Celtic captain Scott Brown signed off on his final season at Parkhead with a 0-0 draw at Easter Road this afternoon.
The shadow of Brown playing his final game covered any other aspect to the match. There was nothing to play for this afternoon except for pride and a few meaningless points. With Celtic and Hibs’ fate in the league already secured, both sides failed to get on the scoresheet in another disappointing Easter Road display.
It was a similar story for Celtic under John Kennedy. All flair but no end product. It was the same again as Mohamed Elyounoussi missed two glorious first-half opportunities. Celtic would be made to rue not making the most of their dominance.
And here, we take a look at three things we learned as our season ended with a whimper:
1. John Kennedy fails to live up to his promises
The Celtic fans have every right to feel disappointed with Kennedy today.
Not only because of the result, but for the lack of opportunities he gave to both the fringe players and the youth prospects. Today’s starting XI in Edinburgh involved all of the usual suspects. The likes of Odsonne Edouard, Kris Ajer, and Ryan Christie all featured. As did Mohamed Elyounoussi and Jonjoe Kenny – both scheduled to head back to their parent clubs.
Karamoko Dembele and Adam Montgomery shone at Celtic Park against St Johnstone on Wednesday night. What were their rewards for their displays? A spot on the bench. Oh wait, they got 10 minutes. Whoop-de-do.
Yes, both men came on in the second half, but we were expecting to see more than this from Kennedy. He was supposed to use these two matches to give players opportunities. Not many will be left feeling they got that chance, and they’ll be even more annoyed given the interim boss claimed he would use the full squad for the final two games [Celtic YouTube].
Just another disappointment to end the Kennedy regime with I suppose.
2. Interim boss fails to solve Neil Lennon’s failings
When Neil Lennon left Celtic, two problems plagued us. We were far too weak from cross-balls whilst we we weren’t making the most of our possession in the final third. Absolutely nothing has changed in Kennedy’s tenure.
The interim boss has had 10 games to show us what he’s capable of. Performances overall have slightly improved – it would be foolish to say otherwise – but the key components of our failures this season haven’t been fixed.
We all acknowledge that this squad had a lot more to give his season. It was packed with individual quality that should’ve put up a much better fight. Kennedy was tasked with remotivating the players and attempting to end the season with a good run of form.
He failed to do it. Games at the likes of Tannadice, Ibrox, and today at Easter Road saw us dominate the play yet struggle to take our chances. Meanwhile, Hibs’ one real chance came from, you guessed it, a set-piece.
Kennedy hasn’t managed to sort out the key issues that affected us earlier on this term. The bleeding hasn’t stopped, and now as his interim spell ends, he’s bound to have plenty of regrets.
3. Ofir Marciano suggests he’s worth a punt for Celtic next season
There were two reasons Celtic didn’t run away with this in the first half. Firstly, you can point to profligacy on Celtic’s part and a failure to be ruthless with our finishing. However, the other reason? Ofir Marciano.
Not for the first time against Celtic, he was the star of the show for Hibs. On three separate occasions, he managed to keep out Elyounoussi in the first half alone. He did the same in the second half when their battle resumed.
In addition to that, the Israeli international looked comfortable with the ball at his feet and was again commanding in the air.
Celtic have already been linked with a move for him given our goalkee;ing woes this season. Marciano is leaving with his contract set to expire in the summer [Daily Record]. Therefore, there’s no risk involved here.
Today, he proved exactly what he’s all about for Hibs once again. He’s dependable, confident, and ready for a bigger move. We need an upgrade on Scott Bain, and Marciano is definitely that.