Kennedy hits out at refereeing inconsistencies as Celtic lose Glasgow Derby

By David Walton

May 2, 2021

Celtic interim manager John Kennedy has been left fuming with the refereeing inconsistencies from Nick Walsh this afternoon.

Celtic went down 4-1 in an embarrassing Glasgow Derby scoreline at Ibrox this afternoon. The result means that we’ve failed to beat Rangers throughout the course of a full campaign.

The game today, which was close to meaningless, swung thanks to a red card for Callum McGregor. He was booked for two poor challenges to pick up an early red card. However, Kennedy has been left furious with referee Nick Walsh’s failure to book a Rangers defender for a similar challenge on Odsonne Edouard.

The interim manager wasn’t shy in speaking up on it at full-time as Celtic fans were left to reflect on another woeful derby defeat. Speaking to Sky Sports [Sky Sports Main Event, 02/04, 14:17], Kennedy said: “It’s the turning point but again it’s one of those where the second tackle, he’s on a yellow and goes to ground, it’s a red card – that’s not a problem. It’s the first one, the yellow card (that bothers him).

“So I said to the referee at half-time ‘what did you book McGregor for?’, and he said ‘a reckless tackle’. Now I don’t see any recklessness in it. He’s on his feet, it’s a genuine attempt to win the ball, and Kent has managed to nip in before him. So there’s nothing reckless in it.

“There’s another incident on the far side. Edouard is breaking through in the final third and gets taken down with the slide tackle. We get a free-kick and that’s it, so there’s no consistency there and that’s the thing I’m most disappointing with. Red cards can happen, but at least make the right calls.”

A lot more to be concerned about than Nick Walsh’s inconsistency

Look, you can understand Kennedy’s frustration here. He clearly feels that Walsh could’ve dished out some more bookings. That’s fine, but it feels like we’re pushing it to act as though we were hard done by.

Kennedy needs to turn his anger and frustration towards McGregor. We’re talking about a player whos should know better.

Listen, just because we lost the game doesn’t mean that we need to turn our ire toward the referee. It’s not as if Nick Walsh was the one who let all three goals fly beyond him. It’s not as if Nick Walsh was wearing green-and-white and kept passing straight to the opposition like some others.

John Kennedy (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Sure, it’s uncommon to see early reds and you could possibly say that Walsh could’ve been more lenient. But that’s not what cost us the game. There are a variety of other factors that led to us losing this afternoon. Not taking our chances and again failing to deal with Kent was a major issue for us.

We have to focus on what we can help. Yes, perhaps another Rangers player could’ve been booked for a challenge on Edouard. Fine. Say that happened – it still doesn’t change the fact that McGregor was incredibly naive. That’s what Kennedy must look to focus on in the changing room at full-time.

There are times when we’ll happily point out the poor performances of referees. Today wasn’t a match in which that subject should be anywhere near our top priorities.

In other news, Stiliyan Petrov was left raging with McGregor after his red card today.