Table football- A pub game with plastic players that can be twisted around to “kick” a small ball into two wooden goals
Tackle- Take the ball off another player, usually by kicking the ball that they are trying to DRIBBLE
Tackling back – Taking the ball off a player who just took it off you
Take the field- Come onto the PITCH, either at the start of a game or as a SUBSTITUTE
Tame shot- A SHOT with little force or kicked near to the GOALKEEPER. Similar to WEAK SHOT, but usually used to criticize the goalkeeper, e.g. “A tame shot by Rooney somehow went between the goalkeeper’s legs and into the NET”
Tap it in- Score a goal with a gentle SHOT
Tapping a player- Illegal approaches to a player who is under contract with another club, as AGENTS and other clubs have to ask the present club’s permission before talking to their players. The expression comes from the idea of tapping someone on the shoulder.
Target man- A OUT AND OUT STRIKER whose only job is to wait for other players to pass the ball to them and then score
Target- See ON TARGET
Team sheet- The list of the STARTING LINEUP and SUBSTITUTES, often released as late as possible to stop the other team knowing exactly which players they will be playing against
Tempo – The speed at which the game is played
Tenure- How long a MANAGER or COACH stays in one job
Terraces- Places in the stadium where there are no seats and so the fans have to stand. Often used to suggest more enthusiastic supporters. There are no terraces in ALL SEATER stadiums
The top flight of... The highest level, e.g. “The PREMIERSHIP is the top flight of English football”. Often used in sentences wondering how good a player is, e.g. “Smith was the top scorer in the 2nd division last year, but there are doubts whether he has the skills to be successful in the top flight”
There's only one... – A popular football CHANT, meaning that the player is unique (usually genuine, but sometimes sarcastically)
Thrash - BEAT by a large margin, e.g. 6-0. The literal meaning of thrash is also similar to beat, as in “The headmaster thrashed the boy for ten minutes for daring to call him by his first name”
Thread the ball - Pass the ball between two opposing players, similar to putting a thread into the hole in a needle
Three lions – The coat of arms on the England football shirt
Through on goal - Past the last DEFENDER
Throw a match - Deliberately lose a match, for example because you have bet against yourself or because you want the team you are playing against to get the points and so defeat another team that you want to be ELIMINATED. A very serious offense that could lead to a team being RELEGATED
Throw in - Returning the ball to play by throwing it from the TOUCHLINE, usually because the ball has gone off the pitch after hitting a player from the other team, but sometimes also in place of a FREE KICK. The only time when a player other than the goalkeeper is allowed to use their hands in play.
Tie - (1) A DRAW (2) A match, e.g. “A home tie” or “A difficult tie”
Time added on – How long the match will be played after the REGULATION TIME of 90 minutes, mainly due to play being stopped due to injuries during the match
Time wasting - A team who is IN THE LEAD or PLAYING FOR A DRAW taking a long time to take GOAL KICKs etc so the other team cannot score. A BOOKABLE OFFENSE that could lead to a YELLOW CARD
Top four finish - Between first and fourth place in the league at the end of the season. Important in leagues where the top four teams have a chance of being PROMOTED or can enter the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Top half of the table - For example, the top 6 teams in a DIVISION of 12 teams. Used to show that they could be promoted, could have a TOP FOUR FINISH, or are in little danger of being RELEGATED
Top the group - The team with the most points from a GROUP STAGE, usually meaning that they can play a second placed team from another group in the first KNOCKOUT STAGE. Not the same as GO TOP, which can mean temporarily
Toss - When the referee flips a coin to decide which sides of the pitch each team plays in during the FIRST HALF and which team KICKs OFF. Also (but less commonly) COIN TOSS
Touchline – (1) The white line that goes all around the edge of the pitch, showing where the ball has to stay inside if it is not to be a THROW IN, CORNER (KICK) or GOAL KICK (2) Often used to mean the area where the coach sits during the game, e.g. “Instructions came from the touchline to switch positions”
Toyota Cup - The traditional name for the match (and now championship) in which the REGIONAL CHAMPIONs play against each other to decide which the best CLUB SIDE in the world is. This is always a team from Europe or Latin America, being an unimportant TROPHY for the former and the most important one for the latter
Tracking back - Forwards coming back towards their own goal to help to defend when the other team is attacking
Tracksuit - A matching pair of casual trousers and top (usually with a zip), often worn on top of the football KIT until player WARM UP
Trainer - Someone just under the coach in the TECHNICAL STAFF, who concentrates on teaching and practising techniques with the players
Training ground - Where the players practise
Transfer - Buying a player from another club
Transfer fee – The money one club has to pay another to buy a player who is still under contract
Transfer window - If there is a time when teams cannot buy or sell players (usual nowadays), a short time in the middle where they can do so
Trap (the ball) - Stop a ball moving, for example one which was passed to you
Trophy- A cup etc that shows that you won a match or championship
Trophy cabinet - (1) The glass-fronted display cabinet that clubs show CUPs etc they have won in (2) Used as a metaphor for how many championships the club has won, e.g. “Liverpool’s trophy cabinet will be empty again this year”
Tuck it away – Easily score, maybe from close to the goal. Similar to SLOT IT AWAY
Tunnel (the) - The space just before the PITCH that players stand in lines in after coming out of the CHANGING ROOMs. This expression is often used to talk about negative things like tension (or even fights) between the two teams, or feeling nervous before a big match
Turf - The grass (or ARTIFICIAL TURF) on a pitch
Turn the tables - Put the other team into the position you were in, as if you were playing poker and you literally turned the table around so that you now had their hand of cards and they had yours.
Turnstile – (1) The turning piece of metal that only lets people who have shown their ticket into the GROUND (2) Used in expressions to show how many people attended the match, e.g. “10,000 people came through the turnstiles”
Two-footed tackle – A dangerous way of trying to get the ball off someone where both legs are aimed towards them at the same time, similar to a wrestling move. Often results in a RED CARD