Celtic interim boss John Kennedy should show faith in flying wingers before season's end

By Euan Davidson

March 13, 2021

Celtic interim boss John Kennedy doesn’t have a great deal to lose.

After all, the title’s gone. There’s still a chance of winning a Scottish Cup – something the club should grasp with both hands. But long after the Premiership is finished, the spell of Kennedy in the Celtic dugout will be a historic footnote. Or, so we’d expect.

With that in mind, Kennedy has the comfort that Neil Lennon never had; the total absence of pressure in the league. Celtic supporters won’t tolerate poor performances at any time, granted.

Still, Kennedy can rotate his squad with our rivals wrapping things up last week.

In fact, it should be his prerogative. Yes, he faces no major scrutiny at Celtic, but other clubs will be watching. While Kennedy is insisting that he doesn’t see his temporary charge as a Celtic audition, it is a chance to impress. Aberdeen and others could well pounce for the highly-regarded Celtic coach, after all.

Therefore, it’d serve him well to give some opportunities to youngsters who we never see. Especially those whose contracts run out in the summer of 2021.

We have a couple of names in mind here, but you’ve already guessed them: Karamoko Dembele and Armstrong Okoflex.

Karamoko Dembele in action for Celtic / (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic interim boss John Kennedy should give flying wingers some first-team minutes

At the very least, Celtic interim boss John Kennedy should try to entertain the fans. The stodgy displays of the last two weeks have been incredibly uninspiring. An injection of fresh impetus from some academy players would be more than welcome.

Fine, not necessarily in the Glasgow Derby, if it goes ahead. Kennedy will be keen to use the cream of the Celtic squad for what can never be truly described as a dead rubber, regardless of the wider scenario.

But once the split comes into play, there’s little for Celtic to actually play for other than for pride, and the opportunity to make changes. If Kennedy reverts Celtic to a system with wide attacking players, which he should, then Irish youngster Armstrong Okoflex and the much-hyped Karamoko Dembele should get a chance to either impress fans and the board into a new deal, or to say goodbye.

What Celtic have missed this season is excitement. Honestly, it’s been an absolute chore to watch the Bhoys for much of this season, and I say that as a helplessly devoted supporter.

As a Celtic fan himself, Kennedy understands the expectations of supporters. Chief amongst those is attacking football.

Granted, there aren’t supporters there to rile our forwards into action, but there’ll be plenty at home praying the Bhoys can play with a bit more gallus and cunning.

Tricksters like Okoflex and Dembele have entertaining weapons in their arsenal [Talking Baws]. Both fleet-footed and sparkling in possession, we should see them start before the season ends.

If nothing else, to make a Celtic game watchable before 20-21 is in the books entirely.

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