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Commons and football intelligence

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Kris Commons return to the Celtic team on Sunday was enormously welcome, even if it didn’t produce his first goal of the season.  Kris has had a wretched season after arriving with a bang from Derby County in January last year.

He is not the most athletic or skilful player in the team but he has an abundance of football intelligence, well in excess of his contemporaries.  The cross-field pass for the second goal against St Johnstone was a perfect example.  Celtic players were rushing forward on a break, while defenders were flooding back.  To the annoyance of many sitting around me, Kris slowed things down, surveyed the field and switched play to Ki on the opposite wing.

This has been a great and memorable season for Celtic but there remains plenty to do.  An hour or so watching Kris Commons is enough to demonstrate the way forward.

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  1. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Posted by

     

    Paul Wilson

     

    Wednesday 4 April 2012 14.10 BST

     

    guardian.co.uk

     

    Article history

     

     

    Here is what Arsène Wenger had to say, in the press conference after the game, when asked why he had waited on the pitch to speak to the referee Damir Skomina following Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat of Milan at the Emirates last month, the one that wasn’t quite enough to repair the damage of the 4-0 defeat in the first leg at San Siro.

     

     

    “I was not happy with the referee because he gave them many free-kicks in the centre of the park,” the Arsenal manager said. “Every time a player went down it was a free-kick to them. The [Milan] players sensed that very quickly on the pitch and used it well.”

     

     

    And here is what the manager of Porto, Vítor Pereira, had to say about Mario Balotelli being subjected to racial abuse, ie monkey noises so loud they were picked up by viewers watching on television, when substituted late in the game Manchester City won 2-1 at the Estádio do Dragão in February. “I think there might have been a misunderstanding,” Pereira and other club spokesmen insisted. “The crowd were chanting Hulk, Hulk, Hulk.”

     

     

    Hard to know why they would do that in the 78th minute of a game when the Porto striker had just been switched from the centre of the attack to the wing, but that is not the point at issue. The point at issue is that Wenger has just been handed a €40,000 (£33,100) fine for his conduct regarding Mr Skomina, and ordered to serve a three-match touchline ban in Europe. Whereas Porto, for what appears a much graver offence even without the club excuses that insulted everyone’s intelligence, got away with a trifling €20,000 fine.

     

     

    There’s something not quite right there, and it may not be the usual Uefa weakness at dealing effectively with offensively racist attitudes. Both Uefa and Fifa are fairly hopeless at even recognising the seriousness of racism in football let alone dealing with it, as we know from a series of ineffective wrist slaps down the years. In England, of course, we can sort this type of thing out in no time. That’s why we have just lost our national team captain and national team coach because of an alleged remark that took place between two players last October and which will take the best part of a year to come to court. But that is not the point at issue either. Anti-racism campaigners are arguing among themselves about whether the Porto fine is sufficient. The Kick It Out campaign considers the Uefa punishment too lenient and complains it does not send out a strong enough message, which is par for the course. Whereas Piara Powar of Football Against Racism in Europe more or less welcomed Uefa’s action, arguing that it sent a clear warning, was a sufficient amount for a first offence and that the club would be told further transgressions would be dealt with more severely.

     

     

    While noting that it may be unduly lenient in itself to allow that this actually was a first offence at Porto – unless a similar incident involving William Gallas and Didier Drogba in 2004 is too long ago to count – it seems possible to embrace both these responses. While no one wishes to see matches played in closed stadiums, no one would like these unpleasant situations to go unchecked or unnoticed either, and the football authorities must steer a course between the two extremes, taking into account the quite noticeable differences in attitudes towards racial integration even in countries within Europe. At least Uefa is doing something and not pretending the problem does not exist, and that is a start. A fine of £16,700 is not exactly chicken feed, it just looks puny when set against Wenger being asked to cough up double that amount.

     

     

    Here is the anomaly. While it may appear to be the case that Uefa considers racial abuse less of a crime than questioning a referee’s ability, it is possible to look at the situation the opposite way round and wonder why it is that such a high tariff is set for remarks made to or about Champions League officials. How come Wenger came to be fined £33,400, in other words, when all he did was criticise the referee’s performance? Had he been told to stump up £5,000, or just asked to watch the next match from the stands, it would have been perfectly commensurate with the offence and made the Porto fine look relatively severe. It could be argued that Wenger has previous in this area, though it could also be argued that he has reason to be unhappy with some of the referees that Uefa has sent along. It would have taken the patience of a saint, for example, to remain calm and dispassionate after what happened to Robin van Persie against Barcelona last season.

     

     

    As we are not only approaching the third anniversary of the absolute nadir of Champions League refereeing – the unforgettable performance by Tom Henning Ovrebo in Chelsea’s doomed attempt to overcome Barcelona at the semi-final stage at Stamford Bridge – but there is also the possibility of the same teams meeting at the same stage, perhaps Uefa should bring in everyone’s favourite Norwegian official for old times’ sake. Ovrebo’s career did not exactly take off after the Chelsea debacle: he supervised another Champions League miscarriage of justice with Bayern Munich and Fiorentina two years ago, and after complaints in qualification games for the 2010 World Cup did not make the cut for the finals in South Africa. So he quit international football and now just referees in Norway, which is more or less what he was doing when he first came to prominence for all the wrong reasons.

     

     

    Chelsea were fined £85,000 for improper conduct for their wholly understandable disappointment and frustration at the end of that memorable match, when Uefa should really have been apologising for its own bungling and paying the club a much larger sum in compensation. Uefa gets things wrong, referees get things wrong, but it is only ever clubs and players who are fined or banned.

     

     

    The Champions League this season is building to what seems certain to be a memorable climax, there are some great sides in it and Uefa is to be congratulated on improving an already magnificent spectacle year on year, though one consequence of the greater number of games now played in the tournament is that not every top match gets a top referee. Whereas managers used to be full of praise for a higher standard of referees in Europe, now they wonder where some of them come from. Uefa, to judge by the size of the fines it imposes for even gentle criticism of referees, seem to be aware of this problem. But if Wenger so much as makes a peep next season he will probably cop for a six-figure sum, which is silly.

     

     

    There are worse things going on in football than managers complaining about refereeing decisions. Disgruntled managers will always want to do that, it is part of the game, but Uefa does not want to know. One’s sympathies lay entirely with Wenger when he said recently that referees had become the new untouchables, especially in Europe. “I believe that they have transformed Uefa competition referees to be untouchable icons,” he said. “Now you cannot even have a word.”

  2. (From previous)

     

     

    Summa of Sammi…. on 5 April, 2012 at 10:12

     

     

    Below is an updated list of win percentages per games started, covering every match since Neil Lennon took over. As you can see, Sammi is in the top 11. His % dipped a lot in the early part of this season but rallied when he became the driving force behind Celtic’s winning run. I don’t think it really represents the worth of a player, but – what can I say? – I love stats.

     

     

    McCourt ……… 93.94% 31/33

     

    Loovens ……… 84.95% 79/93

     

    Izaguirre ……… 84.40% 119/141

     

    Stokes ………… 82.18% 143/174

     

    Forrest ……….. 82.00% 123/150

     

    Rogne ………… 80.56% 87/108

     

    Zaluska ………. 79.49% 31/39

     

    Hooper ……….. 78.67% 177/225

     

    K Wilson ……… 78.43% 40/51

     

    Samaras …….. 77.78% 126/162

     

    Brown …………. 77.60% 142/183

     

     

    Kayal ………….. 77.16% 125/162

     

    Cha ……………. 75.92% 82/108

     

    Commons ……. 76.67% 69/90

     

    Wanyama ……. 75.86% 66/87

     

    Majstorovic ….. 74.60% 141/189

     

    Matthews …….. 74.44% 67/90

     

    Forster ……….. 74.12% 189/255

     

    Ledley ………… 73.68% 168/228

     

    Mulgrew ……… 73.23% 145/198

     

    M Wilson ……. 69.17% 83/120

     

    Lustig ………… 66.67% 4/6

     

    Blackman ……. 66.67% 4/6

     

    Ki ………………. 65.41% 104/159

     

    Bangura …….. 16.67% 1/6

  3. If Awe Naw can repost, so can I .

     

     

    The Letter referred to by Avocado (specially for SNP voters!) :

     

     

    “Dear Mr Clark & Mr Whitehouse,

     

    RANGERS FC

     

    I am writing in relation to the current situation of Rangers FC.

     

    I am MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife and also Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy,

     

    Energy and Tourism Committee, although I am writing this in a personal capacity. I am also

     

    a debenture holder at Rangers FC and therefore technically a creditor of the company.

     

    I know that as administrators you are currently considering bids for the company. I believe

     

    that it is essential that any bidder considering liquidation is ruled out of the process. I say

     

    this for two reasons – firstly, liquidation would deprive HMRC of funds properly due to the

     

    taxpayer and, secondly, liquidation would jeopardise the future existence of an institution

     

    which means so much to so many people across the world.

     

    It is in the interests of HMRC that Rangers FC exit administration through a Company

     

    Voluntary Arrangement and therefore I believe that only bids that offer this course of action

     

    should be taken forward by the administrators.

     

    You will welcome the support from the fans of the Club, including the three supporters’

     

    groups coming together to raise funds and who have now made payments to Dunfermline FC

     

    on behalf of the club. If Rangers FC is liquidated and a new club is established I fear that

     

    some of this support may disappear, which will damage the Club’s revival.

     

    It is a fact that Scottish football needs to change and adapt. It is in the interests for Scottish

     

    football for there to be a strong SPL, and having a strong Rangers FC in the top flight”

     

     

    JJ

  4. Paul67

     

     

    Kris Commons and, even more so, Emilio Izaguirre have been superb performers at Rugby Park. It looks unlikely Izzy will start, but I fancy Commons to have a big impact on Saturday.

  5. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    P67

     

     

    I agree, I’ve been desperate for him to get fit all season. Hope the rumours of him possibly leaving are wide of the mark. A fit kris commons would be invaluable to us considering how many goals he can score/create. Great link up man. When we were flying last season it was down to commons, stokes and hooper linking up well.

     

     

    Would like to see izzy, mcgeouch, lustig and brozek given some game time in the remainder of the season.

  6. Paul67

     

     

    I have to disagree I think Kris is one of the most skilfull players in the Celtic team and he combines this with intelligence (he is certainly not the most athletic) and a formidable bum to hold off his opponents.

     

     

    From where we were sitting we were screaming out for the pass to Ki (thankfully Kris heard us).

     

     

    Sometimes Kris’s passes don’t come off but when they do they are very effective. He has a good football brain.

     

     

    hail! hail!

  7. Jungle Jim,

     

     

    So he (whoever it is) doesn’t want to deprive taxpayers of funds through liquidation but is happy to support a CVA. Do you think he knows what one of them is?

     

     

    It’s like Dingwall on STV last night. He talked about how the club wanted to be good corporate citizens by paying something towards the tax bills through a CVA and then went on to talk about raising up to £30M from fans for investment. Unfortunately no one asked him why this money shouldn’t go to HMRC.

  8. Sammy is a most for Rugby Park. He loves playing against Killie. He should have started the final but hey ho, what’s gone is gone.

  9. Paul

     

     

    He was very unlucky with his shot in the first half. Was willing it to go in for him.

     

     

    After his prolific season last season and no goals this season, it would be poetic if he could score the league winning goal on saturday.

     

     

    His assist record is pretty decent too. Think he’s got 8.

     

     

    Mort

  10. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Jungle Jim

     

     

    my repost was after Paul67´s new article !!!! ;-)

     

     

    Your post should go up every hour today

     

     

    I never thought there was any Murdo mair stupid that oor Murdo but I am wrong !!

  11. up_over_goal

     

     

    Great work. Was going to do something like that myself but you’ve save me the trouble.

     

     

    Just one query – has Kayal played 162 games?

     

     

    Mort

  12. The last para’ from that MSP’s letter to D&P reads:

     

     

    “It is a fact that Scottish football needs to change and adapt. It is in the interests for Scottish football for there to be a strong SPL, and having a strong Rangers FC in the top flight”

     

     

    There is that word again…STRONG.

     

     

    You would think that even having any form of Rangers in the SPL would be a fantastic result for them but it always has to be a STRONG Rangers. They can’t bear the thought of not being top dog.

  13. Paul 67

     

    “To the annoyance of many sitting around me, Kris slowed things down, surveyed the field and switched play to Ki on the opposite wing.”

     

     

    The same annoyance was expressed around me. Where I slightly disagree with you is that ” Kris slowed etc” IMO, Kris IMMEDIATELY saw that Ki was the best option but a slight delay was required for the pass to have the optimum effect. He waited;he passed;we scored. I hadn`t realised it was an O.G at the time and thought the move and the goal were things of beauty.

     

    Sorry to be talking of Celtic and football. Let`s quickly return to Rangers` woes.

     

    My summary on that little matter: Rangers are in serious trouble; The Establishment is interfering to prevent justice taking place; the MSM constantly paints a positive picture; if Rangers are not punished properly, Scottish Football will suffer reatly.

     

    JJ

  14. TheGreenManalishi(WithTheTwoProngedCrown) on

    RE: Murdo Fraser’s letter,

     

     

    as he states this is written from a personal perspective AND as a debenture holder of RFC(IA). There are clear rules for MSP’s about using Parliamentary resources for personal issues, also about the use of the Scottish Parliament logo. I was trawling the the scottish parliament website for the official guidance on these matters but could not get access to them. Can anyone else see if they have better luck ?

     

     

    HH

  15. Hi all,

     

     

    Got to go to Aldi or Lidl.

     

     

    Just so as wee mistakes don’t undermine whatever case different factions are trying to make in regards to ‘Government interference’, the letter that is being quoted has nothing to do with the SNP or Scottish Government.

     

     

    It is from Murdo Fraser – A Conservative List MSP – who is about as near to Government as I am to getting it on with Angelina Jolie.

     

     

    The man is regarded as a joke by his own party, a party which is regarded as a joke by the majority of the Scottish people.

     

     

    Murdo Fraser, in political terms, is a no more than a punchline.

     

     

    Any, tins of chicken pie for £1.00 are calling from afar (Jamaica Street) – I cannot resist the siren’s call.

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    Estadio

  16. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon on 5 April, 2012 at 10:43 said:

     

    Commons is one of many players who have had long term injuries this season – something that seems to get forgotten about. We’ve had a fair few out for months which has affected team selections

     

     

    —————————————————————-

     

    It has been our best players as well.

     

     

    We expected big seasons from Izzy, Kayal and Commons – arguably the three most effective outfield players. We were denied that and still managed to claw back a big deficit in the league.

     

     

    Brown was also out for a significant proportion of the campaign and Majstorovic, while not every ones favourite, was injured after the defence had started to look a lot more solid.

     

     

    Couple that to the ongoing court proceedings for Neil Lennon as well as other off field issues which must have affected him I think we have done remarkably well.

     

     

    It is testament to Neil Lennon and the squad that we have done so well.

  17. Estadio, mon brave. HMRC are under the control of Westminster. The Tories are in charge there. Murdo is a muppet, but he may know some of the “right” people in London, or may think he does.

     

     

    Bonnes courses.

  18. Kris Commons strikes a football very well and is keen to get back to his best. Good luck to the Bhoy.

  19. Estadio

     

    Quite right. In my haste, I read ” I am MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife ” as being SNP. We certainly don`t need false accusations when trher eare plenty enough truthful ones.

     

     

    Awe Naw,

     

    There goes my “once an hour” moments in the limelight!

     

    JJ

  20. .

     

     

    up_over_goal on 5 April, 2012 at 10:40 said:

     

    Summa of Sammi…. on 5 April, 2012 at 10:12

     

     

    Below is an updated list of win percentages per games started. As you can see, Sammi is in the top 11. His % dipped a lot in the early part of this season but rallied when he became the driving force behind Celtic’s winning run. I don’t think it really represents the worth of a player, but – what can I say? – I love stats.

     

     

    McCourt ……… 93.94% 31/33

     

    Loovens ……… 84.95% 79/93

     

    Izaguirre ……… 84.40% 119/141

     

    Stokes ………… 82.18% 143/174

     

    Forrest ……….. 82.00% 123/150

     

    Rogne ………… 80.56% 87/108

     

    Zaluska ………. 79.49% 31/39

     

    Hooper ……….. 78.67% 177/225

     

    K Wilson ……… 78.43% 40/51

     

    Samaras …….. 77.78% 126/162

     

    Brown …………. 77.60% 142/183

     

     

    Kayal ………….. 77.16% 125/162

     

    Cha ……………. 75.92% 82/108

     

    Commons ……. 76.67% 69/90

     

    Wanyama ……. 75.86% 66/87

     

    Majstorovic ….. 74.60% 141/189

     

    Matthews …….. 74.44% 67/90

     

    Forster ……….. 74.12% 189/255

     

    Ledley ………… 73.68% 168/228

     

    Mulgrew ……… 73.23% 145/198

     

    M Wilson ……. 69.17% 83/120

     

    Lustig ………… 66.67% 4/6

     

    Blackman ……. 66.67% 4/6

     

    Ki ………………. 65.41% 104/159

     

    Bangura …….. 16.67% 1/6

     

     

    share on F’book or Twitter

     

     

     

    up_over_goal on 5 April, 2012 at 10:40 said:

     

    Should have added ALL matches under Neil Lennon.

     

     

    Summa..

     

     

    PS..Thank You Up_Over_Goal..

  21. Auldheid,

     

    I find it remarkable that you advocate not to judge a person by what they say (or type). The only criteria I have for choosing my friends is initially what they say in tandem with what they do. Is that being judgemental? of course it is. I appreciate that it is hard to quantify the words and deeds of a blogger, in totality, on a blogs submissions, but the written word, over a period of years, to my mind, will reflect a person’s heart and ethos. But then, apart from experiencing and sharing life’s joys and adversities I am not a professionally trained counsellor but I think I am reasonably well qualified to asses.

     

    A blogger has ample opportunity to correct a mistake, pre as well as post posting, just like the huns do with their cheating, the first step to redemption is admission followed, to my mind, by sincere contrition. Not to admit wrong doing and to perpetuate hate through mocking of the wronged, then again to my mind, that only goes to validate an initial assessment.

     

    When a blogger posts something he is generally being sincere, or he is joking; or he is being charlatan and possibly insidious of intent. Multiple user names employed to sow hate is a crass and calculated strategy I would normally associate with evil narcissism. It is not a trait I would hold dear in any of my friends.

     

     

    How many in history can you name who inspired hate and discord with pen or words alone?

     

     

    Tell me this mate, in life, how do you pick your friends?

  22. Clashcitybhoy on

    Paul 67,

     

    Re Kris Commons

     

    He is also very good at stopping in my mid flow 25 yards outside the opposition box, forcing the defender to bundle into him, and hey ho, we win a free kick , from which Sammy or ThomAs put the ball in the net

     

     

    Ps he is also back on twitter

  23. Kris commons along with sammi and James Forrest provide us with the key to unlock packed spl defences.Last year when Chris was fit he shocked the Celtic support with his level of skill.

     

    Me included.

     

    Some of our support would have him sold and a few of my mates laughed when my prediction that he would come good again.

     

    Also I do not think Neil will sell him in the summer and when fit, kris can unlock any spl and will do well in Europe.

     

    The trio above when in the same team allow the supply to hooper and stokes to score and win games.

     

    Just hope Neil can keep kris fit and lean as we will need every bit of skill to reach the champions league group stages.

     

     

    Jam67

  24. Celtic_First

     

     

    My point was in relation to the quotes from Avocado and Jungle Jim regarding Scottish Government and SNP email addresses.

     

     

    I hope he IS acting on some misguided unionist charge, but I doubt it especially as he stood for the Roey leadership in Scotland on the ticket of ‘removing the term Conservative’ from their name as it was ‘a toxic brand’.

     

     

    Anyway, Angelina (and cheap milk) calls. :-)

     

     

    Hail Hail

     

     

    Estadio

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