Back of the Net Wiki

Yard Of Pace[]

This is something that fast young strikers always lose at some point in their careers, whether due to being the wrong side of twenty six, or to some dicky hamstrings (see Michael Owen). Occasionally, a forward who has lost a yard of pace can make up for this by "using his experience".

This is a euphemism for a player who simply sits around the opponent's goal waiting for the ball to come his way before standing up and using his conserved energy to belt it towards goal and grab the glory (see Alan Shearer). A player may also "use his experience" to smash any nearby marking defenders in the face with his elbows without detection by the referee (see Alan Shearer again).

An "experienced" player who has never been capable of running fast may smugly refer to "not missing what you've never had" later in their career. (See Teddy Sheringham).

There seems to be an implication that the player who has lost a "yard of pace" can only run a yard less over a fixed period of time than he would have been able to in his early days.

Curiously however, a "yard of pace" makes absolutely no sense because a yard is a measurement of distance rather than velocity or acceleration. It is an unspoken rule that no-one ever points out this verbal atrocity during discussions of a striker's merits. Clive Tyldesley and Jim Beglin once entered into a debate on the flaws in this measurement process and its apparent incompatibility with Newton's laws of motion during ITV coverage of a Champions League group game between Liverpool and Galatasaray in December 2006. Unfortunately, the protagonists were in full flow when Peter Crouch scored with an overhead kick, and they promptly abandoned the debate to explain to viewers how Crouch had a good touch for a big man and to make painfully contorted references to a previous Liverpool victory in Istanbul. The topic was never returned to again, although rumours abound that the subject has now been banned in the ITV studios because Beglin's forehead was starting to throb worryingly as he tried to get his head around it.

As with all other aspects of British football, in no way may a metric measurement ever be used in place of the old-fashioned imperial equivalent. For example, if a supporter were to observe that a player seems to have lost a "metre of pace", he or she would immediately be ridiculed and kicked out of the stadium for being totally clueless about football and/or American.