Brendan Rodger’s slick Hoops saw off a resilient Ross County on Wednesday night with a number of changes in the starting line-up. It looked ropey at points but the gaffer threw on Dembele, Sinclair and Bitton to great, great effect.
One glaring omission from the squad is, and remains, Kris Commons whom I believe is fit again.
He’s become the forgotten man at Celtic which I find sad.
But it looks like Rodgers favours youth with Henderson, McGregor and Christie all starting.
All this aside, the fact Commons couldn’t even make the bench is telling. I think he could have taken Bitton’s place, especially as he may be that bit quicker despite the age gap. Bitton appears at times to slow down the pace of Celtic’s attack and Commons is well known for slide rule accuracy when linking up with the forwards.
A second minute goal Patrick Roberts with Stuart Armstrong, Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele all chipping in late on secured the points.
Commons thrived on nights like that; in another time he would have been a dead cert to score in such a tight match, especially in Season 2013/14 when he delivered an astonishing 32 goal in 48 appearances which pretty much won Celtic the title, which is akin to what Griffiths achieved last year.
Both men proved hugely valuable although neither won the league single-handedly.
It’s not just the ordinary fans who are bewildered at Commons’ absence either.
Even former Celt John Hartson tweeted about his whereabouts before the game and sparked discussion on various messageboards.
It really begs the question; “What next for Commons?”
Since Rodgers took over the Parkhead hot-seat, the former Derby star has failed to make an appearance. At first this was due to injury, like with Gary Mackay Steven, but now he’s fit again. Part of this is the struggle to get into a team slot, especially with Rodgers’ high pressing system.
Just who’s place would he take in the midfield?
At 33, he’s facing an uphill battle against younger, fitter players – there’s a dynamism about Celtic that we’ve not seen since O’Neill’s teams. Ronnie Deila attempted it but struggled to consolidate the side, and Common’s outburst in Malmo appeared to have signalled the end.
I got his passion that night but it split the support. Commons and his good lady, Lisa Hague have embraced Celtic and it will be forever in their hearts and they will continue to be fantastic ambassadors for the club. No-one can fault what they do off the field. His professionalism is not in ques tion either, not when it’s counted. Commons is never one for the front page and has worked his socks off on the pitch.
Deila saw enough in Commons that he convinced him to sign an extension to his contract; renewal time, or the point where he can speak to other clubs, is now just six months away.
I’d love to see Commons get some game time – he’s 9 goals away from the 100 mark for Celtic.
I wouldn’t say that he’s a Celtic legend but he’s certainly been a great servant to the club and joining that special group would be the icing on the cake.
He turned down the chance of a loan move to Hibernian when his former gaffer Neil Lennon took charge of the Easter Road side, stating he wanted to fight for his place.
What baffles me is the lack of press coverage over the Celtic’s missing man – it’s been rarely covered if at all in the red tops or the broadsheets.
I struggled to find when he last kicked a ball for Celtic, although he was always a pivotal player for the Hoops.
What we’ve got to remember is that we picked him up for just £300,000 from Derby.
He’s repaid that fee 20 times over and I hope Celtic and Brendan at least give him a final hurrah.
I’d love to see him hitting the 100 mark but in reality, he may not even be at the club come January.
A sad reality, but one we – and he – might well have to face.
Gavin McCann is a writer, blogger and Celtic fan from Glasgow. He has written for verious Celtic sites in the past.