Derby County`s Kris Commons is the One to Watch ahead of this weekend`s fixture.
Name: Kris Arron Commons
Date of Birth: 30-08-1983 (Mansfield)
Former Clubs: Stoke City, Nottingham Forest
Appearances (Goals): 222 (43)
Nottingham born Commons started his career with Stoke City and made his debut in November 2001 as a sprightly 17-year-old. It wasn`t a happy beginning as his Stoke side lost 3-2 away at Blackpool.
It seemed, however, that just as his career was getting underway it was dealt a hefty blow as the young midfielder ruptured his anterior cruciate. Commons managed to bounce back and got a few games under his belt the following season.
He scored his first goal in a home draw to Norwich City, equalising an Adam Drury`s effort in the 74th minute. In 2003-04 he worked his way into the first team set-up at the Britannia Stadium, making 36 appearances scoring four goals – which included a brace against West Bromwich Albion on the penultimate game of the season.
That brought an end to his time at the Britannia Stadium where the 5″6 midfielder made 45 appearances scoring five goals. He moved onto pastures new and Nottingham Forest in a move worth £300,000. It was during his homecoming spell as a Tricky Tree that his career began to flourish.
He made his debut in a League Cup win over Scunthorpe United, and put in several useful display`s in the Championship despite Forest underachieving in the early stages. He scored his first goal for the Reds predictably enough against QPR, and it was certainly worth the wait.
Ian Holloway dispelled any suggestion that he was taking the FA Cup seriously by picking a blend of reserve and youth players, and the R`s were duly punished with Commons excellent vision providing Forest`s second. He weighed up his options not far inside the Rangers half before delightfully chipping Chris Day.
A further six goals that season added to his glowing reputation, but the R`s exacted their revenge for the cup defeat in timely fashion as Marc Bircham added to a John Curtis own goal to condemn a forlorn Forest side to League One football.
In the third tier Commons attempted to spearhead a promotion push, playing 38 times and scoring eight goals for the Tricky Trees. It wasn`t enough for Forest who finished one place and two points short of sixth place Barnsley who went on to achieve promotion.
The Forest playmaker was linked with endless moves away from the City Ground – indeed he was even linked to QPR at one stage, before Rangers new found wealth but a deal never came to fruition. All the better for Forest as Commons put in another good shift for his home town club.
A brace against Brentford was followed up by an FA Cup hatrick – the first of his career – against now defunct Yeading. Forest plugged away towards the back end of the season as Commons got another brace against the Bees, following up with another couple against Bournemouth.
The playoffs were calling for the Tricky Trees and Commons scored a free-kick to hand Forest a seemingly unassailable lead against Yeovil Town. But an injury plagued Forest side finished the game with nine men as Yeovil coasted through 5-2.
A bitter pill to swallow for Forest and Commons and the hangover continued into the following season, with Colin Calderwood`s job being speculated about in the media. Commons continued to perform however with goals against Huddersfield and Hartlepool added to with another hatrick against Cheltenham Town.
Forest appeared to be cantering towards a playoff place when out of the blue they had a surprise promotion on the final day as Commons goal was one of three as the Tricky Trees beat Yeovil and learnt that Doncaster Rovers had slipped up away at now safe Cheltenham Town. Forest had done it – they were up to the Championship.
Commons then opted out of staying with the club he helped to promotion, instead opting for their fierce local rivals Derby County.
In his first season with the Rams he made 45 appearances scoring seven goals. A couple in particular stood out – a superb strike from distance against then European Champions Manchester United, before netting a winner for the Rams against his former club Nottingham Forest in a 3-2 away win.
Commons has also been capped six times for Scotland but couldn’t help them qualify for the World Cup in an unsuccessful campaign under George Burley.
He picked up a knock during the week against Middlesbrough but the extent of this injury is still to be verified as the Rams opt to bring in Bryan Hughes.
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