/09/2020 12:10
Ukraine
Liverpool
6220

In my opinion, Firmino quite often shows a talent of finding space between the lines.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
16/08/2020
TR
6473
points

I think both Jesse Lingard and Andreas Perriera are considered to leave the club because they don’t get enough minutes on the pitch and they are still young. I will be happy if they leave anyway.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
16/08/2020 17:47
Turkey
Manchester United
6473

I think both Jesse Lingard and Andreas Perriera are considered to leave the club because they don’t get enough minutes on the pitch and they are still young. I will be happy if they leave anyway.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
16/08/2020
TR
6473
points

I think there are some players that find space between the lines such as Özil , Mata , De Bruyne and Pogba.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
16/08/2020 17:45
Turkey
Manchester United
6473

I think there are some players that find space between the lines such as Özil , Mata , De Bruyne and Pogba.

Daniel1503
15/08/2020
CO
13
points

Currently Pulisic is a player very good to finding space between the lines and give assist to Giroud and Mount

I think that Liverpool sign Duvan Zapata. He´d be a perfect teammate for Salah and Mané


Daniel1503
15/08/2020 01:52
Colombia
Chelsea
13

Currently Pulisic is a player very good to finding space between the lines and give assist to Giroud and Mount

I think that Liverpool sign Duvan Zapata. He´d be a perfect teammate for Salah and Mané

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6473
2Alex_from_Ukraine6220
3hsn5350
4wsanta5086
5kwesimanifest4768
6Liubomyr4408
7elghoul3988
8assemjuve3705
9aragorn19863557
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia69152
2Ukraine34372
3Serbia27249
4Spain26734
5Brazil21329
6Albania20578
7Vietnam19089
8Macedonia19074
9Turkey17990
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16333
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United136607
2Liverpool104693
3Chelsea85723
4Arsenal79064
5Manchester City51762
6Tottenham Hotspur17940
7Leicester City13747
8Newcastle United10182
9Leeds United7685
10West Ham United7029

Level

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Goals

Learn more football vocabulary.