Sutton slams Kennedy and Strachan; doesn't think they're helping Celtic boss Lennon

By David Walton

December 2, 2020

Chris Sutton has had a major pop at John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan and questioned whether they’re actually helping Neil Lennon.

Strachan was appointed as a first-team coach earlier this year whilst Kennedy was bumped up to assistant manager when Lennon arrived back in February 2019.

Supporters have long since asked what it is both men actually do at the club. The fact the club has barely strung any decent performances together since Strachan’s arrival in particular has been a huge eyebrow-raiser as the Hoops continue to decline.

And it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Sutton, who believes both men are having a negative effect on things with how they’re conducting their business. As he looked for them to give their manager more supposed, big Chris said the following on the Daily Record’s Celtic podcast:

“Something which I’ve noticed and I think other people have talked about is he does seem very, very lonely at this moment in time when he’s standing in the technical area. He’s always had a closeness with an assistant and I don’t think that he’s necessarily being helped at this moment in time enough by John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan.

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“They seem to want to be aloof and distance themselves when they should be standing right up alongside him. I think that’s been an issue for a while. Now I’m not suggesting that John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan don’t have his best interests at heart but I do think it’s been very, very noticeable that Neil seems to be carrying this burden on his own.

“I know people will be saying, ‘well John Kennedy’s a defensive coach and Gavin Strachan is a coach and the manager is responsible for everything’. But what I would want to have seen is to see them be visible, whatever it is to show him more support than they have done. They seem to be running for the hills.”

Unfair to accuse either man without knowing the facts

What Kennedy and Strachan can be accused of is being part of a regime that’s struggling badly. By all means you can question what kind of effect they’re actually having on the club, but it seems unfair to question whether they’re effectively backing the manager.

I wouldn’t personally say that Lennon looks any different on the touchline than he did last season. Perhaps he could be a bit more animated, but I don’t remember Kennedy or Damien Duff constantly out there with him.

It seems a tad harsh from Sutton, although it would be ideal if the manager could come out and actually explain what it is either man is doing. What are their roles?

Neil Lennon and John Kennedy watch Celtic lose to Ross County (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

For example, why on earth after 83 minutes and when we were 2-0 down at home to Ross County, did Strachan have to show Lennon something on his laptop? What’s the plan here and where do Kennedy and Strachan actually fit in?

Those are the questions that would ideally be answered by Lennon in order to give the supporters some clarity. However, to effectively question whether they have the manager’s back seems a little harsh. If Lennon is sacked, chances are Strachan will be too. Who knows about Kennedy though considering he’s been part of multiple different regimes.

But Sutton is right to say that Lennon needs to be given help from those around him in the dugout. In truth, he needs more help wherever he can get it.

In other news, we discuss why Celtic’s indecision on Lennon could be a massive blow for their January plans.