Continuing our series of features on how to avoid using politically incorrect expressions in the world of football.
"The Manager has had to tinker with the defence"
An all-too-common practice in the pressure cooker that is the premier league, this seemingly innocuous statement has also been blacklisted, sorry outlawed as being demeaning to travelling people. "The Manager's changed to a flat back 7" would not only be an accurate description of tactics widely adopted by many bosses these days, but would in general not be likely to offend residentially challenged persons.
"The defender gave it a big hoof up the park"
This expression only falls into the realms of the doubtful category when exposed to the vagaries of rhyming slang. Nevertheless, in order not to denigrate those who have not yet come out, the use of the old-fashioned but still popular "lusty clearance" a la Scottish defender will do.
"And there goes Helmut Schoen"
A seemingly reasonable observation on the appearance of a legend of the modern game? Wrong. In a certain context even this remark can cause much upset amongst those of Jewish extraction or indeed anyone - usually male - who has been in a certain kind of removal business. Just to be safe, please use the harmless "there goes the ex-West German manager".
Similarly, 'he was a snip at £500,000' is liable to create hysteria amongst those considering the operation and is liable to drive hordes of potential NHS clients to seek backstreet practitioners in the hope of saving a couple of bob. "A bargain buy" is a better term to use.
"The keeper didn't see him nip in at the back post"
Another potential offence to the Orient, this time the home of the J League.
First used in the 60's to describe the ghosting runs of a certain Martin Peters, the updated non-politically incorrect version should be something of the order of "he came in on the goalie's blind side" or, in the case of Robert "Rob" Green, on "both of the goalie's blind sides".