Football jargon should be shown a red card

<span>Photograph: Abbie Parr/AP</span>
Photograph: Abbie Parr/AP

Re Adrian Chiles’ article (Bonkers football jargon puts people off the game. It needs an idiot filter, and I’m volunteering, 1 December), two more terms currently in constant use by football managers need to be explained to those new to watching the game. They are “getting minutes” and “very fine margins”.

Getting minutes is what players who have missed a couple of games are doing when they are brought on 10 minutes before the end of a match that has already been won or lost. Players not fitting into this category are those who have played two games in the last fortnight and thus need to be “rested”.

Fine margins are what have cost the team the match. If only the goalposts had been five millimetres further apart and that offside decision had not been referred to VAR, the team would have won. Fine margins never win games for teams; they only ever lead to defeat.
Mick Hawes
Caerwys, Flintshire

• There’s far worse football jargon than Harry Kane’s assertion that England need to “play better with the ball in the attacking third”. The worst jargon must surely be when a pundit describes an outstanding footballer as being “unplayable”. A broken vinyl record is unplayable, as is a footballer with a broken leg. But an outstanding and exceptional footballer at the top of his/her game is very much playable.
Alan Thomas
Ruislip, London

• I agree with Adrian Chiles when he bemoans the use of football jargon by TV and radio pundits. My current favourite is the low block. I think this is similar to the high block, only lower.
Noel Cullinane
Leeds

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