Why John Kennedy should leave Celtic even if he wins all eight games

By David Walton

March 1, 2021

So many appear to have made up their minds regarding John Kennedy as a manager before he’s even had two Celtic games under his belt.

Whether that be down to the fact he’s been part of more failed regimes than successful ones is up for debate. But what’s clear is that the club massively values what he offers. There’s no other reason for them to keep Kennedy on the payroll.

So much so that he’s been given eight games to try and show what he’s got as interim boss. Eight games to try and salvage some pride and keep Celtic ticking over until the summer.

He’s already bagged one win after seeing off Aberdeen on Saturday. The 1-0 victory didn’t exactly provide fans with more confidence in John. But a win’s a win. And, in fairness, there are some aspects to Kennedy’s management that supporters are enjoying better than Lennon’s.

Even if he wins all eight of his matches, however, it’s still essential he isn’t given the job. Celtic need something fresh. They need the script ripped apart and a new regime in place to rebuild this football club from top to bottom. Kennedy, regardless of results and performances, cannot be central to that.

John Kennedy’s prospects will bolster if he can win all eight Celtic games

But if Kennedy does pull eight consecutive wins out of the hat, his job prospects will bolster massively. He will have proven something to both the Celtic support and the wider Scottish football audience.

Not only because it’s eight wins either. But put it into context. Eight games played over the course of a period full of speculation and distractions for both players and coaching staff. Eight games that will include some extremely tough fixtures including Hibernian, Aberdeen, and Dundee United away from home. Two of the games will also be Glasgow derby fixtures both at Parkhead and Ibrox.

Make no mistake, Kennedy is hardly up against bottom-six cannon-fodder. He’ll be up against a host of sides fighting for something major between now and the end of the campaign. Winning all of them, including toppling Steven Gerrard twice, will be colossal for him.

Managerial stint could be next for Kennedy

And that’s exactly why it would be the right time for him to spread his wings and leave Parkhead. He’ll have shown that he can handle a crisis and have a good grasp of man-management. He’ll have to show tactical nous and ensure that he can deliver effective in-game decisions to keep us on a winning run.

All of this will be attractive to clubs looking for a new manager. Remember, he turned down the Hibs job only a year ago [Scottish Sun]. If he proved himself over the next few months, plenty more doors will open for him.

Celtic interim boss John Kennedy / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And that will be when he needs to seize the initiative and leave Parkhead. Because what would be next for him? We’ve already stated getting the gig permanently is a no-go. It’s too big a job for him at this stage. But a smaller managerial gig would be ideal for him at that stage.

If he doesn’t leave, he would fall back into a backroom staff position. At a time when he’s effectively gained experience in all of the major roles he needs. It would be a step back for him, and only a necessary one if his temporary spell in charge goes pear-shaped.

John has a major few months ahead of him. And if he manages to get through it in flawless fashion, the time will be right for him to leave Celtic and show what he’s got as a number one.

In other news, Celtic have a major contract mystery that’s yet to be solved.