Football phrase dictionary

In football there many clichés and common phrases are said by fans, players, managers and commentators. Below is a list of a lot of them, with their own specific meanings (hopefully humorous in parts to keep you reading). A sort of a football dictionary if you like, I understand some may come across as being cynical, but none are to be taken that seriously.

Journalists often ask stupid questions to managers and players. Gordon Strachan’s replies to them always make me laugh. Which can be seen on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfEV0iO0iCw

I am going to add more and more to this list as the season goes on, you are welcome to tweet me your own common, over-used and daft phrases – which you will get credit for. Enjoy!

A tough place to go – Probably the most commonly used phrase of them all throughout the football World. Whether a team is playing away at Dagenham & Redbridge or Barcelona you will hear it being said about the ground, even though the former may not have won there for 20 games on the trot*

Andre Villas-Boas said on the day of the fixture list announcement that “Selhurst Park is always a difficult stadium to go to” See the full story here:  http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/sport/10497868.AVB_admits__tough_start__for_Spurs/

*Sorry Dagenham & Redbridge fans, was using your team as an example, I enjoyed my time there last season.

Nou CampDagenham               The Nou Camp and Victoria Road – Both tough places to go!

Now we can concentrate on the league – A phrase that gets used by fans after the team they support gets knocked out of a cup competition, usually unexpectedly. A good way of hiding the disappointment (not something I said when the Swans lost 4-2 to Havant & Waterlooville in 2008).

‘Have you ever played football?’ – A question that gets asked by some fans who think that because they have played football at some of level & the person with a differing view hasn’t, then their opinion is invalid.

Jose Mourinho, Arrigo Sacchi & Carlos Alberto Parreira have all managed at the top level of the game, (the latter pointed out to me by people on Twitter) but never played football at the top level, if at all. They would laugh at you if you questioned their footballing knowledge.

*For the record I played 5 a side football 15 years old

(Mark Lawrenson, Paul Merson & Garth Crooks have all played football at the top level and not many agree or accept what they say about the game. The last 2 are barely able to pronounce player’s names)

No easy games in International football – Similar to the first phrase on this list, usually said by a manager or players to try and relieve pressure in a game they are expected to win by the fans and media. Maybe in some aspects this is true, as many teams are much improved. It is not always the case, take San Marino, for example, who have a playing record of:

P118 W1 D3 L114 F – 16 A – 482

And they have been playing International football since 1990. Speaking of San Marino, I am able to say ‘I have seen San Marino score’ in a 2-1 defeat to Wales. Almost as rare as seeing Itay Shechter score a goal (I was there for that too!).

‘But we’re (insert league position of your team here) in the league’ – If a team hasn’t won for a long period of time and aren’t playing well. Some fans (usually of the blinkered kind) will state the league position of their team (if it’s quite high) to others fan who dare state their opinion of disappointment/unhappiness. Despite the fact the season finishes in May (See Swansea’s season 09/10 for details).

 ‘Could they do it on a wet, windy night at Stoke?’ (recommended by @heidi_wba) – Another over-used phrase said by commentators, pundits and fans alike when a highly rated player, usually from a foreign country, signs for a new team in the Premier League and is used as a criticism for when they don’t score/play well at Stoke

StokeStoke at night-time, Swans won there once on a Tuesday night in 2001. We still got relegated

A point’s a point (recommended by @Paul_Stanley77) – This is true of course, but only generally said after a team has thrown away a 2+ goal lead in a game that your team looked certainties to win. Also used if your team has played badly and managed to scrape a point and a way of forgetting an abject performance.

Second season syndrome – A personal favourite and for other Swansea fans (I’m guessing Norwich too). This comment is usually said by ignorant journalists and pundits to put down a team who did fantastically the previous season. Fortunately it is only a myth (despite what Mark Lawrenson says on the Swans season review).

But he plays International football – When fans debate a player’s ability (usually average), the word ‘International’ gets emphasised to try and make the player sound better than he actually is, just to try and make your debate sound better. Below is a list of some footballers who have played/play International football.

Jay Bothroyd – One substitute appearance for England

David Nugent – One cap and one goal for England (from a yard against Andorra, but remember there are no easy games in International football……..)

Steve Morison – 22 appearances for Wales. But he did score once (somehow)

Itay Shechter – 18 appearances for the mighty Israel, rate him at your peril

Rory Fallon –New Zealand ‘striker’ and played at the 2010 World Cup

There are many more, but I think you get my point!

FallonInternational footballer Rory Fallon celebrates a goal for his country

We had a bad day/off day (recommended by @swansforever) – Usually said by opposition managers when their team has been beaten by the Swans. Sven Goran Erikson, Harry Redknapp and even, most surprisingly, Tony (my baseball hat is stuck to my head) Pulis have bucked this trend and did actually praise us after their side didn’t win.

‘As long as we finish above them I’ll be happy’ – Said by fans at the start of the season as they want to finish above their rivals. Though should both teams finish in the relegation zone I can’t see anyone being happy with that.

He isn’t that good anyway – Usually said by fans when a star player leaves their club or after a team miss out on signing a certain player. Weeks previous, none of these criticisms were ever heard.

He only scores penalties – Another phrase usually used to criticise a certain player to fit an argument.

We need a ‘no-nonsense’ defender (recommended by @petersaint76) Generally said by fans who want their team to concede less goals. How many ‘nonsense’ defenders do you know? (Apart from James Collins and Titus Bramble)

Added – 16/07/13

Put it into the mixer (recommended by various people) – Never said by anyone at the Liberty stadium of course, apart from maybe the away fans. A ‘nicer’ way of saying hoofball and wanting your team to kick the ball into the box, anyway they can (Stoke, West Ham and Cardiff fans can relate to this)

Added – 17/07/13

Panic signing/buy – A phrase very often used by fans for a new signing. Usually said after numerous failings of transfer deals or if a manager has been under pressure. The player’s capabilities are not usually taken into account

He only has a left foot – This gets used as a criticism about a player that is predominantly left footed. It never gets said to criticise a player who is predominantly right footed though

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