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.[calameo code=0003901719d82038831a9 lang=en page=126 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]