The Celtic supporters, unsurprisingly, weren’t pleased with Kris Commons’ typically negative remarks on the club’s current 3-5-2 formation.
Speaking in his Daily Mail column today (28/09, print edition, The Verdict Supplement, back page), Commons said about the system as well as the Riga performance: “They got the job done in the end. But, goodness me, it wasn’t half a struggle. They were never in any real danger of going out, but it was just such a laboured performance.
“This experiment with playing Ryan Christie up front is doing no one any favours. The system is basically a way of trying to fit Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, Olivier Ntcham and Christie into the same team. But it doesn’t work”
“I find it such a struggle watching Celtic at the moment. The fans aren’t enjoying watching them, so it can only be hoped the win over Hibs yesterday proves a turning point.”
The comments were 100% bizarre given the Hoops played the same system against Hibs and totally controlled the game against Jack Ross’ side. We created a host of chances whilst Vasilis Barkas had nothing to do up the other end. And supporters clocked on to Commons for his needless negativity.
Here’s a look at some of the (tamer) reaction from the Celtic fanbase today:
I really would love to know why he's so bitter against us
— GlasgowFIFA 🏴🍀 (@GlasgowFIFA_) September 28, 2020
Kris Commons now in the press criticising Celtic’s tactics.
Only means one thing, we’re going on a mad run and going invincible again. Cheers Kris x
— Liam (@LK95_) September 28, 2020
He just can’t stop with this sort of stuff atm 😂
Fans have been calling for the formation for ages and it’s clearly Neil Lennon’s favoured formation
We saw how well it worked in the 2nd half of last season. Taking time but will come good and get the best out of players https://t.co/PlsovFfcKT
— Lewis 🍋 (@LewisLaird01) September 28, 2020
Fun fact: Celtic have never lost a game while starting with the 3-5-2 system under Neil Lennon. https://t.co/iru148TRRv
— Decky🇮🇪 (@Deckyy67) September 28, 2020
Celtic haven’t set the heather on fire so far this season but watching Celtic is never a chore. That’s the difference between us the support and a ex player turned a so called pundit.
— 1888 (@lennonspassion) September 28, 2020
Team scoring most goals in the league, best start to season since invincibles…KC is like Boyd, an expert in nothing. Winder why he isnt coaching or managing as he seems to have all the answers doesnt he…..
— Alan McDonald (@Allymac35) September 28, 2020
Another negative story from Commons! When was the last time this guy said anything positive! That was a good performance yesterday against a decent side!
— Sean Gambino (@SeanSou98106433) September 28, 2020
Something tells me Neil Lennon won’t take advice from Kris Commons
— Béal Feirste Bhoy (@BelfastBhoy86) September 28, 2020
There was nothing chore-like about yesterday’s performance
I personally hate using the word “chore” when talking about watching Celtic. It’s always one of the highlights of my week or weekend, and something I look forward to immediately after the previous match.
However, you can see why some may feel as though we haven’t been impressive for the most part this season. The football has been too slow, the build-up play has been hesitant, and our creativity has been fleeting.
But against Hibs yesterday, there was none of that. Celtic were snappy in the midfield, decent enough at the back (although Shane Duffy needs to improve), and full of flair and vibrancy in the final third. They were also generally moving the ball quicker, and with Jeremie Frimpong in from the start, we had a winger always looking to dart beyond his man and keep the tempo high.
The 3-5-2 played a massive part in that. With Hibs looking to push forward on the counter before dropping deep after losing it, we needed the extra man up top to help create the space. That was evident for goal number two in particular when we had four attackers in the box making themselves available.
Commons’ criticism of the system is ridiculous. By all means, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for an apparent Celtic-minded pundit (I find myself almost laughing whilst typing that out), he really does have a skill in poking for negatives. How on earth is having a dig at the formation or performance the first thing that came to his mind yesterday?
Yes, we were poor in Riga, but not becuse Lennon is trying to force certain players into his team. Olivier Ntcham, for example, was on the bench yesterday, whilst David Turnbull repaced Christie at half-time instead of Ntcham. Where was Lennon’s desperation to play the Frenchman against Hibs?
When the full-time whistle went against Ross’ side, we were all buzzing. It was a proper team performance inspired by a 3-5-2 formation that continues to reap results for the manager. Maybe that’s what Commons should be focusing on…..or would that be too positive?