John Kennedy's final poor Celtic decision was perhaps his most frustrating

By John McGinley

May 16, 2021

John Kennedy’s interim reign as Celtic boss won’t exactly be well remembered by the support.

A failed Scottish Cup run, poor Scottish Premiership results and a failure to plan for next season all stand out as key reasons to quickly forget about the last couple of months.

He had a big opportunity after Neil Lennon’s resignation.

There was a squad full of fringe players needing game time, young players needing development and little pressure on the remaining matches giving him room to experiment.

Instead, what we consistently got was the same old favourites, the same tired displays and ultimately little to cheer for or get behind.

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If anything he’s widened the disconnect between supporters and club, rather than attempt to unify.

For me, one of his most frustrating decisions was also his last.

John Kennedy’s final poor Celtic decision

The failure to include either Adam Montgomery or Karamoko Dembele in the starting line-up against Hibernian was a complete and utter shambles.

Both players were riding high on confidence after the mid-week clash against St Johnstone. Montgomery put in a fine shift on the left flank, while Dembele came off the bench to score his first-ever professional goal.

What better time to test them in a meaningless Easter Road clash and get a bit more experience under their belt ahead of the new season? They had to settle for ten measly minutes off the bench at the end.

I’m not saying either talent has what it takes to be considered a key player for us right now, but with massive squad upheaval on the way blooding in teenage talents can provide useful squad depth at a critical time.

Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Dembele has yet to even start a single Celtic match. Now having been trusted with eight substitute appearances, including in the Europa League group stages, what’s the hold-up?

I don’t buy this excuse about physical development, especially when he’s being snubbed in meaningless matches. It’s also not as if playing more senior players has resulted in better performances or results.

Hopefully, the new manager can start making youth development at the club a priority, and not just something to be given token lip service.

In other news, Celtic keep up Champions League pressure with class SWPL win.