Celtic interim manager John Kennedy has refused to entertain talk of a guard of honour for Rangers as he labelled the players’ commitment “first-class”.
The Hoops’ failure to take three points from Tannadice today means the league title race is now officially over. 10-in-a-row has now been wiped from our vision and re-establishing our dominance as Scotland’s premier club is now the main goal.
Frustratingly, that’s opened up two weeks’ worth of discussion over whether we should pay respect to Rangers. Their visit to Parkhead will mark their first game since winning the title. Traditionally, the opposing team shows their respect to the new champions via a guard of honour.
However, Kennedy shut any questions on that today with a simple one-liner. Instead he moved to praise his own player’s commitment as he rued missed chances at Tannadice.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Kennedy said: “I’m not interested in it right now to be honest (guard of honour chat).
“It’s not through the lack of trying or attitude and commitment from the players. That’s been first class. Sometimes you go through rough moments and confidence plays a part in that in terms of a little bit more calmness in front of goal getting a better reward.
“We were a bit tense and when you don’t take three or four chances you start to think ‘here we go again’. We need to work through that and have that belief and confidence that you could have put the bed at half time but if you don’t you keep doing the same things the goals will come.”
Guard of honour? Don’t make us laugh – Rangers made their bed in 2019
Neil Lennon was previously pulled up for this when it became clear Rangers had a chance of coming to Parkhead as champions. He stated back in 2019 that he was disappointed when our rivals failed to produce a guard of honour for Celtic. He said that we would’ve done it had it been the other way around [Daily Record].
This came after Celtic went to Ibrox in 2019 one game after winning eight-in-a-row at Aberdeen. However, Steven Gerrard’s side refused to carry out a guard of honour on the day. Instead, they decided to stand side-by-side with Celtic when we ran out.
You have to wonder then why on earth we should show that same respect. If they couldn’t put their bitterness aside to respect the eight-in-a-row champions, why should we do something similar for the one-in-a-row champions? Rangers made their bed by letting their spite get in the way of showing a bit of class. The goalposts have moved since Lennon’s 2019 comments, and there’s no way we should be giving any guards of honour.
Gaurd of honour snub a matter of principle
Listen, Rangers are deserved champions. We’re not going to pretend that isn’t the case. We’ve stumbled about all over the place this season and made a total mess of the campaign. We don’t deserve a single trophy from this season. But they haven’t earned a guard of honour from us. They threw that opportunity away in 2019.
Kennedy is right to dismiss this nonsense. All of his focus should be going into ending Rangers’ invincible league campaign hopes come that fixture in two weeks.
No doubt we’ll have to endure a bit of goading between now and then after events this weekend. But over the next fortnight, Celtic shouldn’t even entertain giving Rangers the level of respect they refused to give us.