Club Profiles

AFC Bournemouth club badge
Arsenal
Aston Villa Club badge
Brentford badge
Brighton and Hove Albion club badge
Chelsea club badge
Crystal Palace badge
Everton
Leicester City
Liverpool badge
Manchester City badge
Manchester United badge
Newcastle United club badge
Nottingham Forest club badge
Southampton
Spurs badge
West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Pep Guardiola.

Hard: On the sidelines

Hard: On the sidelines

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 on the sidelines

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.

Rowan: Hi there! I’m Rowan. 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.

Rowan: 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: on the sidelines.

Rowan: On the sidelines is an idiom that has its origins in sport and we’ll look at the meaning of the idiom in a minute but first let’s look at the word sideline.

Rich: There are two sidelines on sports pitches or sports fields.

Rowan: Sidelines are the lines that go along the long side of a sports pitch or field.

Rich: In football, if the ball crosses the sideline a throw-in will be given.

Rowan: But we don’t usually use the word sideline - we say touchline.

Rich: That’s right. Sideline is more common in American English and touchline is usually used in British English.

Rowan: It’s the same with pitch and field and football and soccer.

Rich: In American English, they use soccer, field and sideline.

Rowan: In British English, we say football, pitch and touchline.

Rich: You can usually see coaches and managers on the touchline or the sideline shouting instructions.

Rowan: But they can’t actually play - they can’t get involved in the action on the pitch.

Rich: No, and that’s the key to understanding how on the sidelines is used as an idiom.


Rowan: So we can literally say that a coach or manager is on the sideline shouting instructions at their players.

Rich: But, we use the phrase in more general conversation as an idiom and it has a non-literal meaning. It means to be watching something but not actually involved in it. 

Rowan: We can use both on the sidelines and from the sidelines and they have similar meanings.

Rowan: And we don’t have to be talking about sport or football to use on the sidelines. Let’s look at some examples:

Rich: Jordan Henderson had to watch the end of Liverpool’s season from the sidelines because he had a knee injury.

Rowan: Many countries decided to remain on the sidelines during the war.

Rich: Yeah, they were having a massive argument right in front of me. I thought it’d be better to stay on the sidelines.

Rowan: To be on the sidelines. To watch or know about something without getting directly involved. 


Rich: There is the final whistle!

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

Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.

Comment

Discuss

Can you name a player who's been on the sidelines for a long time?

Have you ever felt that it's better to be on the sidelines and not get involved?

Leave a comment

Log in to leave a comment

Comments

Michaelsun
21/02/2022
CN
738
points

Yes, it’s better to be on touchline than to get involved sometimes.


Michaelsun
21/02/2022 13:38
China
Manchester United
738

Yes, it’s better to be on touchline than to get involved sometimes.

Gabriel Amaral's picture
Gabriel Amaral
14/05/2021
BR
1512
points

The brazilian former striker, Ronaldo. I keep thinking what kind of player he would be if he hadn't got so many injuries at his career.
Everytime my parents argued when I was a child...


Gabriel Amaral's picture
Gabriel Amaral
14/05/2021 16:07
Brazil
Arsenal
1512

The brazilian former striker, Ronaldo. I keep thinking what kind of player he would be if he hadn't got so many injuries at his career.
Everytime my parents argued when I was a child...

hsn's picture
hsn
07/02/2021
TR
5350
points

TO BE ON THE SIDELINE

I never understand that when the manager changed why some players are permanently substituted. As a result of this, partly or full time playing footballers are kept on the touchline for a long time.

It’s not fair. There must be objective criterias which describes player in form or plays well.
Club’s Board of Directors should get regular report on this topic from the manager. Fully authorized one-man would cause some problems.

On the other hand a player who stuck on sideline gets his payments but she/he become blunt or dull and losts football abilities. It’s not better for her/his football career.
The sensible way in this situation if there is no chance to play in future matches to demand going on loan or to be transferred.


hsn's picture
hsn
07/02/2021 17:58
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
5350

TO BE ON THE SIDELINE

I never understand that when the manager changed why some players are permanently substituted. As a result of this, partly or full time playing footballers are kept on the touchline for a long time.

It’s not fair. There must be objective criterias which describes player in form or plays well.
Club’s Board of Directors should get regular report on this topic from the manager. Fully authorized one-man would cause some problems.

On the other hand a player who stuck on sideline gets his payments but she/he become blunt or dull and losts football abilities. It’s not better for her/his football career.
The sensible way in this situation if there is no chance to play in future matches to demand going on loan or to be transferred.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
06/08/2020
TR
6473
points

Yes when Real Madrid and Barcelona play against each other as I prefer to watch the confrontation between their fans from the sideline :)


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
06/08/2020 21:53
Turkey
Manchester United
6473

Yes when Real Madrid and Barcelona play against each other as I prefer to watch the confrontation between their fans from the sideline :)

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
06/08/2020
TR
6473
points

I think Gareth Bale will stay on the sidelines forever if he continues his career at Real Madrid.
I think he hasn't gone on well with Zidane at all since the French legend took the lead at Real Madrid.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
06/08/2020 21:52
Turkey
Manchester United
6473

I think Gareth Bale will stay on the sidelines forever if he continues his career at Real Madrid.
I think he hasn't gone on well with Zidane at all since the French legend took the lead at Real Madrid.

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6473
2Alex_from_Ukraine6220
3hsn5350
4wsanta5086
5kwesimanifest4768
6Liubomyr4408
7elghoul3988
8assemjuve3705
9aragorn19863557
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia69152
2Ukraine34372
3Serbia27249
4Spain26734
5Brazil21339
6Albania20578
7Vietnam19089
8Macedonia19074
9Turkey17990
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16333
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United136607
2Liverpool104693
3Chelsea85723
4Arsenal79064
5Manchester City51772
6Tottenham Hotspur17940
7Leicester City13747
8Newcastle United10182
9Leeds United7685
10West Ham United7029

Level

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Goals

Learn more football vocabulary.