Being hooked at half-time in a municipal face-off, as Mkhitaryan was, is not sufficient justification to consign a new player to Siberia.


Here is my confusion:

  1. What is the meaning of "being hooked"? I know the fact that Mkhitaryan had the bad game and was sent off after the haft-time. Is there any correspondence between "being hooked" and "sent off"? Or does "being sent-off" represent something different?

  2. What is the meaning of "municipal". Some dictionaries say it is an adjective:

of or relating to a town or city or its local government

I don't have any idea how to apply this definition to this sentence so that it would make sense.

  • Could you tell us which teams were playing? Sometimes two teams from the same city play each other, which might account for the "municipal" allusion. Sep 11, 2016 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


The article describes a contest between two teams from the same city, Manchester—hence a “municipal” face-off.

To “get the hook” or “be hooked” is to be removed for inadequate performance. The phrase derives from a practice common in old-fashioned vaudeville, described here in an article from Milwaukee Free Press, March 25, 1906

Thursday night is “amateur” night at the Star, which means that after the close of the regular performance, the amateur aspirants for theater fame are allowed to do their turns, and take what’s coming to them, if they fall short. Most of them do, as a rule, and howls of derision from all over the theater but especially from the gallery, assail the awkward beginner.

“The hook, the hook! Get the hook! Get off!” shout the spectators.

These cries are the signal for the backdrop to be lifted, while a stage hand reaches forth a long pole, terminating in a sickle-like prehensile contrivance that grasps the performer and hustles him away back, while the drop descends and hides him from view.

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  • 1
    There is also some reportorial wordplay at work in describing a player from part of the old Soviet Union (Armenia) as being "consigned to Siberia"—invoking another familiar idiom.
    – Sven Yargs
    Sep 11, 2016 at 22:50

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