It’s Commons Knowledge It’s Kris

kris-commons-448361It may seem a little premature to be talking about the Player of the Year.

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.

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Gavin McCann

A dipsomaniac funambulist steadying himself on life's tightrope through the medium of writing. I "suffer" from diphallic terata with mild polyorchidity. Like a dug wi' two dicks.

10 thoughts on “It’s Commons Knowledge It’s Kris

  • 4 February, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    You don’t think Elbows McCulloch will win then? lol.

  • 4 February, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Might be a very close second. You never know.

  • 4 February, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Brilliant season and if he didn’t play another minute this season, he would still be a stick on to win it. Top class!

  • 4 February, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    For the record, Kris scored on his debut, his home debut, his Old firm home debut and his Ibrox debut….must be a record. HH 1KC 15

  • 4 February, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I know…he signed on the Friday and scored on the Saturday.

  • 4 February, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Good piece James but I think you seriously underestimate the amount of time a regular international spends with the national team. in the course of a season. With the grouping of Friday/Tuesday qualifiers and at least 3 friendly internationals during a season we are looking at around 3 weeks of extra ‘work’ an international has to commit to over a season.
    I dont know about you but if I had a physical job then 3 weeks extra off would certainly improve my freshness and verve for the rest of my time at work.

  • 5 February, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Mark,check out the caps that the LL accumulated and I’m pretty much certain that many Celtic fans,myself included,cudny give a monkey’s about Scotland.

  • 5 February, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Virgil has been far and away our best player this season.

    Commons hasn’t played in midfield for a couple of years now and is always upfront, his terrible CL performances would put him below our back 5 for best player this season.

  • 5 February, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I don’t think the extra “work” was the reason he chucked it though it certainly kept him fresher. I believe him when he said he actually wanted to spend more time with his family, particularly after his partner lost a baby in tragic circumstances, so3weeks extra at home is a godsend.

    I will say, during his 2nd season I was ultra critical of Commons’ form, but it was highly likely that his family problems contributed greatly.

    Now it seems he is over the worst of that episode, his partner loves him being at Celtic and everything is hunky dory, so c’mon Mr Lawwell get him nailed down.

  • 6 February, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Virgil has been great but Commons goals have been instrumental. That’s why I chose him.

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