Kennedy promises to fix major Celtic issue; urges appreciation for derby performance

By David Walton

March 21, 2021

John Kennedy has promised to fix the dreadful Celtic cross-ball issue that’s plagued our season, instead urging all focus to be on our overall performance against Rangers today.

Kennedy’s Celtic were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Rangers this afternoon at Parkhead. The game was going according to plan before a dreadful lack of concentration from a corner led to Alfredo Morelos’ equaliser. The header came after a front-post flick on with Celtic putting no men on either post.

It followed on from similar issues in the past against the likes of Ross County and St Johnstone respectively. Even in the previous derby match vs Rangers at Ibrox, our rivals netted from a corner.

However, Kennedy appears sick of having to constantly be reminded about it. Speaking after today’s game, he encouraged everyone to look at the overall performance as he stated he will fix the defensive issues in time.

As quoted by the Scotsman, Kennedy said: “Performance-wise I think we showed our level, that we are more than capable of coming and competing and being the better team. But you have got to then do the other side which is get the results.

“It is something we have worked a lot on and will continue to work on. We will never stop until we fix it. Even when we fix it we will continue with that. I don’t want the review of the game to be about Celtic conceding at another set play.

“I want people to look at the actual performance. We showed we were the better team, we created better chances and ultimately we should have won the game. It is something we will fix and continue trying to address. But overall the quality of performance was good.”

Performance was promising, but no signs of Kennedy fixing Celtic and their cross-ball issue

Yes the performance was promising. We’ve already acknowledged just how big a boost it is for us that we’ve dominated the last two Glasgow derby games. But you have to take the bad with the good, instead of simply brushing it off as something that will be fixed.

We’ve been hearing for months now as supporters that we would sort out our leaks at the back. The truth is that nothing has changed. Anyone can lose a header to the bigger man, but not tracking runners and being tactically caught out is just amateur stuff.

Celtic didn’t have a single player on either post for Rangers’ equaliser today. It’s something that looked like it would cost us and so it proved to be. In addition to that, nobody had tracked the run of Morelos, allowing him an easy tap-in. We’re entitled to question what on earth is going on at Lennoxtown to allow this level of incompetence to continue week after week.

Celtic have been losing set-piece goals all season / (Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

When Celtic went 1-0 ahead through Elyounoussi, many of us still wouldn’t have been confident of winning the game. The main reason being that whenever Rangers won set-pieces, we would all have feared the worst. It’s been our Achilles heel all season.

Fair enough if it was September and Kennedy was telling us it would be fixed in time. We’re now into March with the league campaign ending in only five more rounds. It’s too late to go about “fixing it”. That’s going to be a new manager’s job at this point. But when it comes back to bite us up until then, it’s entitled to be highlighted.

If Kennedy could’ve fixed this by now, he would have. Instead, we’re still losing too many aerial duels and not doing the basics right. Unsurprisingly, it’s costing us both points and pride, with today just the latest example of it.

In other news, Celtic are reportedly ready to move for a Euro 2020-bound defender.