But without a shadow of a doubt, Celtic’s attacking midfielder Kris Commons is a stonewall certainty to pick up all of the awards from both his fellow professionals and the media.
Kris scored the only and winning goal at the weekend, against a plucky St. Mirren, and this on the back of scoring in the 4-0 win over Hibs at Easter Road. His goal tally for this term sits at 21 in 31 appearances – a record any striker in the land would be proud of, and is all the more exceptional coming from a midfielder.
It seemed almost strange that he never got on the score sheet in the midweek thrashing of Kilmarnock. But I’m sure all Celtic fans will forgive him that.
The 30-year-old hit the ground running in January 2011, the day after signing for just £300,000 from Derby County. Commons found the net with a cheeky lob in a 4-1 League Cup Semi win over Aberdeen. He further endeared himself to the Hoops faithful when he scored in a 2-2 cup draw at Ibrox. Not long after, he made his home debut in the Glasgow derby fixture, scoring the 3rd in a 3-1 win.
Not only was Commons scoring, but he was creating goals too. He immediately became a key player as the Parkhead club went on to win the Scottish Cup.
However, for some strange, and still unknown, reason he appeared to lose form after that. During that season, Commons appeared to lose his way. He looked overweight and unfit and devoid of confidence, which puzzled many Celtic fans including myself. The rumour factory was in overdrive at the time, hinting at arguments going on behind the scenes, at a relationship with the manager that didn’t work, and would have to end in one of them leaving the club. Both are still with us.
Hats off to Commons, that whatver it was he soon got over it Cap duly doffed. He’s knuckled down over the past couple of season’s and is probably the first pick on Neil Lennon’s team-sheet. I shudder to think where Celtic would be without him.
We’ve struggled to find a striking partnership. Lennon has tinkered with Stokes, Samaras, Pukki and Balde, but Kris Commons who has outshone them all. We’ve bought in Leigh Griffiths and Hólmbert Friðjónsson with Griffiths being the most likely first pick striker, but my bet would be that Commons will keep his place in the team no matter what.
Some are subscribing to the theory that his decision to quit international football has aided his incredible rise in form, and maybe it has. If it’s true, Scotland’s loss is most definitely Celtic’s gain.
Yeah I don’t think that’s it. How often are players away with the national team in any one season? Not enough to matter. Besides, I don’t think Commons was held in such high regard by The Tartan Army. Undoubtedly, his best performances have come in club colours. Talking to some of the Scottish international foot soldiers, I get the impression he’s not terribly missed, although I’m sure Strachan would welcome him back with open arms.
I’m not in favour of him returning to the national set-up. This is purely for selfish reasons. I don’t want him getting injured, especially not if there are Champions League games on the horizon.
Kris and his family seem to be settled in Glasgow. He is happy on and off the field. Simple things like this allow players to get on with their jobs. His partner, Lisa Hague, does a tremendous amount of charity work, and she’s a wonderful ambassador for the club. I think it would take a lot to prise her away from Glasgow.
Commons is an exciting player. Not only does he score goals, but he can pick a pass out superbly. He is never found wanting in a game. He has a tremendous work rate and he constantly wants the ball. He oozes self-belief without being cocky. This is often displayed in post-match interviews. There’s an air of humility and maturity when he talks, something we can only hope is rubbing off on the younger members of the squad. In a game full of big heads, braggy show offs and bad role models, he is the real deal, a model professional that others can look up to.
Remarkably he’s scored the opening, and oft times most important, goal in 14 games this season. Those fans prone to betting on Commons as the first scorer have seen the odds shorten dramatically. I’ve noticed a rise in people on social media with comments such as “Commons First Scorer/Celtic 3-0” in a bid to get some return on their stakes.
Neil Lennon recently revealed he’d bid £4m for a striker, so to think Celtic paid just £300,000 only 3 years ago, for a player of this effectiveness beggars belief. He could easily have been asked to pay ten times that, based on this season alone. The last player to give that kind of return on an investment would be Moravcik, or the great Henrik Larsson.
This isn’t a comparison, of course, but Commons’ contribution since he signed has been nothing short of marvellous. There’s a lot of praise going Fraser Forster’s way, and rightly so, but for me, Commons eclipsed “La Gran Muralla”.
If he doesn’t pick both Player of the Year awards, I’ll eat my hat.
[calameo code=00138299326478c1e7cc6 width=550 height=356 view=book page=102 mode=viewer]