A Girlfriend’s Guide to Football Manager Terminology.


No referee, you are wrong.


So he’s had that new game a week now and you’ve never seen him happier. But between running around the lounge with his shirt over his head and kicking the cat into the sink he’s starting to come out with some fairly confusing statements. Here’s a brief guide to some of the more common utterances you can expect to hear.


Your boyfriend’s “defensive midfielder”, who is a player specifically charged with disrupting the opposition’s creative talent, is hesitating when he should be recklessly lunging, two-footed into the shins of an 8st Mexican teenager. Putting one’s foot in literally means to make an attempt to win the ball, it’s nothing dirty or anything.

“Awh, well… hey.”

His team has conceded a goal from an obscenely long distance. He wants to be annoyed about conceding but is so impressed by the quality of the strike that he’s feeling slightly conflicted. The expression may well be followed with a puff of the cheeks and a sharp exhale of breath and this time tomorrow he’ll be telling his friends that his team scored it, the little scamp.

“Get your scarf off you bong-eyed nonce!”

The referee has awarded what appears to be a generous decision to the opposition team, possibly after denying your boyfriend a succession of similar decisions, oh no! The ‘scarf’ is a metaphorical reference to supporting a team, implying bias on behalf of the officials, ‘bong-eyed’ refers to the vision problems that your boyfriend is suggesting would explain the poor decisions and ‘nonce’ is simply included for dramatic effect.

“How much!? Not a chance son.”

An exciting young player who your boyfriend has carefully nurtured through the youth team now wants well in excess of £40,000 a week to sign a new contract. He’ll get it too, obviously.

“He’s off! HE’S GOT TO BE OFF!”

This is a tricky one. You’ll be witnessing such outrage that you’ll automatically assume that some terrible atrocity has occurred and thus has your boyfriend demanding the referee send off a member of the opposition’s team. But look closer, that’s not steam coming out of his ears, it’s fear, fear of the striker who has raced clear and is bearing down on his goal. His defence won’t catch him and he’s still not forgiven the goalie for getting lobbed in the cup so his only possible salvation is now an offside claim which you would describe as ‘hopeful, at best’. Of course, we both know it isn’t coming. This expression is often bookended by “Get that f*****g flag up!”

What do you mean, “what’s offside?” Oh, forget it.


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