Kris Commons joined Derby for free in the summer of 2008, what a steal! I’m sure Rangers are thinking exactly the same now and if they’re not, they should. Signed by Paul Jewell, Commons was part of the rebuilding process of the club who finished with 11 points in the Premier League in the previous season. Paul Jewell, needless to say – failed, and ruined the club. The amount of money spent and the return on the pitch was awful.
In Commons’ first season he appeared in 34 out of 46 games in the league campaign, clearly the label of injury prone was very harsh! However his second season for the Rams was blighted with injuries, only starting a poor 11 games. Commons briefly showed his quality in Derby’s best run of the season in January, but his contribution over the course of the season was minimal. However, Commons started the last game of the season on return from injury, and vowed to start his pre-season training weeks early to have a fitness boost for the forthcoming season and prove his worth, and he’s passed that with flying colours! With Commons in his last year of his contract, Kris made it clear on many occasions that wishes to stay with the Rams and play for Nigel Clough, which every fan wants to hear, especially from the club’s prized asset.
This season, Commons has been consistent, hard working and being brilliant, overall. His quality has never been questioned, though his work rate and consistency has been in question in the past, this season Commons has been a new man. Clough challenged Kris to stay fit and keep banging in the goals to earn himself a new deal, and he responded with 13 goals in the first half of the season. In previous seasons, in my opinion Commons’ performances would be rated at 10/10 for 5 weeks and 5/10 for the next 5. This season, he’s got an 8/10 every week, for me.
Around November time Derby’s board and Nigel Clough began negotiating a new deal for Commons (+his agent), which you’d presume would go well considering both parties want the same thing. Commons had stated that his agent does all this work and he pays him well for it. Reports suggested that talks had gone okay and would resume soon, which they did. Come January Derby’s CEO, Tom Glick suggested that they’d had very positive talks and the deal would be done soon. As January dragged on and reports stating that Derby had given Commons the deal he wishes, the contract remained unsigned. Commons’ performances have dipped in the last few weeks, which is understandable considering speculation linking him with Celtic and Rangers while mulling over Derby’s deal. Today (January 25th) Rangers confirmed that they’ve been talking to Derby and Commons, me, and I’d have thought 95% of our fans fear the worse. With a figure of £500,000 being spoken of, Commons may be off when you’d have thought all would have been wrapped up a long time ago.
My verdict: Commons has always had the quality, excellent on his day but has struggled with injuries, obviously no one wants an injury prone star player. Clough challenged him and he obliged and couldn’t have really done anymore to prove his worth at Derby. I think the board have waited around too long to secure the deal. Fair enough negotiate for the best deal possible for all parties, but if they were always prepared to offer Commons and his agent what they wanted, why didn’t they sort it out much earlier rather than sell him? I’ve had a season ticket since the 1999/2000 season , and I’ve said this season after seeing Commons in full swing, “if we don’t manage to extend his deal, I’m not getting a season ticket next time around”. With Robbie Savage leaving, the board can afford to keep Commons with no problems on the face of it. If we can’t keep our best players and let them go for pennies, I can’t be bothered to put my money in their pockets. The board have dithered too much and I think Commons has got annoyed and distracted with the possibility of playing in Scotland and winning rubbish trophies and playing 6 group games in the Champions League. I have faith in Clough and even the board, I just don’t like how this has been dealt with.
By James England – Derby County fan