Five years ago, English teacher and Arsenal fan Tom Challenger had himself a thought. Seeing a need that others hadn’t, he wrote and self-published a book called ‘Football English: Soccer Vocabulary for Learners of English’. It’s a phrasebook, mostly, for English as a second language-speakers, to help them sound more natural and more comfortable when interviewed in their non-native language. Challenger also runs a blog associated with the book, which has real-life examples, including N’Golo Kanté, whose interview after winning the Player of the Year award is brought up as an evidence of someone learning these things very well.
But it’s not Kanté who’s brought the book and its author back into the forefront of the football news cycle. It’s Antonio Conte, who was photographed by the paparazzi while on holiday, reading this very same book while relaxing on a beach somewhere, clad in his finest blue speedo as middle-aged European men are wont to do.
Love the idea that Conte will come back from the break saying things like "Nil nil, start again lads." and "He don't want it!" pic.twitter.com/ksqyTr2bl2— Bobby Dean (@Bobby_Dean) September 3, 2017
Mr. Challenger, the book’s author was interviewed on talkSport this morning as well, and that’s worth a listen as he describes the intent behind the book and the success it has had at various levels of the professional game, including youth prospects and international managers, and now, Antonio Conte as well.
In any case, nice to see Antonio putting in the work even while on vacation. No doubts about his commitment!