During a discussion over the weekend regarding Aidy White’s best position it occurred to me that the reason we want him to play at left back AND on the left side of midfield (especially in the 4-2-3-1 system), is that he has something that we have, for the last decade, lacked in any recognisable quantity: PACE. It’s almost as if we have an institutional distrust of quick players.

Since our fall from the Prem only really a fired up Beckford and Mad Max have offered genuine, afterburner pace to beat opponents purely for pace. Sure, Lewis, Healy and Howson (and perhaps a small handful of others) were/are not embarrassed for a turn of foot, but they are not exactly in the ‘speed merchants’ class either.

As a result our attacking play for the past few years has tended to be deliberate and ‘measured’ rather than lethal and incisive. Even now, our best wide man for a generation (to be discussed) in Robert Snodgrass has searing pace as his one missing quality I would argue.

At the back, who doesn’t still wake up in a cold sweat at the Butler/Gregan partnership post relegation? Carlisle, Foxe and Marques did only a little to enhance, with perhaps only Kilgallon the exception who could stay with a speeding forward played through.

Memories of Richardson are of pumping arms and legs in that high stepping chase back of his. Now Paddy has lost his legs and Lees, an exceptional prospect, will always need a quicker partner at the heart of the defence.

Watford are a far inferior side to us, yet in a 4X100m relay they – and most other teams in this league – would stuff us. Our relay team of the post Prem era: Gradel/Beckford/White/Sakho?

So here’s to Aidan White. He is quick, he is ours and he excites wherever he plays. Let’s get him signed up, and quick!!

Written by Bill Fox (Captaincrash)