We face a real quandary when it comes to John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan. These two aren’t wanted by the support, as they were part of the regime that failed last season. That our directors are relaxed about keeping both of them on casts a shadow over everything else they do; their judgement is seriously flawed if they think this is a good idea.
Kennedy himself appears to know that it’s not, which means he’s thinking more clearly than our directors appear capable of. Kennedy fancies himself in a management role, and he must sense that Postecoglou will not be understanding about his multiple failures as a coach. Having tasted life in the dugout, in charge of the team, he wants more of that.
And unlike Lennon, who I think has absolutely torpedoed his managerial career, Kennedy is young enough that the Celtic experience will not have significantly damaged his reputation in the game. For us it was an horrific ordeal we’re glad is over … other clubs might well see it as an unwinnable position and something for which he can’t be held responsible.
Kennedy knows that he’s done at Celtic, even if the directors don’t. Once again, they are guilty of supreme folly. If Kennedy walks away who takes pre-season training? Their calamitous way of making decisions has on the brink of yet another self-made mess, which is why the news that Kennedy hasn’t decided if he’s staying yet is so embarrassing.
First, the decision ought not to be in his hands. The manager should be shipping him out and bringing his own people in. Celtic fans who are already gravely concerned by some of the elements of this appointment will feel a lot better if Postecoglou surrounds himself with his own people; the strays and dregs of the last regime simply won’t do at all.
Secondly, Celtic’s utter failure to give actual assurances to people at all levels of the club has created instability the likes of which I’ve never known at Parkhead before. We may have a man in the dugout – European license issues and work permits permitting – but the club is still an absolute shambles from top to bottom. This is the week when things have to change.
If Kennedy walks out our first team training will probably fall to the likes of Stephen McManus and his team. It’s not an ideal solution, but we’re out of ideal solutions. An ideal solution would be for the manager to have his own people in there by the time it kicks off; it is an absolute fiasco that we’re even considering last year’s losers for that role.
Kennedy at least seems to realise that he can’t stay. He seems to see the writing on the wall. He should not concern himself with how his departure might affect us, we’ve made our own bed on that score and he’d be doing himself and the club a favour if he said he was leaving to allow the transition to be complete. He has to know that his staying will be deeply damaging to the club’s already unstable relationship with the fans and that his presence in the dugout will only antagonise supporters when they need to be fully behind the team and the new boss.
Kennedy’s position is one of the things the supporters are watching most avidly. Dominic McKay has to start earning his salary this week; he’s being paid to do a job now even if his position doesn’t formally start until July. Get Postecoglou some coaches and let us move this club forward in a way that gives us the fresh start we need.