Liverpool Arsenal 1989

Manchester City aren’t the only team to produce end of season excitement…

Difficulty Level: (1)→(2)→3
Important football (soccer) vocabulary is highlighted at the bottom of the page.
Watch the video first without reading the text so you practice your listening skills.

Think about this question when you watch the video for the first time: what factors made this match so exciting?
[afterwards read the text to check your understanding]

Background: It’s May 1989. This is the last match of the league season between Liverpool and Arsenal…

By half-time it was still nil-nil and and George was still thinking there would be chances to come. You know, it’s down to taking them, and, er, you can do this, and that’s what happened.

He said, “it’s all going according to plan, lads. All we need to do is get a goal, you know, whenever. And then, we’ve only got to get one more, so just make sure you keep a clean sheet.

[Television commentary:] Winterburn and Richardson behind it. Adams has made a darting little run in there… and Smith. And Arsenal have scored. The Liverpool players are surrounding the referee, asking him to speak to a linesman.

I’ve spoken to some of the Liverpool lads since; Steve Nicol and Ronnie Whelan, and, um, I always say, “well, what were you appealing about?”, and they say, “ well, we thought it was offside or you didn’t touch it. So, we just thought we’d try our luck, you know”. One of the most frequently asked questions that people ask me is, “did you touch it?”. And I always say, “yeah, I did, I got a good touch. It was just the fact that the, er, the flight of the ball didn’t change all that much. I just helped it on its way. It was quite tense when they surrounded the ref. And the ref went over to the linesman. And, you know, it’s quite intimidating, because you had the likes of Ronnie Whelan balling in their ear and trying to influence them. So, when the ref pointed to the centre circle, that was, you know, a great moment of relief.

[Television commentary:] Ronnie Whelan looking on there… the goal’s been given! And what a game we have now.
Onto Alan Smith. Ablett’s there with him. Merson…Richardson! A chance here… Thomas! …and Grobbalaar was able to grab it.
There the signals… get forward, get forward.

I think the great story from it is when Steve McMahon is putting one finger up, and I can remember that, and I’m sure the lads that played that night knew there was only one minute to go ‘we’ve lost it’. That for the lads… cor, when they scored that goal… I still watch it… I’m disappointed I wasn’t there, but I’m pleased for them lads that were actually ???? .

[Television commentary:] Arsenal come streaming forward now, in surely what will be there last attack. A good ball by Dixon, finding Smith, for Thomas, charging through the midfield! Thomas! It’s up for grabs now!!! Thomas!! Right at the end! An unbelievable climax to the league season!

to keep a clean sheet: a team keeps a clean sheet in a match when the other team doesn’t score any goals.
to appeal to the referee: to ‘ask’ the referee to make a decision, e.g. to give your team a penalty or free kick (here, to ask the referee NOT to give a goal for Arsenal)

Roy Hodgson – England – Press Conference

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Think about this question when you watch the video for the first time: what problems do Roy Hodgson and the press think he will have before Euro 2012?
[afterwards read the text to check your understanding]

Background: It’s May 2012. There are forty days until Euro 2012. England have been without a manager since February. Today it has been confirmed that Roy Hodgson has been chosen to be the manager. This is his first press conference. He is an unpopular choice amongst the press; most of the press wanted Harry Redknapp to be the manager.

I suppose it’s a very proud day for me. I’m a very happy man to have been offered the chance of managing my country. I’m, er, looking forward enormously to the task ahead. Everyone knows it’s not an easy one. But I’m also hoping that everybody, fans, supporters, everybody within the country will get behind the team. Because it’s the team that counts, and it’s the team that will win us matches, and all I would [will]do is, I’ll do my very best to make sure the team is as well prepared as possible for the tasks that lie ahead. So, I’m grateful for the chance to be the manager of England, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Roy, many congratulations. Thank you Nick. Just how big is the challenge going to be to get this England squad named and prepared for Euro 2012 which is less than 6 weeks away.

Well, yes, it’s going to be difficult, of course. But, er, hopefully I’ve got a lot of time on my hands to think about it and to make the decisions that are necessary. Obviously I’ve been working in the country for the last 5 years. So, all the players are pretty well known to me. Even though I haven’t worked with that many of them, and it’s going to be very important after this press conference to get straight down to the task really, of making certain that when the time comes to announce the squad, which we’re likely to put back, as a matter of fact, until after the last game of the season, and I have done as much research as I can, and spoken to as many players as I can.

What are your views on whether John Terry and Rio Ferdinand could play in the same team, given that there are issues between them. Would you, for example, be speaking to both of them (yes), and do you want both of them in your England squad this summer?

Well, I think the important thing at the moment is to speak to as many players as possible, and, of course, John and Rio, as respected members of the team, are gonna be 2 guys I need to speak to. But I couldn’t answer your question at this moment in time. Certainly not before I’ve had a chance to, hopefully, sit down with them. But if I can’t sit down with them, reach them on the telephone.

Steven Gerrard was your captain at Liverpool, is he in pole position for your first England captain?

Well, that’s another thing that will have to be very carefully thought out, so, if you don’t mind, I’ll skip, I’ll skip decisions like that at this first press conference. And, in the days ahead, it’s obviously going to be one of the things which will occupy my time.

At the risk of getting a similar answer, um, Wayne Rooney will miss the first two games…??????

No, not at all, I can give you a clear answer on that one. I’m looking forward very much to Wayne Rooney coming to the Euros with us, and, looking forward to his contribution, albeit that he can’t play the first 2 games.

to get behind the team: to support the team
to name the squad: to officially announce the group of players who will travel to tournament such as the Euros or the World Cup

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