A catechism of English football clichés

We present a handy guide for fans (or aspiring fans) of English football (soccer). If you can’t walk the walk, here is how you can talk the talk.

Chapter 1

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How must a free kick enter the penalty area?

A ball must be “fizzed in.”

In what state will a manager exist after a poor refereeing decision?

He will be “incandescent with rage.”

How must a forward’s scapula be moved taking on a defender?

He must “drop a shoulder.”

How must Ryan Giggs be always described?

The “Welsh Wizard” is characterized as “ageless.”

What will time added on in a Man U game be called?

It shall be denoted “Fergie Time.”

How will a dubious refereeing decision be seen in the grand scheme?

It will be “the turning point of the game.”

By what humorous representation must football be referenced?

It’s “a funny old game.”

What anatomical transformation does an attacker contrive before shooting?

He will “open up his body.”

With what subtropical avian condition can a football coach be ailing?

He will be a “sick as a parrot.”

By what equal proportions can a match be divided?

It’s “a game of two halves.”

With which ailment may underdogs reckon their accomplished opponents suffer?

They will have “Lionel Messi Syndrome.”

What frequent breach of the rules engenders much amusement?

A “Paul Scholes late challenge.”

To what numeric order will a relegation game be prescribed?

This will be “a 6-point game.”

To which static mode of transportation will a defending team be equated?

They will have “parked the bus.”

With which compliment will a large forward be rewarded?

“For a big lad, he’s good with his feet!”

In which condition in physics will a diminutive player invariably operate?

“A low center of gravity.”

How will a football manager focus on impending fixtures?

He will “take each game as it comes.”

What nonexistent numerical amount will an industrious player give?


To what part of the sun’s cycle must a manager refer in summation?

“At the end of the day . . .”

And to what deeply pleasurable condition will his team have left the coach in?

They will have “done him proud.”

Chapter 2

When is the striker turned down by an inanimate object?

When he is “denied by the post.”

What form of evisceration does a defeated coach face?

Being “gutted by the loss.”

What numerical sum is it all about?

“The 3 points.”

What is our frame of mind on attaining the 3 points?

“Obviously, we are delighted.”

The negative result of Aaron Lennon’s dazzling speed?

There’s no “end product.”

What is Harry Redknapp’s highest superlative?

“He’s a top player — no, he’s a top top player.”

What business term denotes a poor performance?

“A bad day at the office.”

What attribute does a keen player exhibit?

He wants to “play every game.”

How to define the Barclays’ Premier League?

“The Best League in the World.”

What inquisitive device do forwards employ on the defence?

They “begin to ask questions.”

What is the dubious nature of a rough tackle?

A “cynical challenge.”

What moral makeup does a team that comes back show?

“A lot of character.”

What is the epitaph for FA Cup losers from lower divisions?

“Plucky little . . .”

What restorative condition is Torres showing when he scores?

The “regaining of his form.”

What a team is searching for upon taking the field?

They’re looking for “a result.”

What pyrotechnic measure has Gareth Bale taken?

He has “literally been on fire this season.”