How Celtic can stop the negativity around Kennedy and Strachan

By Euan Davidson

July 10, 2021

The dominant storyline in Celtic circles this morning is one that seemed inevitable; that the club would keep John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan.

Due to their inextricable link to the gloom of 20-21, plenty of supporters will have wanted to see them out the door with Neil Lennon. That was especially true after Kennedy’s mediocre spell as interim boss.

Postecoglou was determined that he’d judge for himself whether the duo would be staying on. Seemingly, they’ve been important in helping the new boss settle in to life in Glasgow, while observing Postecoglou’s style, both in terms of training and tactics.

Celtic’s managerial hire said when he arrived at the club [Celtic FC]:

“Any role I’ve walked into, I back myself to make the right decisions and that’ll happen over the course of the next few weeks with players and staff.

“If we need to bring people in to fill gaps or to add expertise we’ll do that.

“The club has given me the freedom to do that but I’ll make my decision when I see what’s in place.”

If that could’ve been read as a warning to the incumbent staff, they’ve seemingly responded. And so, Kennedy and Strachan will be staying at the club under Ange Postecoglou. That’s led to plenty of negative sentiments being thrown in the club’s direction.

However, the club really could have nipped this negativity in the bud months ago. Just tell supporters what it is that Kennedy and Strachan do. Why they’re so integral to the first-team staff, and what expertise they bring.

It’s not as if Celtic don’t have the facilities to spread that message, after all.

Celtic have the media resources to stem negativity over Kennedy and Strachan

With a quick hat tip to my colleague Hamish Carton, it’s worth pointing out that this exactly what Scotland did.

In November 2020, the SFA shared a ‘Coach’s Roundtable’ [Scotland National Team]. Through it, we saw what John Carver, Stevie Woods (also at Celtic) and Steven Reid did as part of the National Team set-up.

It’s literally that simple.

Photo by UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

While the Celtic media team have been putting out some excellent pre-season content, it would help so much to have a frank and open chat with John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan. Or, ideally, the duo plus Ange Postecoglou.

The relationship between the fans and the staff would instantly improve if they knew what it was that Kennedy and Strachan did at Celtic. Why they’re so valuable, and particularly why John Kennedy has been in the staff at Celtic for so long.

Hearing it through the likes of Damien Duff is valuable, sure. But what a difference it would make to hear Kennedy speaking frankly about his time at Celtic. What he’s learned under each manager, and what his plans are. For Strachan, it would be an opportunity to rid himself of the nepotism tag. What is he bringing to the table in terms of data analysis?

It isn’t a guaranteed fix. Trust in the new boss is integral here, and we have to believe he’s confident in his staffing decisions.

But Celtic have the means to make this relationship much better. Just speak in plain terms. It’ll help.

READ MORE: The fundamental question you need to ask yourself about Ange Postecoglou after Celtic staff decision