When Virgil van Dijk slammed home a free-kick to put Celtic 3-0 up at Easter Road in 2014, who knew a curse would befall us in that stadium for the foreseeable future?
Indeed, John Kennedy had a handy opportunity to kill off one of our most frustrating fixtures over the last several years yesterday. Our final game of the season in Leith was indeed next to meaningless. Only pride was really at stake. However, there was a chance to finally lift the hex of Easter Road that we’ve gone through over the last seven years.
Granted, Hibs were down in the Scottish Championship between 2014 and 2017. We didn’t play them for several years. But since their promotion back to the Premiership for the 2017/18 campaign, we’ve consistently failed to get the job done in Leith.
Yesterday’s drab 0-0 stalemate against Jack Ross’ side summed up our luck at Easter Road. We had chance after chance in the first half in particular and put absolutely none of them away.
The tie racked up our seventh consecutive attempt to win a league game away to Hibs without success. Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon, and now Kennedy have all failed to bag three points at the same place.
Our record there in the league since Hibs’ promotion currently stands at five draws and two defeats. In three of those games we’ve failed to score, and it would’ve been an ideal monkey to get off our back heading into next season. Our only win there came in the Scottish Cup under Neil Lennon in 2019.
The Celtic curse at Easter Road lives on
It probably sums up this Celtic side that even the most simple of boosts they could give the club still turns out to be too difficult. But we should hardly be surprised looking at Kennedy’s dismal away record since he took over.
Incredibly, the interim boss hasn’t managed to win a single one of his five fixtures away from Parkhead. His Easter Road failure added to poor results at venues such as Tannadice, Ibrox (x2), and Pittodrie respectively. Sure, we’ve dominated many of them, but victories haven’t followed.
Whoever the new manager is will have plenty of hoodoos to smash. No wins in three at Ibrox. No wins in two at Pittodrie. Zero successes in seven at Easter Road. That’s not even mentioning the fact we haven’t beaten Livingston away since their 2018 promotion either.
The new man certainly has plenty of work to do, that much is clear. He needs to build a squad capable of going to these venues and being ruthless. Who don’t look at these fixtures as cursed and know that, regardless of who they’re up against, they’re better than the opposition.
Kennedy should’ve been able to do a lot more with this group of players. All he’s proven to be is Neil Lennon Mark 2. That’s highly disappointing given the hope many will have had for him after he was given rave reviews by former colleagues [BT Sport].
But his failure to at least get rid of one Celtic jinx pretty much sums up his entire tenure.