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More cunning than Tiger Woods at a cocktail bar

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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. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    No football at any level anywhere in the world affects me the way The Celtic do when they are playing.

     

    Emotional involvmentCSC

  2. Celtic are currently set up to make best use of KC’s talents. He is our sole, consistent, creative force and our best finisher. NL remodelled the team shape last season to utilise this. It worked domestically in the league but failed miserably in Europe. Long term KC will need to find a new role in the team as I don’t think RD will build a team around an individual, rather build a team with pace where the creativity and goal threat is spread around many.

     

    I hope KC signs a new deal and thrives in RD’s new Celtic but not sure it will happen.

  3. 79caps

     

     

    12:26 on 16 July, 2014

     

     

    Wasn’t he only partially fit in Amsterdam? I’m pretty sure he was.

     

     

    Sorry but you’re now saying that often his first touch is poor in the SPFL as well now.

     

     

    I’m sorry but we’ll need to agree to differ. His first touch is often what gives him that half yard which his pace can’t provide and opens up situations for him to shoot at goal.

     

     

    There was a perfect example in the first half last night when the ball squirmed out of the keeper’s hands and out for a corner.

  4. trad88 @ 12.38

     

     

    As I said, Karagandy are not a top team, they flopped in the Europa League. But that’s not to take anything away from that goal. I just think it’s a different matter playing against the likes of Barca, Benfica, even Ajax.

     

    Wasn’t it Stokes who hit the bar against Milan?

     

    But I agree with your other comments and I too am grateful that we have him.

     

    HH

  5. Hamiltontim @ 12.44

     

    Yes, his first touch is often poor even in the SPL. We’ll agree to disagree. I still love the guy.

     

    Off oot now.

     

    HH

  6. ST

     

     

    I take your point but would say that we have several players who are above ‘average’.

     

     

    My point was, that at 300k for Commons, you don’t necessarily have to burst the bank to get quality.

  7. West End of East End on

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

     

     

    I hope he’s not going to be “I coulda been somebody” type of player you see in the pub in 10 years time talking about a goal he scored against Barca. I think he has the talent to make it, not sure about the temperament / attitude. This is now his 3rd manager since I became aware of him, NL, the Belgium guy and now Ronny who are not playing him. One manager not liking him he can be excused for, 2 not liking him would lead to questions being asked, when it comes to the 3rd manager who emphasis he starts with a clean sheet then I think Tony Watt has to start looking in the mirror and asking if he likes what he sees.

  8. Hamiltontim, how very true.

     

     

    Jungle Jim, perhaps.

     

     

    beatbhoy, agree.

     

     

    CultsBhoy, would agree roundly with that. I also think that despite his obvious talent, Kris doesn’t it the EPL mould.

     

     

    whitedoghunch, delighted for Callum McGregor but he’s not a mainstay for this season.

  9. traditionalist88 on

    79caps

     

     

    Pretty sure Commons rattled the bar from outside the box at the San Siro, actually I think Stokes hit a free kick off the top of the bar too,

     

     

    HH

  10. antipodean red on

    hamiltontim,

     

     

    I said on here some time back that our European opponents, particularly at a higher level, identify Commons as our main threat and very clearly set out to nullify his influence. I believe it is not the fact that Kris fails to perform at the higher level in Europe, it is his team mates who don’t have the required skills to go in and help him out at this level. As a result we become virtually impotent as an attacking unit.

     

     

    AR

  11. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Friesdorfer 12:05, Thanks for that. I might take you up on that. The Belltree is easy parking and probably would get me home ten minutes earlier than Arbroath. My plans are still a bit fluid at the moment for Tuesday. I’m heading down with my son and might make a night of it if I can get a hotel a reasonable price.

     

     

    Need to catch you for a few beers some time. Are you in Monifieth?

  12. Funny one here but let my – try – to explain myself.

     

     

    Sometime KC’s 1st touch isn’t textbook but he reacts so quickly and improvises that it actually buys him a wee touch of space and the initiative over the defender. Happened at least once last night.

     

     

    Agree with HT that he uses his erchie to good effect to shield the ball! And the way he can let the ball ran past him and move onto it adds real pace to moves at times.

     

     

    He’s not going to get fast(er) now is he? And that does limit his effectiveness against top teams.

     

     

    But he is what he is (leaving aside his and his mrs’ work off the pitch which is almost deserving of a new contract in its own right) and I’m pretty confident that he, Jonny and Ronny are plenty savvy enough to max his potential.

     

     

    Could do with a Lubo Jnr. (Always liked wee Sean Maloney btw) Does lubo have a son per chance who could sign up with Jordan Larsson?

     

     

    ;-)

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  13. darwinsbeautifulidea on

    Commons form didn,t dip two seasons ago he was injured for most of it

     

    as for last night did not see much difference from Lennons reign,the idea that we didn,t play attacking football under Lennon is Laughable,thing won,t change for the better till we bring in higher quality players,also disappointed Biton wasn,t even on the bench

     

    THE GUY IN CHARGE IS STILL VERY MUCH ON TRIAL AS FAR AS IM CONCERNED

  14. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Just had a wee read back on hunmedia over lunch about their soccerball game last night. Hee hee.

     

     

    28 pages of abject misery………………………………………………smashing:_)

     

     

     

    Worryingly many of them are calling for fat chop’s head to be installed on a spike.

  15. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Kris Commons has Lisa Hague at home

     

    Get Them signed long term :)))))

  16. squire danaher on

    79caps

     

     

    12:23 on 16 July, 2014

     

     

    Commons and Samaras were quite obviously far from 100% fitness in Amsterdam last season

     

     

    In KCs case it was astounding he am was asked to stay on beyond half time that night as he was clearly toiling.

     

     

    IMO unfair to base adverse comment on that performance.

     

     

    God help us indeed if he gets injured.

  17. I don’t know too much about Ronnie D but I do know a fair bit about John Collins so my impression of last night may be coloured by that fact.

     

     

    I saw a Celtic in the style of JC last night. The ball was passed across the park a lot with little. ‘End product’.

     

     

    Collins was in my opinion carried by McStay. Collins had more style but McStay had the substance.

     

     

    I don’t want a Celtic Team who are all style and no substance.

     

     

    I’ll be watching for Collin’s influence. Also doubt Commons will have a six pack to please JC…

  18. west end of east end

     

     

    The problem at the moment would appear that either he likes what he sees in the mirror or he doesn’t want to look in it to start with.

  19. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    A Ceiler Gonof Rust

     

    I bumped into a couple of zombies with “snigger at me FC” tops on yesterday in ML4,a wee smile & snigger was enough to unsettle them.

     

    BRAW:)))).

     

     

    till later all

     

    mam calling

  20. ACGR

     

    You are welcome. I am about 100m from the Bell Tree, first road slightly left across mini roundabout (or, as these Angus-types say, circle…!). Maybe see you on Tue, if not entirely happy to have a beer or 3 sometime soon.

     

    HH

  21. leftclicktic

     

     

    “snigger at me FC” tops

     

     

    Funny and I could visualize the whole thing from that.

  22. It is all about opinions and as I’ve discussed many times with another CQNer I don’t mind debating points so long as it’s Tims you’re debating with and we realise that as Celtic supporters we’ll sometimes see things differently.

     

     

    Today I’m debating with Tims, always a good thing!!

     

     

    Ps how many goals did Commons score last season because a good first touch took him away from an opponent?

     

     

    I’d bet quite a few.

  23. jamesgang Lubo does indeed have a son Mathias?? Appeared on his DVD Lubo – A Gift from God. If he is half as good as his old man he’ll be a player. Negatives from last night Fraser’s poor kicking out -throw/roll it, still rooted to his line. Positives Callum McGregor. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  24. Paul67

     

     

    It is far too early to predicting that Callum McGregor will not be a mainstay.

     

     

    He and Jackson Irvine were our only two loanees to make themselves automatic picks at their clubs last season. Yes Callum faded in the 2nd half of his loan but had been effective enough to attract interest from promoted Wolves. Hearing Ronny Deila speaking of him, he is impressed that he has goals to his game.

     

     

    As yet no one would describe him as pacy, hard tackling, good in the air, or a killer passer, though he is competent in all those areas. We have seen limited players such as Billy Stark or Craig Burley, make careers as midfielders because they added to a team’s scoring potential without being outstanding passers.

     

     

    I will stop far short of saying that Callum is a CL level player, far less SPFL ready in all departments, but his goal threat comes from being prepared to shoot regularly and on target, a trait he shares with Tony Watt. It is a very worthwhile trait to have. The boy buys a ticket and takes his chance.

  25. The Battered Bunnet on

    Tony Watt: Manager was clear that he’s in decent shape, bit has more work to do to get into the team. I expect he’s currently putting the work in. After that, if he’s up to snuff, we’ll see him. I expect we will, although share the same anxiety as most as regards attitude. Over to him on both scores.

     

     

    On Kris Commons: One of those players who lacks many of the prerequisites for the modern game, but has an outstanding attribute that makes him a game changer. Bit like Naka in that respect. He’s by no means overweight btw. Down below 6% body fat. Marathon runners tune to 4%. My grouse with him is his passing. Pretty poor in the main. There’s nothing now that can be done with his stature or speed, but his passing needs to improve considerably if he’s to figure against better teams.

     

     

    Overall last night, we had 75% of possession, created 27 scoring chances (one every 3 minutes!), 7 of which on target, three hit the extruded polymerwork, and 1 went in. The opposition managed 3 attempts, one on target. It was a stroll in everything but the scoreline.

     

     

    Sharpening up the finishing over the next week or two will yield the required dividends, provided our back 4 get with the beat (which they weren’t last night in the main).

  26. friesdorfer

     

     

    Lol. Mrs jamesgang is from Smokieville and it creased me up when she spoke about ‘circles’.

     

    And the only person other than my Dad who says pattren and modren.

     

    Love it. Always tickled by wee things like that.

     

     

    Hebcelt. Thanks for the info. Does he fancy a kickabout? Tell him to bring his boots! Like you say, half the Bhoy his Dad was would still be something very special!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  27. glendalystonsils on

    Sure I read somewhere that Tony Watt was playing a practice game at Lennoxtown last night in order to get his fitness up. That would suggest that he is going to get a chance in in first team.

  28. 67 European Cup Winners on

    Paul 67

     

    Yes KC excellent – Your theory about 80% involve 1 player

     

     

    I remember 3 things about last night

     

    1) FF hits ball over Half Way Line Griffiths takes it out the sky on his chest and flicks it over defender

     

    2) Griffiths flicks ball over defender and then flicks it again over another defender to allow KC hit it on the volley – he hit the bar

     

    3) Griffiths cuts in from the right wing and hits a great shot that hits underside of the bar

     

     

    Is Griffiths KC understudy ??

     

     

    67ECW

  29. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Very early days yet but I did not like our midfield last night we were playing in my opinion a very poor side I think against a half decent side we would have problems. Without Broonie Kayal and Biton we lacked bite and whatever happened to Rojic ? I can only hope there is better to come.H.H.

  30. If Commons had pace he would be truly world class.

     

     

    Had a conversation on Facebook with a Man ure supporting friend who was slagging him off. His shooting was off granted but I thought everything good went through him and he was easily MoM.

  31. I would love to see Callum playing on a regular basis. I always want to see more goals from midfield as opponents can neutralise forwards. If the only goal threat is from KC then we could be in trouble…

  32. hebcelt

     

     

    Re FF being rooted to his line.

     

     

    Be prepared to see more of the same. It is obviously, by now, an agreed tactic, accepted by the goalkeeping coach, the management and the player himself.

     

     

    Fraser comes when he is 95% plus sure he is going to reach a ball. Otherwise, he remains on the line where his advantage of being able to handle the ball is of greatest value. We have seen two many goals conceded by goalies sailing speculatively from their line; the recent WC provided several examples of goals conceded from this habitual act.

     

     

    FF does leave his line but only occasionally. Last year Efe and Virgil were able to deal effectively with most of the SPFL aerial balls delivered. In the CL that is rarely how goals are conceded. The 2 we lost to Ajax were from the edge of the box, the 6 lost to Barca away were all passing moves. The only glaring example of one where FF could have contributed was the opening Milan goal at CP, though the zonal defence should have dealt with it too. You could argue for the Barca goal at CP too but I’d say only 1 out of 14 conceded could have been prevented by the keeper coming off his line.

  33. Bom dia,

     

     

    Well after missing approx 90% of the World Cup goin on in ma ain backyard due to work committments, it’´s good to be back in Brasil and (ahem) “normality”

     

     

    League fitba in post 7-1 meltdown Brasil, resumes tonight (except for Atletico-MG who are in Argentina to take on Lanus in the first leg of the S.American Super Cup). After the WC shenanigans, whatever footballing “ententé” there was between Brasil and Argentinian fans is now pretty much zero, so wouldna fancy being a “Galo” fan in BA tonight.

     

     

    Speaking of the Brasil/Argentina. Pele / Maradonna who can pee higher discussion, I dunno if it made the Press at home, but there was a cracker from Mario Kempes (MK) when interviewed by the Press (BP) here.

     

     

    BP : So Mario, who was bigger. Pelé or Maradonna?

     

     

    MK : Pelé. No contest.

     

     

    BP : (collective exhalation of breath)

     

    Aren’t you worried about how this will be received back in Argentina?

     

     

    MK : Not at all.

     

    Maradona is only 1.68m. Pelé 1.78m

     

     

    :-)

  34. Paul 67

     

     

    I understand where you are coming from with kris BUT

     

     

    Awww poor Tiger.

  35. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    I would like to express my condolences to Amido and his family on the loss of his father.

     

     

    May he rest in peace.

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