Blog_Football ImageThe Football Season has started here in the UK. My husband is a keen Arsenal supporter and for the next few months I have the joy of listening to him shout at the television whenever a player doesn’t do what is expected of him!

The start of the season has also given me the excuse to introduce you to 10 football idioms that we often use in Business English. As I mentioned in a previous post, sports and business are closely related in many ways including language.

Blog_Keep your Eye on the Ball1. To keep one’s eye on (or to take one’s eye off) the ball – to keep (or fail) to keep one’s focus on a particular matter
Ex: “In this business if you want to be successful, you need to keep your eye on the ball”.


2. To know the score – to know the essential facts of the situation
EX: “I was going to bring Jane up to date with the situation but she already knows the score”.

3. A game changer – an event or procedure that could have a dramatic effect on the current policy or thinking
Ex: This new contract with The States could be a real game changer for our business.

4. To blow the whistle on someone – to expose an illegal activity and the person(s) responsible within an organisation (A Whistle-Blower – Noun)

Ex: “She was fed up with the way things were going and decided to blow the whistle on the company’s illegal activities”

5. League – a class or category of excellence and quality
Ex: “When it comes to showmanship, David is in a league of his own”.

6. To score an own goal – an act that unintentionally harms one’s own interests
Ex: “Philip scored an own goal when he quit his job before signing a new contract.”

7. To be on the ball – to be aware and quick to respond to new ideas
Ex: “You need to be on the ball in this job”.

8. To watch from the sidelines – to be an observer rather than actively involved in a situation.
Ex: “Harry never gets involved in anything. He’s always watching from the sidelines.”

9. To move the goalposts – to unfairly move the conditions or rules of  procedures during its course

Blog_Move the goalpostsEx: It’s impossible to plan anything in this company if management keeps moving the goalposts.”

10. To kick something off – to start something

Ex: “Right. I’d like to kick this meeting off by welcoming our guest.”

If you’d like to know more and practise your Football Vocabulary in English do take a look at this excellent website: Learning English Through Football. They have podcasts, worksheets, quizzes and many more activities for those of you who love the beautiful game and are English Language Learners.

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Enjoy the Football Season, folks.

Ciao for now

Source: Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms