A-Z of Commentator Cliches

The men who broadcast our football through the TV are almost as famous as the players themselves these days. Think John Motson, Clive Tyldesley or more controversially, Andy Gray and Richard Keys. But you always get the impression you’ve heard everything they say before. Well, that’s because you probably have. The commentator is the king of the cliché, using the same phrases to sum up most situations! Here is the A to Z of Commentators Clichés:

A- “All to Play for” – The phrase always issued after a dramatic goal is scored to get the losing team back in the match. I’m fairly sure there was all to play for before, it’s just they hadn’t managed to score then.

B- “Beckham Territory” – Anytime a team that old Goldenballs played for won a free kick in the opposition half, out came the familiar phrase. The ball inevitably hit the wall.

C- “Mark of True Champions” – Manchester United play dreadfully, they fail to break down Wigan all game long, defend like a bunch of strangers, yet sneak a late goal to pick up a vital win. Lucky? No that’s the mark of true champions.

D- “Schoolboy Defending” – Alan Hansen’s favourite saying on Match of the Day. Said defender makes first mistake of the season, yet needs to return to his youth to relearn the art of tackling.

E- “End to End stuff” – Normally used to describe a frantic game. Very overused, the action usually isn’t literally end to end, more like a few shots in a short space of time. Always heard whenever the Big Four play each other.

F- “Best Form of Defence is Attack” – Is it? Counter-attacking may be OK, but ask Ian Holloway and Blackpool how many goals they conceded when they tried abandoning defending altogether. I’d say the best form of defence is defending properly. (Sorry Mr Wenger)

G- “Game of Two Halves” – Whenever any side takes a big lead in the first half, the commentator has to keep the viewing public interested by reminding them anyone can mount a comeback. Well, in reality, this never happens and we get conned into watching 45 more minutes of one-sidedness. Unless it’s Istanbul 2005.

H- “He had to go” – Shocking challenge, red card given. Commentator shakes his head disappointedly, judging the naughty red carded player, “he had to go.” Well yes, that’s generally what a red card means.

I- “I’ve seen them given” – Another one for the pundit. A penalty gets turned down. It’s controversial. Knowledgeable pundit announces he’s seen them given. Well congratulations. You’re a pundit because you’ve meant to have seen everything in football anyway!

J- “Just enough to put him off” – Used just after the lumbering centre-back clatters into the striker with a desperate challenge after being beaten all ends up.

K- “Killer Ball” – Normally heard when the team’s playmaker plays a majestic pass. Sounds painful…

L- “Lost the Dressing Room” – That was careless. Where on earth did you put it?

M- “Magic of the FA Cup” – Lower league team beats bigger league team. Why? Not because bigger team put out reserves due to fixture congestion. Nope, it’s definitely the magic of the cup.

N- “Needs a Goal” –Most games do need a goal, yes. I cant ever remember enjoying a 0-0 draw.

O- “On Paper” – Yes we all know Manchester United have a stronger squad on paper than Torquay United. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

P- “Park the Bus” – One of Jose Mourinho’s favourites after a Spurs side went all defensive at Stamford Bridge. The commentator recognises the negative attitude (usually from the away side) and out comes the big double decker of a cliché.

Q- “Can’t Question his Commitment” – Means said player is terrible and the only thing he can do is run around like a headless chicken.

R- “Rub of the Green” – Having watched one team miss two open nets, have three penalty appeals turned down and see a goal chalked off for offside, the commentator usually ruefully decides the other team had all the luck.

S- “Six Pointer” – Big clashes between teams (usually at the bottom of the division) are referred to as six pointers. Which is rather ‘pointless’ as they still only carry the standard three.

T- “Too Good to go Down” – The pundits always know best. They always predict whose squad isn’t good enough to keep them in the division and who’s got the quality to stay in the league. Errmm, think again. Ask Leeds fans in 2004,Newcastle fans in 2009 or West Ham fans last year if they were “too good to go down.” Didn’t think so…

U- “Unbelievable Jeff!” – Enough said.

V- “Virtually Unmarked” – I wouldn’t say he was virtually unmarked. More like literally unmarked. Hence why he scored.

W- “Worked his Socks off” – Always used to describe a player with an exceptional work rate. Every time Park Ji Sung plays for Manchester United or Dirk Kuyt turns out for Liverpool, you can guarantee hearing this phrase at least once during the game. Can’t say I’ve ever actually seen those workhorses without said sock though.

X- “X-Rated Challenge” – Alright, it was a fairly bad two footed tackle. But that’s what the fans come for right?

Y- “Yard of Pace” – When a player gets old, according to our friends with the microphones, they always lose that yard of pace. I’d still back any said player in a foot race against Per Mertesacker though.

Z- “Row Z” – The words a commentator reserves specifically for Emile Heskey. Even though most grounds don’t have a Row Z.

Feel free to add your own below.

Follow me on Twitter: The_CoinToss

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