Brendan Rodgers tips John Kennedy to be "in the frame" for Celtic managerial gig

By David Walton

March 16, 2021

Brendan Rodgers believes that John Kennedy will be a future Celtic manager one day, and tipped him to be “in the frame” for the job in the summer.

Kennedy has been handed the reins at Parkhead until the end of the season. This comes after working as a scout, development coach, first-team coach, and assistant manager throughout his 12-year spell with the club.

The Celtic interim manager has one win and one draw to his name in his two matches so far. A drab 1-0 success against Aberdeen was followed by a shockingly profligate 0-0 display at Tannadice.

Fans are demanding a big name this summer, with the prospect of Kennedy a no-go for the vast majority of supporters. However, he’s clearly a name we’ll be hearing more about in the future regardless of whether he gets it or not.

Rodgers, meanwhile, has been talking his former Parkhead colleague up as he bigged up Kennedy’s knowledge and suitability for management. Speaking to Sky Sports, Rodgers said:

“I’ve got no doubt”

“John will certainly be in the frame. I’ve got no doubt that one day he will be a manager. When I arrived there I didn’t know John, but when I sat and spoke to him and spoke to one or two other people, they were very clear of what his qualities were. And in my time there, he was an outstanding coach.

“He played for the club, worked in scouting, worked in coaching, worked at the top end of the academy teams and he knows the first-team. And he knows the pressures around the job. So I’ve got absolutely no doubt that whether it’s Celtic or another club, he’ll go on and manage one day.

“At this moment in time he’ll be great for the players. It’s always difficult when you go in and can’t really put his stamp on it because the players are the players. But one thing’s for sure, John being at the club is very very important. If he didn’t get the job and another manager went in, then to have John Kennedy by your side is a great move.”

Brendan Rodgers comments don’t change anything; Celtic fans still split on John Kennedy influence

Some Celtic fans simply don’t trust Kennedy. That can’t be argued. Even if the likes of Rodgers or Neil Lennon big him up in the media, certain supporters don’t want to know about it.

This is because Kennedy’s must-keep status at Parkhead doesn’t sit right with some. In addition to that, he’s been part of as many failed regimes as he has successful ones. Therefore, for his critics, they’ll wonder what it is about Kennedy that makes him so special to have around.

The only way he can get rid of that theory is to branch out and be a manager himself. Be his own man. Don’t work in the shadows any longer and cut your teeth elsewhere. Because let’s not kid ourselves, these opinions that go around on Kennedy can be easily changed.

John Kennedy on the touchline for Celtic against Aberdeen / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We’ve spoken in the past about how the Aberdeen job would be an ideal opportunity for John to apply for. If he went to Pittodrie, regained third place and did it playing attractive football, Kennedy would be appreciated at Parkhead again. There would be less criticism towards his talents.

But it’s the fact he continues to work in the background, almost shielded from criticism, that irks many. It’s what leaves him with a major point to prove as things stand.

That cannot be allowed to happen at Celtic. Not at this particular moment. The only real path forward for Kennedy this summer is to leave the club and become a number one.

In other news, a potential Celtic managerial candidate has been bigged up by a Match of the Day pundit.