Predicting the Celtic futures of John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan

By David Walton

June 27, 2021

Given Ange Postecoglou’s comments on backroom staff, it looks as though John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan will have no role in the new Celtic setup.

Kennedy and Strachan are haunting faces from a failed regime. One of if not the most disastrous regime Celtic have had since John Barnes.

Kennedy infuriated supporters last season with his bemusing in-game management and tactical decisions. He also threw broken promises towards the fans as his reputation crashed amongst the fanbase.

As for Strachan, he was perhaps guilty by association in many respects. Celtic fans were never actually given a description of what he actually did. Too often fans saw Strachan on a laptop or iPad with no knowledge of his purpose. It led to him becoming ridiculed for it too.

Regardless of what Neil Lennon had them doing, both Kennedy and Strachan were key cogs in a broken-down machine. They’re a symbol of the past at a football club that keeps banging on about its promising future.

Ange Postecoglou appears set to discard John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan

When asked about his backroom staff on Friday, Postecoglou said the following via the Celtic Youtube account:

“I’ll make those decisions as we go along. My view on these things is I’ll always trust my judgement above anyone else’s. I’m going to be the one working with people every day.

“I’ve had plenty of people offering opinions and that’s great, but I back myself to make the right decisions. That’ll happen over the next few weeks both with players and staff.

“There’s no doubt the environment will change and the way we work will change. If we need to bring people in to fill gaps or to add to expertise we will do that. The club has given me the freedom to do that. I’ll make my decisions once I’ve seen what’s in place first.”

A changing environment? No place for Kennedy and Strachan then

Postecoglou goes on about the changing environment of Celtic. He knows the club needs to amend its way of working and says he’ll assess what’s there before he makes personnel decisions.

When he fully understands how backwards we were as a club last season, he’s in for a shock. When he realises how big a role Kennedy and Strachan played in that, their positions should be untenable.

Gavin Strachan / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He states he’s been given the freedom to do what he likes with his backroom staff. So Kennedy should no longer have the protection of a Peter Lawwell or Dermot Desmond to fall back on. Postecoglou, when he decides he doesn’t want Kennedy, will have the final say on the matter.

There’s no prior relationship with the new boss and the current backroom team. No reason for him to believe that they’re the best possible candidates to help push forward his project. Postecoglou will surely have arrived with some names in mind to be both his assistant boss and first-team coaches.

There’s now no reason for Kennedy and Strachan to be allowed to stay on. If Postecoglou is being given full autonomy, it’s difficult to see any justification for keeping them in position. He’ll know it’s a bad look if he does.

So given Ange’s reveal on Friday, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve seen the last of Strachan and Kennedy. For now at least.

In other news, Ali McCann will reportedly only cost Celtic £1m, but English interest appears to be mounting.