The one big error Celtic interim boss will likely make this Sunday
When John Kennedy steps out onto the Ibrox turf for his final Glasgow Derby as Celtic interim boss, he should be left with no regrets.
Indeed, the Parkhead caretaker will take Celtic to Govan looking to end Rangers’ unbeaten league campaign. Victory against our arch-rivals would also halt the prospect of failing to beat them once in a season for the first time since John Barnes.
But, as positive as we’re all trying to be ahead of this weekend, there’s one mistake Kennedy is bound to make. That mistake? Scott Brown being chosen ahead of Ismaila Soro.
There’s a media narrative being built up heading into this Ibrox clash. A narrative of it being Brown’s final derby and the chance to leave Celtic with one final blow to their rivals.
The Daily Record today produced a piece on his full derby record at Celtic ahead of his “derby farewell”. Meanwhile, Scott McDonald has been talking up the importance of bagging a win in Govan for Brown’s final game [Glasgow Times].
Combine this with the fact that John Kennedy tried to say Brown was “excellent” at Pittodrie last week and it’s easy to put two and two together. [Daily Record]. Kennedy has all the excuses in the world to play Brown on Sunday. With it being his final derby, he could likely use the idea of sentiment alone.
Celtic interim boss won’t make the necessary change
The truth is that spot should be Ismaila Soro’s. Brown is leaving the club for Aberdeen at the end of the season, and we currently have nothing to play for but pride. All we’re doing now is helping one of Aberdeen’s new signings tick over before his move. Whereas, in reality, we should be doing all we can to integrate Soro back into things before pre-season.
This is a selection decision that Kennedy has been hounded for in the past. Davie Provan claimed on Sunday that he “couldn’t see the logic” in Brown starting last week [Scottish Sun].
But don’t expect Kennedy to suddenly change his ways. With only three games left this season, he’ll likely play Brown in all of them. It’s not as if the Celtic captain has ever been out the team since announcing he would join Aberdeen back in March.
It’s highly frustrating given we know Soro can boss a match at Ibrox. He proved that back in January when he was a standout in the 1-0 defeat. And he should easily be in the team to try and combat what could potentially be a weak Rangers midfield.
But don’t count on it. Kennedy has stuck with Brown ever since becoming interim boss. Given the narrative surrounding this fixture combined with Kennedy’s comments last week? Brown will be starting, and it’ll be one big error we easily could’ve avoided.