The Monday Profile: Paul Caddis
The combined transfer is a curious thing in football. For most supporters, the unremitting desire to see new faces replace those on the periphery overcomes any sense of reason. In my case, I can guarantee you that I’ll be straight on to the messageboards if I even get a whiff of a new signing; thereafter I’ll invariably check the player’s record with previous clubs before rounding off with some choice Google searches for good measure. And unless I’m feeling particularly curmudgeonly, the player will always be ‘the answer’; the something that we’ve been missing all along. Nearly everyone will agree until we catch our first glimpse, upon which we realise that he’s no better than that useless left-back who was frozen out a year ago.
Such a sequence is confused by the combined transfer, for where do you begin when your club makes two signings at once? Which messageboard threads will you keep an eye on, how will you fit such a variety of Google searches in one short lunch hour and, most importantly, which player will you rest all your hopes and dreams on? For when your club makes the rare decision to sign two players from the same club, one must always be the makeweight; the pollen that comes with the honey.
In Swindon Town’s case, I’d venture that Danny Wilson was really after Paul Caddis when he signed the Celtic youngster alongside his fellow Parkhead teammate, Simon Ferry, in the summer. That’s not to say that Ferry, who’d already spent a full season on loan with Town the year before, is no good; merely that, for me, he’s not quite on the same level as Caddis. The stats bear out the claim; while Ferry failed to make an appearance at Celtic Park, Caddis managed to get on to the Paradise pitch at least a few times.
A combative defender and midfielder, Caddis played on the right-hand side of a midfield diamond when I saw him in action last week. Making use of a nice touch and a low centre of gravity, Caddis pirouetted past his marker on more than one occasion, and if the Robins’ underwhelming front pairing of Vincent Péricard and Thomas Dossevi possessed a little more anticipation then Caddis’s neat-and-tidy passing might have led to something. One criticism of the Scottish under-21 captain would be that he was sucked in on far too many occasions, allowing in-form Plymouth winger Craig Noone too much space. As it was, two of the visitors’ three goals came from Caddis’s side of the pitch, so his performance wasn’t without its faults. Given a more central role, however, I’ve no doubt that Caddis’s pedigree will shine through and that he’ll be a tenacious competitor at League 1 level.