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Left 'Pie-On: April

6 April 07 words: Martin Naylor
"Notts fans expected another Dean Yates. We soon realised that what pulled on the number five shirt every Saturday was more like Eddie Yeats"
In a perverse kind of way, I’m going to miss Alan White.
 
When we stripped Boston United of half their team at the end of last season, he was supposed to be the pick of the bunch. He was their captain.He won their supporters Player of the Year by such a landslide that gardens in Skeggy are still covered in silt. He even looked like a proper centre half - shaved head, mad staring eyes, mean looking face.

Never mind Jason Lee, never mind Lawrie Dudfield - this is your fella. Steve Thompson immediately made him team captain and declared that he was “the best centre half in the division, bar none.”
 
As the sun peeped through the clouds at Lincoln back in August, be-shorted Notts fans expected another Dean Yates. By the end of September, we soon realised that what pulled on the number five shirt every Saturday was more like Eddie Yeats.
 
Don’t get me wrong - he had his moments. He scored the winner in our first away match of the season at Rochdale. He got another against his former team. He even did the decent thing and got himself sent off after kicking a couple of MK Franchise lads.
But now that we’ve shipped him out to Peterborough for the rest of the season, there aren’t many Notts fans wiping away tears. Even the most ardent defender of the ...err…defender must admit that he cost us more points than he won us.
 
So what am I going to miss about Whitey? Is it that turning circle of a Raleigh Chopper? The 50/50 that he’s always second favourite for, where he ends up slicing some pacy 17-year-old from Bury in two? Or his primal screams at the Lino for failing to give the offside when he was clearly playing the winger on by at least 5 yards?
 
No, what I’ll miss about dear old Al the most is that sheer look of terror he had on his face as a high ball dropped towards him. You could almost hear him thinking; “Fuck, fuck, that’s coming my way that is. I’m going to have to head it. Bollocks, I’m too far forward, - no, too far back - here it comes, here it is………Shite, straight to the oppo. Again.”
 
Of course, he’s done the decent thing by scoring for Posh on his debut, thus hopefully securing himself a permanent move to the big-spending London Road side. In return, the entire Meadow Lane crowd are almost too relaxed for their own good with a ‘proper’ centre-half partnership in Mike Edwards and the ever-improving Steve Hunt. So much so in fact, that we managed to end March by securing back-to-back wins with clean sheets to boot.
 
And with two losses as well as a draw with Mansfield, we’ve managed to keep that lovely run of inconsistency going for the entire month. Like an annoying little brother you don’t know whether to cuddle or smack it round its tabs, it’s that frustrating. Still, this time last season our ringpieces were going ‘10p-5p’, so at least we can spend the remainder of this one arguing over who we’d keep and who we’d be happy to see go when the inevitable end-of-season clearout happens.

After one shockingly bad centre-forward in Andy and another at the back called Alan, let’s just hope that Thommo keeps out of the White.

 

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