The curious case of Kris Commons

The curious case of Kris Commons – by Andrew Maclean

From Player of the Year to not playing at all – what has happened to Kris Commons?

In the 2013/14 Scottish Premiership season there was one man that grabbed all the headlines. He scored 27 league goals from midfield, won the PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year and SFWA Footballer of the Year, not to mention the league title as well.

Kris Commons was the best player in the country, and now even a seat on the bench is a step too far for him.

Everything was going right for the former Derby player under Neil Lennon, but it was the introduction of Ronny Deila that started his decline.

Things started out well between the two, but a rift would soon follow. After being substituted in a 3-1 loss to Molde, television cameras caught Commons launching a tirade at the Celtic dugout, shouting angrily at the coaching staff.

Deila branded his player ‘unacceptable’ in the aftermath of the incident, and after picking up an injury a couple of weeks later, Commons struggled to find his way back into the Celtic side again.

A few bit-part appearances towards the end of the season was all he was given, before not even being named on the bench for the final three league matches.

You would’ve forgiven him for breathing a sigh of relief at the departure of his Norwegian manager in the summer, but things were just to get worse for the Scotland international.

Commons has yet to feature for Brendan Rodgers at all since his arrival in the summer, also being left out of his 25-man UEFA Champions League squad. In a recent interview the Celtic boss explained that he told his midfielder from day one he would not be in his first team plans, and a move in January looks to be more likely by the minute.

Simply put, Brendan Rodgers doesn’t believe Commons can fit into his style of play. Despite other players coming out from the cold to work their way into the Celtic manager’s plans, most notably Stuart Armstrong, it looks like Commons’ Celtic days are numbered.

A conflict of interests with Deila and followed by not being favoured by Rodgers has seen him watch on from the sidelines, and having not played a full 90 minutes since January, he may find it hard getting a new club to take a chance on him.

In the summer there was talk of a loan move to Neil Lennon’s Hibs, and after playing the best football of his career under the Northern Irish manager, it could be the most logical solution.

If that move happens and Lennon manages to get the best out of Kris Commons, it could be the final piece in the jigsaw to push them towards promotion to the Scottish Premiership. You may have thought you’d heard the last of Commons in Scottish football, but I wouldn’t quite rule him out yet.

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