Pace is the Premier League's fundamental attribute

Those lucky enough to live in Lapland supposedly have around 300 words to describe snow. Where English football is concerned, there appears to be a similar linguistic fixation with pace.

That there are so many adjectives for the straightforward act of being able to run very quickly confirms pace's place at the core of the Premier League's DNA, regardless of any fears of the national team's glaring lack of technical skill when compared to the rest of Europe.

A record £870 million made its way out of the bulging Premier League bubble this summer, much of it in search of that distinctly Anglo-centric amber nectar that is pace. Searing, lightning, blistering, frightening, electric, explosive pace.

For all of football's tactical and technical innovation, pace remains the great leveller. Fans are roused by it while defenders are supposedly terrified of it, leading to their own dedicated sub-section of phrases to describe its effect on them. Pace gives them a torrid time; it roasts them, turns them inside out, destroys them and worst of all, it exposes them.

The only time such a simple concept becomes a little confusing is when players are deemed to have "real" or "genuine" pace. They seem like unnecessary qualifiers but serve to distinguish these players from the Mesut Ozils and Dimitar Berbatovs of this world, whose pace is described as "deceptive." That only adds to the general distrust of players who don't obviously have jets for heels.

Even in 2015, when we're supposed to be enlightened enough to appreciate a 32-pass move if we see one, the game-changing spectacle of players covering ground at Olympic pace -- rather than letting the ball do the work -- is a basic but dependable thrill.

Leicester's rousing turnarounds against Aston Villa and Stoke, for example, were built on the platform provided by their dashing outlets of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy. Neither will ever trouble a top-flight transfer record but both sum up the value-for-money benefit of being able to cover ground at an impressive rate of knots.

Vardy's unashamed directness feels almost too blunt a weapon to succeed in the Premier League but it's enough to break down defensive doors. Meanwhile, Mahrez is all about high-speed chicanery. Against Villa, the Algerian -- signed by Leicester in 2014 for the princely sum of £350,000 -- sold Leandro Bacuna, Micah Richards and Ashley Westwood the priciest of dummies in one movement and saw his early-season stock rise a few more notches. Claudio Ranieri, such is his charming way with words, calls Mahrez his "roadrunner."

The low-key slugfest between tired old heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool offered no reward for Memphis Depay's 50-yard bursts. Once Ashley Young's in-field darting was introduced instead, the game was tipped from its sterile balance.

As the pitch opened up to favour the speed merchants, it was Juan Mata -- no longer a stranger to being the one-paced sacrificial lamb -- who made way for Anthony Martial, £36 million worth of extra horsepower. England's premier domestic fixture just couldn't get out of first gear until its most vital ingredient had been introduced, and Old Trafford noticeably responded. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, and Martial's speed in behind Southampton's flustered Virgil van Dijk served mainly to highlight the long-lost bursts of acceleration that once defined the overshadowed Wayne Rooney.

Pace remains the true currency of the top flight and the gap between the haves and the have-nots is suitably stark.

Against Everton, the capitulating Chelsea seemed to be haemorrhaging half-yards of pace all over the pitch. Cesc Fabregas eventually made way for the more mobile Willian -- the footballing equivalent of a reliable airport express shuttle bus -- 20 minutes before the end, having been bypassed by Ross Barkley so often that he'd become the most dribbled-past player in the Premier League this season.

Against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho clearly had mobility at the top of his mind. John Terry -- who has waged an often hypothetical war with pace for much of his career -- was sacrificed in anticipation of Theo Walcott's inclusion from the start. Going the other way, Chelsea had found the fast-forward button; Eden Hazard and Pedro were now bursting into green space that had eluded them at Goodison Park a week earlier.

At the Etihad Stadium, though, we saw a glaring anomaly. Jesus Navas -- the world's last remaining Scalextric footballer -- scorched his way to the byline on no fewer than 20 occasions, only twice finding a Manchester City teammate with the subsequent cross. Given the infuriating lack of end product for which Navas is fast becoming known, perhaps his pace is the most deceptive of all.

Its game-changing properties confirm that pace holds an enduring appeal and unlike football's myriad other fads, it's never going to go out of fashion. Those who have it -- Mahrez and Martial, for example -- are flaunting it.

By contrast, those who don't are suffering. No wonder we have so many ways of describing it.