Indicators to look for from John Kennedy


Aberdeen are back at Celtic Park tomorrow, 10 days after their previous visit, having arrested their record breaking run of six league games without a goal by beating Kilmarnock 1-0 last time out.  Derek McInnes will be relieved to take part in someone else’s soap opera.

Prior to losing to Ross County, Celtic were on one of their best runs of the season: five wins in February since going down at home to the mighty St Mirren.  The performance and result in Dingwall surprised no one, though, even after five wins, there is a fragility about this team.

When the man running the US has a codename ‘Celtic’, there is a bit of symmetry that we appoint ‘The President’ as interim manager.  Having worked as a coach at Celtic for a decade, John Kennedy will relish getting his hands on the levers tomorrow, but he is no miracle worker.  Knocking this team into shape will take more than a few tactical or selection changes.

There are some indicators I am looking for.  Will he retain Scott Bain ahead of Vasilis Barkas?  Almost certainly.  Will Scott Brown retain his place ahead of Ismaila Soro?  Not so sure about this one.  Scott is a voice of authority among the players and will be a key ally to John.  You and I are always looking to the horizon, so we would probably opt for Ismaila, but corralling a couple of dozen egos is a tactical job in itself.  What we notice on the pitch is not everything.

If we do not have unanimous agreement on the unsuitability of Tom Rogic for the energetic, up and down the park, right side of midfield role, I would be amazed.  We have too many No. 10s and not enough wide right options.  A less-effective Ryan Christie is always preferable to Tom on the right.

Albian Ajeti, Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala will all hope to make more of an impact under the new regime.  None has had the kind of run in the team required to reach peak performance.  All three will hope that changes between now and May.  John should pick Albian or Patryk and stick with him, we need to find out what resources we have in these two before we go shopping again.  No harm to Leigh, but we know all about him – and he’s a keeper (not that kind of keeper) for a while yet.

I doubt we will see a change from the midfield diamond, which apart from a haunting January provided a significant improvement in performances and results on formations from earlier this season.

Good luck, John.

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  1. SPIDEY101 on 26TH FEBRUARY 2021 7:49 PM



    The Sparta Prague manager – Kotal – got the sack last month, which puts our poor performance in an even worse light





    how so?


    i thought the results spoke candidly at the time.its not altered..



    Ta for mountain of m/ment availability data.






  2. PHILBHOY @ 7.57


    Only a bit of fun- JAMESGANG inadvertently referee me as BHOYJOY-hence my reply @7.55.

  3. New interim coach appointed . Doesn’t change the fact that the players who let us all down by downing tools are all available for selection . It’s only a short time ago since we topped a European group turning over some good outfits . They didn’t go from performances like that to the dross we are watching now , something up kerrydale street is not right . I wish JK all the best But it doesn’t change the fact that we could have a collection of interim coaches who won’t make a name for themselves with that defence or a midfield of wee small timid boys . I just watched a replay of the last derby game when the wee fat yin smacked our captain again , when brown picked himself up there were six blue jerseys surrounding him , Only ajer was present although he was in reverse . Cmcg walked on bye ,not one Celtic player wanted involved and left the captain on his Own . I hope whoever gets the job does a Martin O’Neil and buys big strong defenders , a few tough nuts for midfeld to defend our Tanner baw players , and a couple of big Sutton hartson types to rumbled up a few defences , it will cost but the ones who don’t want to don that jersey should earn us a good few million . But a clear out is badly needed if we don’t arrest this decline we may well see them top of the pile for some time . HH

  4. 1)Why does Americo Tomaz figure strongly in Celtic history?


    2)Alan Hamer refereed Celtic v Inverness game during the scots ref. strike,is a citizen of which European country?


    3)Martin O’Neills first signing for Celtic?

  5. 4 days after supercaley we travelled tae dens park minus the manager and several coaching staff.



    The “golf pro” as the Bunnet labelled him was in charge, he ditched Gould as he was seen as the instigator at half time as well as berkovick on the bench, he was a wee narcistic breest anyway,



    We won 3-0 with big lazy arse Viduka who blessed himself after finding the net one of the goal scorers.



    Also Kenny won the LC with some of the non triers in the side.



    So if big JFK picks the usual suspects so be it.

  6. SFtBs @ 6:26 PM,



    You seem to have misunderstood my use of the word regime, it wasn’t offensive, in fact P67 uses it in his lead.



    It refers to the Seasons since Rangers died that we have discussed over and over, it seems to me you had giiven your unreserved backing to Celtic throughout those campaigns.



    It incudes everyone involved in Celtic in Executive, Managing and Coaching, no exceptions.



    And my point was; as you have vehemently supported this regime and defended it to the hilt – yet now have pulled back on supporting the CEO and Manager. Who within the regime are you supporting?



    Simple enough Question really, or so I thought.



    On the Brendan Rodgers taking Dembele thing you make the same mistake those who think BR suddenly walked out on Celtic made.






    Brendan Rodgers did not own Dembele, he couldn’t take him anywhere.



    If BR and his crew did go to China and I don’t think it was really a goer, then If, they wanted Dembele, Celtic would have said…



    … Cool, that will be 35 Million pound please, wouldn’t they?



    The notions and scenarios around folk getting up and walking out on Celtic is farcical, it’s not the way football works.



    My post at 11:05 details what happened when Dembele left Celtic.



    Your notion that BR was going to spirit away Dembele to China is fiction. Just like John Kennedy and all the backroom staff were going to Leicester City.



    These things are regulated by governing bodies and controlled by contracts and are determined by negotiated settlements.



    It’s not the wild West – many Celtic fans got caught up in the emotion of the situation when Brendan Rodgers left and their anger and upset clouded their logic allowing the unscrupulous to plant fictions in the press and social media to take the heat from the Celtic Board and character assassinate Brendan Rodgers



    Now the dust is long settled and we can perceive the situation with logic and hindsight, you re-peddling these myths is just downright badness.



    Hail Hail

  7. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on




    Aaaarrrrgh – I know the answers to 2 and 3 – they are there rattling about in my brain. I can’t bring them to the surface!!



    Very frustrating.



    I particularly rememeber the wee referee (dark haired – maybe Swiss / Austrian / fek knows) – but it was so remarkable and refreshing having a completely even-handed performance from the officials. Hun (Scottish) referees really came off strike because they realised everyone had started seeing that the alternative was actually much better.



    Was it big Joos???



    Aaaaarrrgh – going senile.








    Great questions, by the way!!

  8. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    So not Joos then – hmmmm….



    Is Luxembourg not just the same as Switzerland anyway :-))



    Well done PHILBHOY re: Americo Tomaz – good spot.






  9. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    John Kennedy came cross well.



    I advocated his appointment as interim manger long ago. He would have been motivated to burnish his CV for life after Celtic.



    I’m sure he’ll still be motivated, but obviously his opportunity to shine is shorter.



    El Captain’s presser………. blah, blah.



    Hopefully he get’s a role in the new regime.



    Hopefully Ajer can be convinced to stay (long shot).



    Soro and Turnbull have potential.



    I wonder if James Forrest is secretly pleased to have been injured for most of this debacle.



    The rest of them………..i’ll leave it for you to decide.

  10. CELTIC40ME:




    1) Presented Big Billy with European cup.




    3) Chris Sutton.




    I was in Lisbon with the school in 1964 and he was president.



    When he presented the cup to Billy I was able to tell my family who he was!




    Cheers for the mini quiz!



    Really looking forward to the game tomorrow.



    I hope JK makes significant changes.



    To the team and results!!



    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Donate here NOW 👇



  14. It is nice to be looking forward to a game.



    John Kennedy is hard to read but I tried anyway. Not overly effusive in praise for Lenny and there wascan absence of any reference to friendships or personal relationship which I found interesting.



    Maybe I’m looking for some that isn’t there?

  15. Thanks PHILBHOY.


    A year after the EC final Celtic went to Dublin played a friendly with Shamrock Rovers and got to meet Ireland president Eamon de Valera.There was a van leaving a pub close to where I stayed,I’m almost sure it was a Monday,so me and my mates got on,went to the game,came home…..only to asked by my mother (bless her)


    were you not at work?Just a wee memory from 1968.And yes,tomorrow will, be watching the game hoping for a good ‘debut for JK and Co.


    Still Celtic

  16. Chairbhoy



    You seem to have misunderstood my use of the word regime, it wasn’t offensive, in fact P67 uses it in his lead.



    It refers to the Seasons since Rangers died that we have discussed over and over, it seems to me you had giiven your unreserved backing to Celtic throughout those campaigns.



    It incudes everyone involved in Celtic in Executive, Managing and Coaching, no exceptions.



    And my point was; as you have vehemently supported this regime and defended it to the hilt – yet now have pulled back on supporting the CEO and Manager. Who within the regime are you supporting?




    Firstly, we started this debate on the old thread before Paul’s current article, so there was no mention of regime by Paul when we started. Secondly, you are now defining regime as “the seasons since Rangers died”. How was I supposed to know that this was the specific meaning of regime that you intended? It is far from a commonplace definition.



    Thirdly, you claim I gave “unreserved” backing to Celtic, which must include ‘everyone involved in Celtic in Executive, Managing and Coaching, no exceptions.”. Again, this is a definition of Celtic, I do not support. I, explicitly, and consistently, have said that I have little interest in boardroom matters (apart from expressing my disapproval of the moral cowardice our major shareholders and CEO displayed in handling the events of 2012 and my ire at the Chairman for his condescending words on fan behaviour). I explicitly said that I have little interest and no affection for PL but now I am to be defined, by yourself, as giving him “unreserved backing”. It seems my own words and my own self definition are not good enough for you, you know me better than I know myself.



    I gave unashamed backing to each MANAGER appointed to Celtic and to all the PLAYERS fortunate enough to be selected for the first team. It’s my idea of what a supporter is, and I hope I am not alone in that. I had no reason to doubt that Davie Hay or Lou Macari or John Barnes or Wim Jansen or Ronny Deila would be bad for Celtic. I know my history and I know where we recruit managers from and its not from the fashionable or stellar reaches of the game. I gave backing to every manager until I saw signs of failure. Even then, I do not drop my support at the first sign of failure.



    Through 4 years of Gordon Strachan’s reign, I defended that manager on here from a significant cohort who were pining for MON and expecting him to return if we could only get rid of PL. That was as big a delusion as thinking Brendan is coming back to us. You would think it would have been easy to defend and back a manager who won his first 3 titles and took us to two last 16 CL matches but it wasn’t. He was relentlessly attacked on here and on other Celtic sites, justifiably for the unattractive football style , but unjustifiably on grounds of his personality, background, or for being a cheap option or a board puppet.



    When WGS eventually lost a league, the accusation was made on here, by more than just Sydney Tim, that we “happyclappers” had backed this failure and were responsible for allowing Celtic to be Downsized ( 2 last 16 CL places- some downsizing?) through our supine compliance with the suits.



    MON started our GOD, based on the preparations made by the Bunnet in giving us a large stadium and fan base. WGS carried this on but people were blind to his achievements. Tony Mowbray was the first to falter and yes, I backed him at the start- why wouldn’t I? Is he not, after all, an example of a bling manager- the first we had to pay a transfer fee to source (we had to pay money for Tommy Burns too but that was an SFA fine not a fee, if I recall rightly). I backed Neil Lennon (first time around), Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Neil again. There were some managers I would not have been happy with if they were appointed to Celtic, e.g Walter Smith, even though he is a proven good manager of football teams.



    I had reservations about Wim Jansen but I was not arrogant enough to state that he’d definitely fail before he had shown me what he could do. Just as well, as he proved to be a great success and gave me one of the happiest days of my life. I can love Wim the Tim for what he did for Celtic while still rating him as overall, not much of a success anywhere before he came to us or after he left. Overall his record shows him to be not very good but he was more than good enough for us and that’s al that counts in my Celtic world.



    I did not care that Neil Lennon (first time) was a first time manager, even after the failures of Liam Brady and John Barnes (who, at least, had the proven figure of Dalglish overseeing him) because in our history, very few have been vastly experienced before taking us over. Willie Maley was, understandably, a first time manager, Jimmy McStay and Jimmy McGrory had only one managerial appointment before joining us. The great Jock Stein had two short spells at two previous clubs. Davie and Billy were very early in their managerial career too. In fact, some of the more experienced campaigners, Venglos. Macari and Mowbray proved to have as poor a record as some of the relative rookies.



    The rookie Neil Lennon won 3 leagues and two Scottish cups and also managed one last 16 CL campaign. Not bad for a dinosaur rookie.



    Point is, I backed them till they showed me they could not go on as Celtic managers. I may have been too early in ditching support for some and too late in ditching support for Neil second time around but there will always be a tension between the volatile section of our support who want a sacking after every dropped pint and the more stoic of us who recognise that losses and draws are an inevitable part of sporting competition.



    So- Who did I back, you ask? Every manager and every player until they proved, over a long enough spell, that my faith in them was unjustified. In all that time, I never cheerleaded for any Board member or Shareholfer or funcyionary. I may have supported some policies, like prudent expenditure when you are a club in a provincial league but I did not back these because they were DD’s policies or PL’s policies. I liked them because they were good for Celtic and helped us avoid the fate of Rangers 1872-2012.



    Your point about Moussa confused me but I have read back and I can see that this is my fault. I failed to differentiate between BR’s interest in going to China and his interest in taking Moussa with him to a future club. I am happy to ste and correct the impression that Moussa was going to go to China with Brendan- I have no idea on that scenario but I think it unlikely. But Moussa did state that BR had spolen to him about future tranfers and had reneged on his word. I took it that BR had told Moussa he was staying and, therefore, so should Moussa, as he would see him right in the future. I took it, from this that BR was promising to take him with him when he moved to a bigger club but I accept, it may just have been a promise to let him go at a future more suitable date. Either way, Moussa felt let down by BR going back on his word and Br , certainly, did not indicae what he was doing and saying with Moussa, to his employees.

  17. SFtBs @ 10:05 PM,



    You seem to be getting defensive about your vehement support of Celtic, you and many others can be quite proud of that fact and being faithful through and through.



    You obviously remember, though many don’t the original G.o.D. was on CQN before the return of Walter Smith, it was fun, it was a laugh but it wasn’t that accurate. Most think of the G. o. D. now as the nine in a row and doubles and trebles and invincible seasons.



    That’s what I was referring to.

  18. AT – cheers.



    Looking back I thought Sparta were doing ok when they cuffed us, but when I checked on the sacking news it turns out that the only thing that saved him last year was the games against us. So we got cuffed by the Czech equivalent of this season Celtic, which seems more depressing than it was (at least in my head) at the time..