Hi everyone! It’s May, which means the football season is coming to an end. It’s an exciting time for fans, as lots of big matches are played and trophies are won. But how many of these expressions about the beautiful game do you know?
At the end of every season, the lowest teams in a division are relegated to the division below, and they are replaced by teams from that division, who are promoted. For example, in this season’s Premier League, Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland have been relegated, with Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion plus one other team getting promotion.
After the regular season finishes, some teams go into the play-offs. In England, the top two (or three) teams are promoted automatically, and the next four contest the play-offs, on a semi-final and final system. The Championship play-off final at Wembley is considered the most valuable match in football, because the winners enter the Premier League and earn much more money!
When saying a score, you usually just say two numbers, like two-one, or three-two. However, we don’t say “zero” when a team hasn’t scored, but “nil” instead. So in yesterday’s game, my team Crystal Palace won four-nil against Hull City. Draws are usually spoken “one-all” or “two-all”.
Parking the bus
If a team (usually an away team) “parks the bus” it means that they play very defensively to try and stop the opposition team from scoring. This can be boring to watch and frustrating for the other team. The term was first used by Jose Mourinho when he was Chelsea manager, in 2004, and has now become a common expression among fans.
Throwing the kitchen sink
This is the opposite of parking the bus. If one team “throws the kitchen sink” at their opponents, it means that they play a very attacking style, with lots of players moving forward. This often happens at the end of a game when one team need to score in order to win (or draw).
On the beach
Towards the end of the season, some teams have nothing to play for. Either they have no chance of promotion or relegation, or they have already been promoted/relegated. As a result, the players may not be as motivated in matches. In this case, they are often said to be “already on the beach”, thinking more about their summer holidays than the game they are supposed to be playing.
A pundit is a person who gives analysis of a game on television, either before or after a game or at half-time. Most pundits are former players, who often use clichés or say obvious things which viewers already know. One of the better, more famous pundits is ex-Manchester United and England player Gary Neville, who appears on Sky TV in the UK.
Every summer before the start of the season, there are always lots of rumours in the media about which players or managers will be transferring from one team to another. The speculation can last all summer, from June until August, with the transfer not happening until the end of the transfer window. There is usually at least one big-name transfer every year which turns into a “transfer saga”. Last year, it was the Paul Pogba transfer from Juventus to Manchester United. Who will it be this summer?
A wheeler-dealer is someone who is good at buying and selling lots of things. Its use is not limited to football. Some managers are known as wheeler-dealers because they have a lot of contacts in the game and are good at finding players. In England, former West Ham and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is famous for his wheeling and dealing, often signing the same players for every team he manages.
So now you have some phrases to use when talking about the end of season and the summer break. If you want even more football lingo and to practise your English, go to our Premier Skills English site.
I’m already excited for the next season, are you?!?