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How to Talk About Football in English – Learn Spoken English

September 14, 2019

Hi I’m Martin. Welcome to Oxford Online English.
In today’s lesson we’re going to talk about my favourite sport – football. Even if you don’t like football it’s a great
idea to know a little bit of football vocabulary! Why?
When I go to different countries, if I’m wearing my football top, like this one, then more
people just start speaking to me. Talking about football will make it easier for you
to start using your English and make new friends. In this lesson, we’re going to go to a football
match. It’s an important game for me, and I’m very excited. I hope you are, too! Ready?
Let’s go. Let me take you to a game. We’re going to
see my favourite team, Bournemouth. Their nickname is the Cherries. Bournemouth are great to watch because they
score a lot of goals! Unfortunately they let in a lot of goals too. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride for their
fans, but great for the neutral. We’re playing Swansea in the Premier League.
I’m really hopeful about this game because the last time we played Swansea was the last
time we kept a clean sheet. Also, we won our last game against West Ham,
so it’s a chance for back to back victories. Let’s take a look at some of the words I
just used. This is a real rollercoaster ride. Rollercoasters
go up and down a lot. When we are talking about sport, we use rollercoaster
ride to mean something that can make you very happy one minute and then very sad the next
minute and then happy again. Think of your emotions going up and down,
like they were on a rollercoaster ride. Fan is another word for supporter. I support
Bournemouth. They are my team. I am a Bournemouth fan. A neutral is someone who does not support
either of the teams who are playing in a match. If I watch Bournemouth play, of course I’ll
support my own team. If I watch two Italian teams, I’ll be neutral. I don’t generally
mind who wins, and I just want to see a good match. When a team does not let in any goals in a
game, they have kept a clean sheet. Goalkeepers like to keep a clean sheet, because it means
they’ve done their job very well. If a team wins two games in a row, they have
won back to back victories. If they win three or more in a row there are
several ways to say this. You could say: They’ve won three games in a row .
They’ve won three games on the bounce. Okay, fingers crossed for back to back wins.
Let’s head to the match. Here’s the stadium; let’s take a look inside. As you can see there are four stands. You
used to be able to stand and watch the game but nowadays everybody is supposed to sit. Traditionally the home fans go behind this
goal… …and the away fans go behind the other goal. The two stands alongside the pitch are also
for the home fans. At Bournemouth they are called the East Stand and the West Stand.
We’ll sit in the West Stand today as I have season tickets. This means I have the same
two seats for every game. One for me and one for you.
We can see the dugouts where the staff of the two clubs will sit – the manager, his
assistant and the subs. The manager chooses the team and the tactics
they will use, and is also responsible for how they train and prepare. 11 players start a game and there are 7 more
who can be used later in the game. These are the substitutes, or subs. The manager
can use a maximum of 3 of them. When he takes a player off, he can send a
sub on. Let’s talk about the tactics for this game! I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve
hit the post and crossbar this season! If we can just fire one in on target today, we’ll
score – they’ve got a dodgy keeper. Bournemouth have to be careful in this game
because Swansea are very good from dead ball situations such as corners and free kicks. I think Eddie – that’s our manager – will
opt for a 4-4-2 formation today. 4-4-2 means four defenders, four midfielders,
and two forwards or strikers. So there’ll be four defenders: two central
defenders and two wing-backs. Then, four midfielders: two holding players
and two supporting the attack, plus two strikers up front. We’ll be looking to keep possession using
quick one-twos and triangles. He likes the team to press up – we just
have to guard against getting caught on the break. Look, look there’s the ref and the players
coming out of the tunnel. Eddie Howe’s Barmy Army. Cherries! Cherries! Let’s take a look at some of the words I
just used. The goalkeeper – or keeper – is supposed
to stop the opposition from scoring goals. A dodgy keeper is one who is not very good. We also use dodgy for other things, such as
cars that keep breaking down, or areas of a city that are not very safe. Dodgy is a
conversational way to say bad. A dead ball situation means that play has
stopped. For example, one player fouls another, the referee will stop play and give the fouled
player’s team a free kick. Some players are specialists at free kicks,
like Cristiano Ronaldo. Corners are taken from the corner of the pitch.
The corner taker will usually put in a cross—a pass which goes across the face of the goal.
The strikers will try to get to the cross and score a goal. Wing-backs play on the left or right side
of the defense. Holding players are defensive midfielders.
They stay further back and protect the defenders. Strikers play at the front. Their job is to
score goals. When your team is in control of the ball,
they have possession. The other team must try to win it back. We’ll be trying to keep
possession, which means we’ll try to keep the ball as much as possible.A one-two means
that two players quickly pass the ball back and forth. Player A passes to player B, who
returns it quickly to player A. A triangle means three players form a triangle
shape and pass the ball around quickly. Pressing up is an aggressive style of play.
It means we’re going to get into the other team’s half. We won’t let their players
have time on the ball, even in their own half. Sounds good, right? But there’s a problem:
if all of your players are attacking, you might get caught on the break. The other team
counterattacks quickly, which is dangerous because you don’t have many players at the
back. Ref is a short form of referee. He is in charge
of the game. The ref tosses the coin (demo it), our captain
calls heads – and it is heads. We’ll take the kick off. Well that’s the end of the first half. It
was a bit of a cagey affair to be honest, but I’d say we just shaded it. Let’s hope there’s more action in the
second half. 15 minutes to get a cuppa and a pie – or do you fancy a quick one? Right, the second half is underway. The keeper rolls it out to our left back and
he sets off up the wing. He plays a perfect 1-2 with a midfielder and
then some wonderful dribbling to beat two players. He lays it off to our centre forward, who
hears a shout of “man on” from one of his team mates. He puts in a slide rule pass to the other
striker, who fires it into the back of the net. One-nil! The crowd go crazy!
Let’s take a look at some of the words I just used: Cagey means that both teams were playing very
carefully. Cagey games can be boring, because both teams are trying not to lose, rather
than trying to win. We just shaded it means that we were slightly
better than the other team. Maybe we created more chances, or had more possession. A cuppa means a cup of tea or coffee. A quick
one means a beer. Dribbling means running past players whilst
keeping the ball at your feet. Lionel Messi is probably the best dribbler currently playing. He’s very good at running with the ball
and getting past opposition players. If you’re dribbling and you get past an
opposition player, you beat them. If you say he beat two players, that means he got past
two players who were trying to stop him. If you lay the ball off you play a short pass,
usually with the ball going backwards or sideways. If you’re playing football and you hear
someone shout man on, you need to pass the ball or move quickly, because an opposing
player is coming to take the ball from you. A slide rule pass is a very accurate pass
that goes between opposition players. Mesut Ozil and Andreas Iniesta are well known for
their slide rule passes. He fires it into the back of the net means
he scores a goal. If he fires it, it means he hits the ball hard, so it was probably
a good goal. What am I saying? It was definitely a good goal! Bournemouth are controlling the game now. That Swansea player has already been shown
the yellow card by the ref and he’s just committed a very bad foul. What’s the ref
going to do? It’s a 2nd yellow card – two yellows equals
one red and so he is sent off. He has to leave the pitch. Swansea are down
to ten men. Bournemouth score again, with a header! [TEXT ONLY-DON’T READ [PART FIVE – VICTORY!] There’s the final whistle. 2-0 and three
points to Bournemouth! That pushes Swansea nearer relegation but
we’re mid table now. We should be safe—I’m confident we’ll stay up and be in the Premiership
again next season. Hopefully Brighton will get promoted; it would
be great to have a local derby next season. At the end of the season, the bottom three
clubs are relegated from the Premiership down to the Championship—one league lower than
the Premiership. The bottom three teams go down. The other
teams stay up. The top two clubs are promoted from the Championship
up to the Premiership. The four teams in positions 3-6 play off for
the last promotion spot. Whichever team wins the playoffs is the third team to be promoted
to the Premiership. We say the promoted teams “go up”. If Brighton are promoted, we’ll have a local
derby next season. A local derby is a match against a team from the same city or a nearby
city. These teams are often fierce rivals—they are very competitive with each other. For example, if Real Madrid play Atletico
Madrid, that’s a local derby, because both teams are from the same city. Well, I hope you enjoyed the game. Don’t forget to practice some of the words
you have learned – use them to make new friends – or even when you are playing a
game yourself! I’ve told you who my favourite team are
– so please tell me in the comments which team you support! And who do you think is the best player in
the world at dribbling? Who’s the best keeper and the best striker? That’s the end of the lesson. I hope you
enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out more of our free English lessons on our website:
Oxford Online English dot com. See you next time!


  • Reply Miley Cassandra May 19, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Thank you so much .Football is my favorite sports

  • Reply Diego Pope May 19, 2017 at 4:52 am

    I hate football. :/

  • Reply Mahmoud Naser May 19, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Thanks a lot teacher Martin. I'm a fan of football I always wanted to talk about football but sometimes I don't find the exact words.
    This lesson is important.
    You're a great teacher. Thanks for your efforts.

  • Reply Mahmoud Naser May 19, 2017 at 6:09 am

    My favourite team is Italy. My favourite club is Barcelona. The best striker in the world and the best player in dribbling is Lionel Messi of course. The best goalkeeper is Buffon.

  • Reply moussab alqaissy May 19, 2017 at 6:14 am

    I'm supporting Liverpool FC team
    thanks for the video

  • Reply Toguz May 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Beşiktaş ulan amk kafalilar

  • Reply Toguz May 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Ne bournameutu

  • Reply Jamila Zackaria May 19, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Hi teacher, this topic is interesting for people. I hope that you will continue many parts like these and add football 's vocabulary. Sometimes, I was watching the football game but I wasn't able to understand what they were saying. 🙂

  • Reply Andrew Lam May 19, 2017 at 11:17 am

    wow. Thanks you for a very interesting espisode. For me, football is the key inspiration to learn english. I'm a big Vietnamese fan of football, especially England football. But when people asked me about football, I didn't know how to describe it, although I love it a lot. To answer your question,
    – The best player at dribbling : definately Hazard, in Bournemouth, I think he's Wilshere.
    – The best keepers: in premier league, I saw that all the keepers are the best.
    – The best striker : I think Harry Kane.

  • Reply kareem nabeel May 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    thank u very much for these videos, i suppose the next one will be how to talk about your favorite music.

  • Reply carlos velasquez peña May 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    very good!

  • Reply Abdulahi Abdirahman May 19, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    my favorite Team is Real Madrid. the Best goalkeeper is bufon. thank you Teacher for helping with me.

  • Reply SKYPE ENGLISH CAFE May 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Great video.

  • Reply Adam May 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Hi mr. Martin! Could you tell me where can i find a full football dictionary!?Thank you

  • Reply History Buff May 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    A picture paints a thousand words !😂

  • Reply History Buff May 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    like the phrase "rollercoaster ride "i will manage to make it into use in the future !

  • Reply Larissa Santos May 21, 2017 at 1:59 am

    I loved this channel!!!
    Continue producing more videos about English to help us to take the proficiency exams ahead!!!

  • Reply arry sandhu May 21, 2017 at 3:09 am

    sir you help me lot for my ielts exam. I learn many good tips and tricks from your channel which benefit me lot.
    sir my exam is on 3rd june so can you help me in writing section that how to think good ideas and by which angle we should think ideas.
    please make one video on writing section.
    once again thanks for your ielts lessons.

  • Reply Thắng Đức May 21, 2017 at 4:05 am

    My favourite team is France.My favourite club is Chelsea.The best player in the world good at dribbling is CR7 Ronaldo.The best keeper is Manuel Neuer.

  • Reply Marce P May 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I support Sampdoria, the best keeper is, in my opinion, Buffon the Juventus one.
    Thanks for your lesson! I really like soccer!

  • Reply Marce P May 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Ah! If I think on UK teams I support (as a second team after Sampdoria) Chelsea and as the best player in it Hazard! 🙂

  • Reply Lil Gregory May 23, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    My favorite team is Barcelona , I supported since my childhood the best of course Lionel Messi

  • Reply cristian dario May 24, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Let's go River Plate, the biggest Argentinian team !. We'll win the Libertadores cup this year.

  • Reply Larissa Santos May 28, 2017 at 1:51 am

    You guys could talk as well about the currencies of their respective countries! It is just a suggestion!

  • Reply Sỹ Dũng May 29, 2017 at 10:44 am

    My favourite club is MU. We just win in europa league cup. Next session Red devil comeback to UEFA Champions League ..waiting for…:)

  • Reply Furkan Kurtay May 31, 2017 at 9:37 am

    A pure awesomeness in this video

  • Reply emrahcan özbay May 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Thanx for your efffort. Its good way to teach english and I learned some good way to start conversation :))

  • Reply Kamo Delawi June 2, 2017 at 5:00 am

    My favourite club is FC Barcelona. The best striker in the world and the best player in dribbling is Lionel Messi of course. The best goalkeeper is Buffon.

  • Reply Afridi Siddique June 3, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    My favourite team team is france. And my favourite club is Real Madrid. But I have know knowledge in game. This video is very helpfull. I like this video. I learn many good tricks and tips from ur channel.

  • Reply Vi Lung Liu June 12, 2017 at 2:53 am

    My favorite team is Liverpool FC. I think Liona Messi is the best driber in the world. 🙂

  • Reply Sandro Gazzoni June 27, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I often go to see my favourite team Tottenham, but i can't talk with the other supporters. Happy to find out this very useful lesson, thanks very much. I also support Barcelona in Spain and Inter in Italy and my favourite player is Messi

  • Reply Vladana Šimáčková July 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Excellent idea. Would you make some more programs with sport topics not only football. Exactly what I am missing and makes me problems when reading newspapers. I am lost in the sport terminology and always give up sport articles. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  • Reply EmirDnmz July 30, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Bravo. Thıs video is a very good

  • Reply Ngọc Vlog September 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    My favourite team is Barcelona. The best striker in the world is Ronaldo (Ro fat) and the best player in dribbling is Lionel Messi. The best goalkeeper is Oliver Kahn.

  • Reply Vietsub TED September 22, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    hello from vietnam

  • Reply Thuy Thanh October 5, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Thanks Teacher. This video is very informative. My favourite club is Barcelona. Of couse, the best stricker in the world is Messi. He was my idol when i was a child. Now, as you know He is 30 years old but he still plays very good at his club and country team.

  • Reply Jerferson de Matos October 6, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I support Flamengo, the best dribbler and striker is Neymar and the best keeper I don't know

  • Reply Anurag pandey November 9, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Tottenham…. lloris ….striker kane

  • Reply PIANOPHUNGUY December 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Soccer is the more correct name for the sport.

  • Reply Winter Magic January 8, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I'm Bayern Munich & Liverpool fans and German national team lover

  • Reply Nham Le Van January 19, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    My favorite team is liverpool , I supported since my childhood the best of course Sadio Mane, Robeto Firmino, Mohamend Salah, Adam Lallana

  • Reply youssef haimani February 5, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for the information

  • Reply Joystickero_90Ecu Gamer February 6, 2018 at 3:10 am

    I support AC Milan..
    Messi is so good at dribbling and Mohamed salah is currently the world's best striker..
    Greetings from Ecuador

  • Reply joao vitor February 7, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    I support Flamengo, the best at dribbling is neymar, of course, and the best keeper is Buffon from Juventus (italy)

  • Reply Hugo Reinhard February 13, 2018 at 12:20 am

    Bournemouth top club? You are the new Adam Sandler. 😂😂😂😂😂

  • Reply Hugo Reinhard February 13, 2018 at 12:36 am

    My favorite football team is Real Madrid. My favorite national team is Argentina my favorite player is Juan Roman Riquelme. For me Oliver Kahn is the best German goalkeeper ever.

  • Reply kennyzuo February 13, 2018 at 10:17 am

    This is the video i have been trying to find for several years. My problem is the "small words" ,such as dodgy or cagey, which i dont know the meaning and how to use, that makes my football english a bit sketchy. Cheers teacher!

  • Reply Luke Gallagher April 3, 2018 at 8:20 am

    He has beautiful eye brows

  • Reply Minh Ha Tran April 8, 2018 at 3:58 am

    iam a barcelona fan, the best dribbler is messi, best striker is suarez and de gea is the best goalkeeper

  • Reply Yiagos XXL April 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Very nice Mr Martin, thanks for the video.
    As a gambler, I put bets over the Internet bookies, so I was waiting to hear the term come behind which is offers high odds!
    Nevertheless, I mainly prefer to bet 1X2, under/over and sometimes correct scores.

  • Reply Илья ВБ June 8, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    Shakhtar Donetsk. Actually i didn't know, who is the best dribbler, striker or keeper now.

  • Reply La Prepa June 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I support Bayer Munich, I think the best in the world is Lionel Messi tho CR7 is so good

  • Reply Duc Doan Xuan June 21, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Big thank you ! It's very helpful for us. However, I do not support your football club.

  • Reply Махмуд Махмадов June 29, 2018 at 3:31 am

    l am a fan of soccer to me robert lewandowski is the best player an Degea the best keeper

  • Reply Bernaldo Silva July 5, 2018 at 3:19 am

    I support Barcelona because of the legend TIKI Taka . the best dribbling player of cause is messi. The best kepper i think is Ewin Van der Sa. the best Stiker -no one is better than Ciristiano Ronlado.

  • Reply Himitsu July 12, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Bournemouth lad!

  • Reply Michel B. July 13, 2018 at 11:27 am

    I support A.S.Rome and I think that Messi is the best player in dribbling

  • Reply Michel B. July 13, 2018 at 11:29 am

    The best striker, in my opinion, is Harry Kane and my favorite goalkepeer's Gianluigi Buffon

  • Reply Emilson Silva August 1, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    I support Flamengo!!!!

  • Reply Mateusz 1 August 5, 2018 at 11:21 am

    i support PSG. the best left wing and dribbler is a Neymar. Definitely the best goalkeeper is a Fabiański.HEHEHE

  • Reply Sudhir Thakur August 30, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    cr7 and realmadrid

  • Reply My World September 23, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Thank u for the great lesson… I like Germany national football team… I think the best striker in the world is ex striker Miroslav klose … I can't find any other best striker after he retired from football.

  • Reply Alexandr Padalka October 16, 2018 at 10:41 am


  • Reply Anju devi November 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

    wonderful!!  I liked the way of explanation…. that was very nice

  • Reply Laudetur33 November 21, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Thank you, Martin! I support Juventus and PSG. The best keeper for me is Gigi Buffon. 🙂

  • Reply ali liban January 6, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks very much soccer is my favorite

  • Reply Đức Phạm March 13, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you 😊 Martin

  • Reply Chris's Vlogging Adventures April 14, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Sunderland AFC fan

  • Reply Emma Niu April 24, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    My favourite team is Barcelona,

  • Reply Joshua Bond July 9, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    I support Chelsea. Cristiano Ronaldo, Manuel Neur and Harry Kane.

  • Reply FootyTalk: ENGLISH LESSONS for FOOTBALL FANS July 20, 2019 at 8:49 am

    A nice video with good graphics – football has so much vocabulary.

  • Reply Uchihaki RFC August 10, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I support Inter Milan

  • Reply Hiệu Phan Thái September 6, 2019 at 12:20 am

    don't really excited about the lesson, but It is very hopefully with me. The club in the word I love is Real Madrid. This is a very great club because that team has many good players before I love Cristiano Ronaldo but he did pass to Juventus, now. But I also love it.
    In the soccer game, I usually play defender but I think, I'm really fit with the defensive midfielder. (Just learned English)

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