Most popular football cliches in the UK

A recent survey of 2,000 sports fans delved into the world of football cliches, uncovering some intriguing insights.

Topping the list of the most popular football cliches was the age-old adage, "a game of two halves," beating out phrases like "no one is bigger than the club" and "play to the whistle," which secured second and third places, respectively.

The top five were rounded out by "this game needs a goal" and "parking the bus." Notable mentions included the famous question, "he's good, but can he do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?" along with "six pointer" and "goals win games."

Interestingly, the survey revealed that the majority of sports fans enjoy these cliches, with 53 percent expressing a liking for them. Humour played a significant role in their appeal, as over half of the respondents found these phrases amusing. However, 60 percent of those surveyed believed that football cliches are overused.

The impact of these cliches extends beyond the realm of sports, with sports betting fans incorporating them into their everyday language. On average, they use football cliches in daily life nearly twice a day, totaling 723 occasions annually.

Furthermore, 81 percent of respondents regularly employ general sport-inspired sayings, with phrases like "give it your best shot," "long shot," and "on thin ice" being the most common. These findings illustrate the pervasive influence of sports-related language in everyday communication, with individuals using these phrases an average of 956 times per year. It's not just football that sees its cliches used in everyday life, with various other saying originating from sports around the world. 

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  1. “A game of two halves”

  2. “Play to the whistle”

  3. “Nil-nil written all over it”

  4. “Parking the bus”

  5. “No one is bigger than the club”

  6. "He's good, but can he do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?"

  7. “Six pointer”

  8. “Turn on a sixpence”

  9. “This game needs a goal”

  10. “The table doesn’t lie”

  11. "Goals win games"

  12. “Play a blinder”

  13. “2-0 is a dangerous lead”

  14. “A wake-up call”

  15. “Walk the ball into the net”

  16. “That was a great cross but there was no one there”

  17. “He was in acres of space”

  18. “Turn the game on its head”

  19. “A great advert for the game”

  20. “Take the game by the scruff of the neck”

  21. “Like a new signing”

  22. "There are no easy games at this level"

  23. “They gave it 110%”

  24. “Their name is on the cup”

  25. “Recipe for disaster”

1.    “Turn on a sixpence”
2.    “A game of two halves”
3.    "We need to show more conviction on the pitch"
4.    “Play to the whistle”
5.    “This game needs a goal”
6.    "Goals win games"
7.    “Nil-nil written all over it”
8.    “No one is bigger than the club”
9.    "If it was on target, it would have been a goal"
10.    “That was a great cross but there was no one there”
11.    “They gave it 110%”
12.    “Hospital pass”
13.    "At the end of the day…"
14.    “A great advert for the game”
15.    “The table doesn’t lie”
16.    "We’re taking it one game at a time"
17.    “Walk the ball into the net”
18.    "He’s scored too early"
19.    "We need to be more efficient with the ball"
20.    “I’ve not got a magic wand”
21.    “Parking the bus”
22.    "He's good, but can he do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?"
23.    “Play a blinder”
24.    “A wake up call”
25.    “Recipe for disaster”


1.    “A game of two halves”
2.    "There are no easy games at this level"
3.    “No one is bigger than the club”
4.    "He's good, but can he do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?"
5.    “Play a blinder”
6.    “This game needs a goal”
7.    "Goals win games"
8.    “The table doesn’t lie”
9.    “They gave it 110%”
10.    “He’s going to have nightmares about that one for years”
11.    "The greatest cup competition in the world"
12.    “Six pointer”
13.    “Nil-nil written all over it”
14.    “A wake up call”
15.    “Take the game by the scruff of the neck”
16.    “Their name is on the cup”
17.    "He's almost hit that one too well"
18.    “Play to the whistle”
19.    “Parking the bus”
20.    "If it was on target, it would have been a goal"
21.    “Results go your way”
22.    "We’re taking it one game at a time"
23.    “A great advert for the game”
24.    "We need to be more efficient with the ball"
25.    “Hospital pass”


1.    “A game of two halves”
2.    “No one is bigger than the club”
3.    “This game needs a goal”
4.    “Nil-nil written all over it”
5.    “Six pointer”
6.    “He’s going to have nightmares about that one for years”
7.    "He's good, but can he do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?"
8.    “Play a blinder”
9.    "There are no easy games at this level"
10.    “That was a great cross but there was no one there”
11.    "Goals win games"
12.    “They gave it 110%”
13.    “Play to the whistle”
14.    “Parking the bus”
15.    "If it was on target, it would have been a goal"
16.    “Walk the ball into the net”
17.    "You couldn't write a script like this"
18.    "The lads put in a great shift"
19.    “Hospital pass”
20.    "We’re taking it one game at a time"
21.    "At the end of the day…"
22.    “He was in acres of space”
23.    “A great advert for the game”
24.    “Recipe for disaster”
25.    “Turn the game on its head”


1.    “A game of two halves”
2.    “Play a blinder”
3.    “No one is bigger than the club”
4.    "He's good, but can he do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?"
5.    “Six pointer”
6.    “Play to the whistle”
7.    “This game needs a goal”
8.    "If it was on target, it would have been a goal"
9.    “They gave it 110%”
10.    "Goals win games"
11.    “2-0 is a dangerous lead”
12.    “A wake up call”
13.    “The table doesn’t lie”
14.    “Take the game by the scruff of the neck”
15.    “Parking the bus”
16.    “Hospital pass”
17.    "We’re taking it one game at a time"
18.    “Turn the game on its head”
19.    "You couldn't write a script like this"
20.    “Nil-nil written all over it”
21.    "There are no easy games at this level"
22.    “He was in acres of space”
23.    “He’s going to have nightmares about that one for years”
24.    “Walk the ball into the net”
25.    “To give the ball away cheaply”


 

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