Kris Commons finally praises Celtic; switches criticism to fans instead

By David Walton

November 2, 2020

Former Celtic star Kris Commons has finally managed to say something positive about the club this week, but he couldn’t help himself as he switched the criticism over to the fans.

Commons has been a constant source of negativity in recent weeks. So much so that Neil Lennon had to call him out last week and labeled his “rank rotten” comment towards Shane Duffy as “ridiculous”, as well as defend criticism of himself (Daily Record).

Whilst nobody expects pundits to be club cheerleaders, you expect a bit more support for Celtic than what Commons provides. However, this week he’s decided to point the finger of blame at supporters for apparent “abuse” towards Lennon.

Speaking in his Daily Mail column today (print edition, 02/11, The Verdict supplement, pages 4 and 5), Commons said:

“This could be a major turning point for Neil Lennon because there is no doubt that fans were beginning to get on his case. Some of the abuse he was taking on social media was beyond a joke. There was so much noise and drama off the field. His agent even ended up with a spat with fans on social media.

“I took a lot of criticism last week for comments I made about Lennon, which ended up being twisted and taken completely out of context by some. But I stand by what I said. At no point whatsoever did I suggest Celtic should sack him. I’ve got nothing but respect for him.

“The point I made was that, especially on the back of the defeat to Rangers, the level of criticism amongst some fans had reached boiling point. Listen, Lennon would have known that himself. So full credit, then, for the way he has slowly, but surely, begun to turn it around over the past week. Celtic aren’t at top form yet, but they’ve taken a step in the right direction.”

Managers entitled to expect more respect from pundits

It may be a bit more upbeat than what we’re used to from Commons, but I’m personally not too impressed with his finger pointing at fans. He can’t compare his comments to those of supporters and act as though we’re in the wrong.

Commons has been anything but supportive of the club in recent weeks. For a player who Lennon did so much for, you would expect him to have more support than most for the current manager. Instead, the Daily Mail pundit has consistently questioned his signings and Lennon’s position.

Sure, he’s right in the fact that the manager has been given some ridiculous abuse on social media. But let’s not pretend that was from a large section of the support. The worst many of our fans have suggested is that he isn’t the man for the job. That’s not abuse to say that.

Neil Lennon hit out at Kris Commons last week / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Lennon will know to expect criticism from fans. But he’s entitled to look at figures like Commons and receive more support from him than he’s getting. After all, this is supposed to be one of the “Celtic-minded” guys in the media. A player who knows what it’s like to be part of a Hoops dressing room.

Commons tries to play the neutral, but he tries too hard to have needless digs at the club in a bid to come across as unbiased. To point the finger at fans for their comments but not act as though he’s been putting pressure on the manager is ludicrous when you read his comments this season.

You can almost bet that as soon as Celtic lose another game, Commons will be back out portraying a crisis.

In other news, Nir Bitton was called out unfairly by a BBC Sportsound pundit yesterday live on-air.