More cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar


I’ve been meaning to speak to you about this for a while; thought I would wait until the new season, see if anything changed, maybe we could avoid having the chat.

There are different ways of watching football games.  There’s the way we watch World Cup games, as unpartisan observers, which is completely different to the way we watch Celtic games.  If I’m watching a game in the English lower leagues with a one-time Celtic target, I’ll watch him closely, usually paying scant regard to anyone else.  The same is true if I’m watching the likes of Wigan with Sean Maloney.

When I watch a game before writing a match report I often get a different perspective.  The game flows in the normal manner but I then have to look at my notes and compose a report.  It’s the notes that are often unexpected, they tell a story of incidents, not of what is essentially a pursuit which flows for 90 minutes.  For Celtic, the incidents overwhelmingly, often as much as 80% of the time, involve one player.

He’s not the quickest, the most industrious, or the strongest, but Kris Commons makes things happen at a level no one else at Celtic comes close to.  The evidence screams out at me every time I check my notes.

I’m sure Celtic will recognise this with a new contract but there’s reason to worry about this now.  What if he’s injured, what if opponents figure out they better stop supply to him, what if his form shades, as it did two years ago?

I like the look of the squad.  Lustig, Matthews, Izaguirre, Ambrose, Brown, Mulgrew, Johansen, Forrest, Biton, Stokes, Griffiths, Forster and van Dijk offer consistent standards of performance, most look comfortable in Champions League football, but the dependence on one creative talent feels like an unnecessary vulnerability.

As I said, football is not an incident-dependent sport, like golf, it is a flowing pursuit which requires industry, concentration and strategy, without which, the creatives would end up playing lower league football.  But to win games, you need someone to invoke six of seven incidents more cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar*.

*Kris Commons behaviour at cocktail bars is impeccable, he is capable of on-field cunning only.

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  1. Kev


    Explanation: You and Steinreignedsupreme began slagging instead of debating.


    Cheerio for now.

  2. Paul67



    I put at the end of a post last night….Dear Lord please don’t let Kris Commons get injured.

  3. (re-post from 1155 on previous article)




    If you are going on the Arbroath CSC bus next week, perhaps for consideration to drive to the Bell Tree at Panmurefield and leave your car there, as the bus picks me up at the bus stop on the main road there – and will be on Tuesday coming. Just a thought, if it is nearer than Arbroath.



  4. Paul67,


    I agree over reliance on one player is a worry. It is my experience, though, that when `The One` is not available, another , often unexpected, steps into the role. I thought Kris did that last night re Broonie`s missing leadership. So, hopefully nothing to worry about and Kris might be with us for some time yet.


    Deifnite cheerio this time!




  5. JJ



    I take your point about players appearing/getting better the longer they’re not playing. Darren O’Dea was a perfect example for me.



    I wouldn’t apply it to Tony Watt however. In practically every game he played he demonstrated strength and pace, qualities that our forwards don’t exactly possess in abundance.



    I really think the Bhoy is going to be a huge loss to Celtic and football unless he sorts himself out.

  6. He indeed is the one player with a top footballing brain in our side


    The rest. Well you get what you pay for

  7. Steinreignedsupreme on

    KevJungle – Murdo Macleod is my favorit CELTIC player ever.11:34 on 16 July, 2014



    “Maybe you should be more careful as to, which ‘clique’ you lay yer allegiance to.”



    Not for the first time, you’ve lost me. What ‘clique’ would that be?

  8. traditionalist88 on

    I think we all know the value of Commons, particularly given his goal/assist return last year.



    There will be some anger if he is not signed up.



    He is not the kind of player though who will play until he is 35 I don’t think.



    I would hope we’d be in the market for other creative/goalscoring forwards anyway in the hope of reducing the burden on Kris whether he gets injured or not.




  9. I can’t agree regarding KC. Excellent as he is in the SPL, his lack of pace and tendency to give the ball away easily are big disadvantages against top teams. But I like him a lot and hope he proves me wrong.


    I believe Ronny wants us to attack with more pace and work hard to regain possession (the style of play he witnessed at Dortmund when he went there to study their methods). I don’t think Kris can do those things. But whether we can bring in a player who can do that and be as creative as Kris, I don’t know.

  10. Paul 67



    When KC takes a pass on the half turn, that’s when the possibilities really start to appear, either in creating room for a shot at goal, or finding a player with space in a dangerous area.


    Unfortunately, he seems the only player we have capable of doing this.

  11. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Repost from last thread



    thomthethim for Oscar OK


    12:13 on


    16 July, 2014


    Geordie, trad, beat.,



    All valid points, but I think he was left with a difficult shot.



    His first touch was heavy, but he had to move quickly onto the rebound and a snap shot wasn’t on.



    I would have considered it a half chance and given him a bit of credit for being in the position to react.



    I, too, think there is a player there and hope he is allowed to gain the confidence to express himself on the pitch.



    I was impressed with Commons’ work rate last night.



    He looks as if he has bought into the manager’s ethos and is prepared to work hard for his next contract.



    I am also coming round to the view that he is worthy of the captain’s armband in Brown’s absence.

  12. Geordie Munro on

    HT @1210



    Some folks need to take a minute or two before posting methinks. :)



    Lunchtime. Tro.

  13. traditionalist88 on




    Nakamura didn’t have blistering pace but his intelligence was a great assest to us.



    Commons can score from anywhere and his goal last season against Karagandy put us on our way to the CL.



    There may be occasions where he is rested but he is one of our biggest threats going forward.




  14. The Battered Bunnet on

    Middle of the league in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference of the 4th Tier of the Soccer pyramid.



    Is that like the nail in the shoe on the hoof of the Selling Plater in the 3.20 at Plumpton?

  15. KC is a good player with excellant footballing brain.



    I just think he would benifit a bit from losing a bit of weight.. Really thought when jim mcguinness came to the club this would happen as donegals fitness levels were excellant.



    Sadly im afraid i havent noticed a great deal of difference in the team.



    It has been spoke on here b4 about sports scientists etc so maybe our bhoys just dont pay much attention to what they eat, drink at home.

  16. 79caps



    All about opinions but I can’t see how you draw the conclusion that Commons ‘gives the ball away easily’.



    Of course he loses possession on occasions but any player who receives the ball as frequently as he does, often surrounded by opposition players, is bound to give the ball away now and again.



    He actually reminds me of Dalgliesh the way he uses his rather large bahookie to shield the ball and so therefore maintain possession.

  17. traditionalist88 @ 12.18



    That’s true. He scored a great goal against Karagandy. But Karagandy, like the Icelanders, are not a top team, the kind of team we will have to play against in the CL. I can’t help thinking back to his dire performance in Amsterdam last season when he scarcely controlled a single ball with his first touch. I hope he proves me wrong, I really like the guy.

  18. Hamiltontim @ 12.22


    As I said to trad88, watch the first half of the away game to Ajax last season. It was painful. Even in the SPL his first touch is often poor, though of course all the goals he scores more than makes up for that. But iin the CL?

  19. I think Pukki’s first touch with the chance was heavy as the keeper was coming for the ball.



    I thought our balls into the box last night were poor until Derk came on. I will be interested to see what Derk can do if he stays injury free for 1-2 matches.

  20. Paul67



    Loved that article – you describe the ‘Celtic Affliction’ that I’m sure we all suffer from. My ( non Celtic)friends are often amazed at the tenuous links I can manufacture when watching an apparently neutral game. Even a cousin of a former Celtic player invokes greater interest.


    However to Commons, I watched him last night and again he was the magic moments ( out with the goal) that caught my attention but I have concerns.


    By any definition he is overweight and slow. In fact I know a few fat players at lower level who have had to innovate their game to compensate for their lack of pace. Like Commons they develop guile and take the ball early when shooting. However at the top level they are exposed.


    3 things strike me from this observation


    1. Commons has found his level at Celtic and is unlikely to attract teams from a higher level.


    2. Retaining Commons potentially relegates Stokes to the bench – we don’t need 2 very slow forwards


    3. We are lacking pace for Champion’s League.

  21. HT. I meant we only have one footballing brain. Most top teams have several. We have no imagination and average players

  22. whitedoghunch on

    Paul I am sure the information passed on to our new management team from the outgoing regime as well as the work they will have done on footage and information available to them may have unearthed a story similar to your own, if so they have to act on this. Perhaps the promotion of Callum McGregor was a step in that direction perhaps other irons are in the fire I don’t know., my most reliable authority on the matter, you, tells us we have the right man for the job so I am comfortable it will be taken care of.


    Is sean Maloney available ?

  23. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    If last nights style of play is to be the norm, then we need one or two midfielders in the Wanyama mold. Secure on the ball and equally secure at closing down the opposition is something we lack and if not addressed we will get severely punished at a higher level.



    Was refreshing to see the way we played last night but like midfield we also need more quality in attacking areas. Players who can easily retain the ball and equally offer a threat are needed. Yes we have dangerous forward players but all of them are guilty of giving the ball away too easily. We can’t afford to be so slack, if Delia is going to have us playing so attacking.



    I guess in general we need to bring in some quality accusations, as if we go with what we currently have then in my view we’re going to struggle to qualify.




  24. Eyes Wide Open on

    I thought we seen a slightly different version of KK last night.



    The KK last night was involved in numerous one touch pass and move, moves.



    It was actually refreshing to see – I had my doubts as to whether he would fit in to the new fluid system based on pace, passing and moving but he more than allayed my concerns.



    I think the Kris Commons under Deila will assist in a lot more goals than the one under NFL.



    The reason is he will have options available, close by and on the move.



    Perhaps I have been personally harsh on him previously because I felt (whilst his goal return was fantastic) he tried to execute too many of the chances he was there to create.



    Perhaps it was simply because he never had those options available..



    Too soon to say obviously. I could be wrong but I cant remember seeing we saw last night from KK since Maloney and Nakamura wore the hoops..



    I recall in the CL last season he always needed a touch, which was a touch too many because opposing teams had figured out what Paul67 has written – stop KK stop Celtic.



    I am optimistic KK wont need to take that touch under Ronnies watch.

  25. Last nights game, as with all qualifiers, was a potential banana skin. We are always in pre season mode when these matches come around. Add the fact the new manager will still be assessing his squad and tactics, I thought we sailed through that match . It was one going on seven, and all things considered, I felt a fairly encouraging start for Deila.



    We will see in the second leg what the manager learned and I’ve no doubt will see a few tactical adjustments. Judging some of the comments, perhaps some bhoys were looking for a lot more last night. We controlled an away match for almost 90 minutes, scored an away goal, created a number of chances, and pretty much put the tie to bed.



    What’s not to like? The number of missed chances? That’ll be sorted soon enough.



    Happy enough with the bhoys last night.



    Looking forward to the 2 nd qualifier.

  26. traditionalist88 on




    He produced on the big occasion in the Karagandy match.



    A bit of luck and his shot off the bar in Milan would have produced a famous win.



    Messi gave the ball away 51 times in one of the WC matches but was pivotal in his sides winner.



    If Commons was all the things on the wishlist on this page he’d be playing for Barcelona.



    I would be thankful we have him and if he is having a bad game hope we have a manager who will see this and bring him off.




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