The Language of Football – Number 4

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (and even more emotions when we win a game!)

Language CloudPaul Simon sang in 1975 about 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. “Slip out the back, Jack”, “make a new plan Stan”, “you don’t need to be coy, Roy, just set yourself free”, “hop on the bus, Gus”, and “drop off the key, Lee” were his fifty ways. More like five to me!

In the Language of Football number 2 we looked at emotions when your lover has left, or when we lose a game. How many different emotions can you feel if your lover comes back? How many different feelings do you have when we win a game?

Here are some examples:

alive, blissful, buzzing, blessed, beatific, beside oneself with joy, brilliant, content, cheerful, cockahoop, carefree, delighted, delirious, encouraged, enraptured, entranced, elated, euphoric, ecstatic, exuberant, exultant, emotional,

felicitous, good, glad, gratified, high, happy (as a sandboy), (as Larry), (as a lark), (as a clam at high tide), in seventh heaven, joyful, jumping for joy, jubilant, like a child with a new toy, merry, over the moon, on cloud nine, on a high, overjoyed, on top of the world,

pleased (as Punch), rejoicing, rapturous, rhapsodic, relieved, sick, stimulated, tingling, tittilated, thrilled, timely, tickled pink, transported, triumphant, wrapped, walking on air, wicked,

There are more than 50 here. The list is not exhaustive. How many others can you come up with?

The Language of Football – Number 3

A game of two halves or the match of the day?

Language CloudDo you use the word game or match in football terms? Which do you prefer? There are no specific rules for describing a game of football, or a football match. You might use the term game of football but are unlikely to say a match of football. I would usually say “I’m going to the game today”, whereas my wife is more likely to ask “Are you going to the match today?”

Many synonyms have come about to describe a game or match using different terms, many to satisfy the needs of journalists trying to avoid repetition. Game or match are the two most common and can be interchanged, or used to describe most of the scenarios that will arise in this article. Sometimes the word game doesn’t describe a single game, but can refer to football in general terms. A game of football for example can refer to a specific game, the game of football to football as a whole. The beautiful game is a term used to describe football as a whole, it’s never the beautiful match.

Sometimes you may hear the term “he’s been in the game long enough”. This does not describe a specific match, but someone who has been involved in football for a long time. However, a defender given a torrid time by the opposing attacker would know that he’s been in a game; you are less likely to say been in a match. A team that have been totally outplayed may be described as never in the game, but you could use match here.

All kinds of adjectives are used to describe a game/match. Sometimes the word clash is used but only in certain circumstances. The term suggests a more physical game where the teams will be more hyped-up than usual. So, for example, if we are about to play Tottenham then it might be an eagerly-awaited clash, whereas if we are about to face, say, Bournemouth, the word clash is less likely to be used. A derby game is likely to be described as a clash, an old firm game between Rangers and Celtic and the El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona will definitely be clashes. A clash will often be a heavyweight one, or a titanic one, a Clash of the Titans, or a top-of-the-table clash. A fixture clash however is where a team might reach, say, the semi-final of the cup, when there is already a league game scheduled for the day of the semi-final.

Another term used is a fixture. This is often preceded by adjectives such as long-awaited, top-of-the-table, relegation (sometimes called a six-pointer), plum, or mouth-watering. Relegation often precedes the word scrap which suggests the game might be a bit of a battle. Relegation also precedes the word battle to describe teams in the drop-zone playing against each other. Sometimes a game may be an almighty battle. It could be a ding-dong one. Although teams meeting in battle is another phrase for a game/match, a battle is more frequently used to describe players having individual battles all over the field, or midfield battles, or Andy Carroll being involved in an aerial battle with a tall, uncompromising defender. Aerial is another interesting adjective often used to describe an onslaught, a tussle, or a bombardment. Teams facing a side managed by Big Sam have often faced these, although he would of course deny it.

Sometimes a game/match is described as an affair. No, not a sexual liaison between married people who are not married to each other, but often a game that is not a lot of fun. So affairs are often dismal, drab, lifeless, dull, boring, ill-tempered, or physical.

Contest is another alternative and these are often absorbing, fascinating, or gripping. The phrase all over as a contest is often used when one side has a big lead and we may as well go home.

An encounter can also be absorbing, fascinating or gripping, and can additionally be thrilling, boring, or drab. A game can be an end-to-end one with flowing football, teams that are stretched, and gaps appearing in defences. These often provide chances at both ends which often lead to goals. Games with lots of goals at either end are specifically designed for the neutral spectator, but these games are not for the purists who, for one reason or another, like to see good defensive play, and abhor lots of mistakes leading to goals.

My final description of a game/match occurs if say, West Ham are drawn against Accrington Stanley in the Cup. This match can be described as a banana skin for us, although (to keep up the use of fruit) it is a plum draw for the minnows, Accrington Stanley.

The Language of Football – Number 2

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (and even more emotions when we lose a game!)

Language Cloud

Paul Simon sang in 1975 about 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. “Slip out the back, Jack”, “make a new plan Stan”, “you don’t need to be coy, Roy, just set yourself free”, “hop on the bus, Gus”, and “drop off the key, Lee” were his fifty ways. More like five to me!

How many different emotions can you feel if your lover has actually left you? How many different feelings will you have when we lose a game that we should have won? Take the game against Astra Giurgiu for example. Without resorting to bad language, how or what did you feel that night when you were leaving the ground? Or how do you feel about all that effort to qualify for European competition last season, only to be eliminated with such a poor performance?

angry, annoyed, appalled, bad tempered, bothered, bleak, bitter, cross, crestfallen, disapproving, devastated, disheartened, disenchanted, dejected, despondent, disillusioned, dismayed, dreadful, displeased, depressed, disgruntled, dissatisfied,

enraged, exasperated, empty, furious, fed up, frustrated, grumpy, gutted, gloomy, humiliated, irked, ill-tempered, irascible, indignant, infuriated, incensed, inconsolable, irritated, irate,

livid, let down, mad, moody, melancholic, needled, nauseated, outraged, put out, piqued, rotten, resentful, raving, shattered, scathing, sad, sick as a parrot, sombre, sorrowful, subdued, unhappy, vexed, wrecked.

There are more than 50 here. The list is not exhaustive. How many others can you come up with?

The Language of Football – Number 1

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (and even more ways to Score a Goal)

GoalFor any readers who are old enough to remember, Paul Simon sang in 1975 about 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. I think he short-changed us though as I can only remember five ways. There may have been more?

He suggested to Jack to “slip out the back”, Stan was advised to “make a new plan”, Roy was told “you don’t need to be coy, just set yourself free”, the suggestion to Gus was to “hop on the bus”, and Lee was urged to “drop off the key”.

As I listened to the song on the radio recently it got me thinking of how many different ways there are to describe different types of goal being scored, and or the way a goal was scored, or phrases that described goals generally. A bit of poetic licence here but I tried to come up with 50 Ways to Score a Goal and came up with the following list:

always going in from the moment it left his boot, arrowed home, assured finish, back-heeled,banged in, blistering finish, blockbuster, bounced off his shin, breakaway goal,broke the deadlock, bullet header, bullet shot,

calm finish, capitalised, cheeky finish, chested, chipped the keeper, clever finish, clinical finish, connected, consolation goal, cross-cum shot, curled in, deadly finish, deflected goal, deft touch, devastating finish, diving header, doubled the advantage, drove the ball home,

emphatic finish, equalised, finished with aplomb, finished, finished from close range, fired home, flung himself at the cross, forced the ball home, found his shooting boots, found the net, found the top / bottom corner, gambled, gave the keeper no chance, glanced, goal that deserves to win any game, goalkeeping gaffe, good time to score, got off the mark,

headed home, hit home, hit on the half-volley, hit the target, hit the winner, hooked, in the back of the net, kicked, laced, lashed, last gasp equaliser, latched on to a suicidal backpass, late strike, leathered, levelled, lofted, long range effort, made no mistake, met a pinpoint cross, met the cross, met the rebound, mishit, miskicked,

nodded home, notched, netbuster, off the post, off the underside of the bar, on target, opened the floodgates, opener, opportunist strike, overhead kick, own goal, piledriver, poached, poked home, powered home, pulled the trigger, punished the defence, punted, put his laces through the ball, put the ball in the net,

rammed home, rebounded into the net, reduced the deficit, replied, rescued a point, rifled in, rising shot, sailed into the net, salvaged a point, scrappy goal, screamer, scuffed the ball, secured all three points, shinned the ball, side-footed, slid the ball home, slipped the ball under the keeper, slotted home, smashed home, squirmed under the keeper, stooped to score, stunning finish, sweet strike, swept the ball home, swooped to score,

tapped in, the net bulged, toe-ended, toe-poked, took the lead, trickled into the net, turned the loose ball into the net, unstoppable shot, volleyed, whipped into the bottom corner.

There are more than 100 there. The list is not exhaustive. How many others can you come up with?