There is no point that I can see to Celtic “fighting” to hang onto John Kennedy. He has been at Celtic for over a decade now, and he has earned the right to move on. Unlike some people he’s never done the badge kissing bit; he does not have to. He has given us everything. He is fully entitled to leave with the best wishes of everyone at Celtic Park.
What good does it do to hang onto someone who wants to go? If we were going to fight, if we cared that much, why not fight for the manager? Because it’s a waste of time.
I know some people at Celtic harboured mad fantasies of giving Kennedy the big job one day, but we did nothing whatsoever to encourage him to take the steps away from Parkhead that might have made it possible. He’s not going to get the experience here; he has to go in order to do that.
Besides, he wants to go. I find it astonishing that a club which won’t fight to keep its best players is willing to go to do it for a mere coach. Things at this club often don’t make any sense. This is either a change of policy – which some might welcome, especially if it extends to the playing squad and a digging in of the heels – but I suspect not.
Following the manager scuttling off, what this club needs more than anything else is a proper gutting out of the place. All those not fully committed for next season and the one beyond it should be ushered to the door. Oh we should get value for all of them, and the right valuations, those that reflect their worth, but we should not hesitate to act with utter ruthlessness.
If that means a rebuild then so be it; I’m pretty much resigned to one anyway at this stage. I’m on holiday right now, writing this from a poolside bar, and perhaps its the distance that has given me a renewed sense of perspective; nevertheless, I am actually fairly relaxed about the idea that this great Celtic side might have run its course with the manager’s departure.
It might not be bad if that’s the case. It is tempting to wanting to limit the disruption, but let’s be honest, the disruption is here. I am reminded here that the Chinese language is ideographic; the symbol for crisis is a combination of the ones for danger and opportunity and that’s how we should see this. This is now a genuine crisis. But it’s also alive with possibilities.
If the need to play a similar style of football leaves us looking at third rate candidates – Maresca apparently although how can we know? The Ipswich manager? Really? At Celtic? – when what we need are seasoned, experienced pros who have won things and managed in European competition and who we know can handle the role, then that’s a pointless imposing of limits for the sake of some ideal.
I would rather we brought in a proven winner and let him decide how to get us where we need to be. A more aggressive and physical Celtic, one capable of slugging it out in a battle, as well as one that is a little more tactically flexible would not exactly be a disastrous change of pace, would it? If someone comes in and wants to rip it up and start again so be it.
He will be extraordinarily well funded in his efforts. Besides, it’s not like every single member of the first team squad will be going. There will still be a core of real talents here, players capable of doing it for us at this level and perhaps the next one too.
So Kennedy, yeah, I’d let him go. I’d drive him to the airport if that’s where he wants to go. Or if he wants to hire a mini-bus and take with him any of our dressing room mercenaries who want to follow the guy who signed them to the land of milk and honey … yeah, take them with you, as long as the big cheques for their services come back to Celtic Park.
There’s no point in pretending that we’re not facing this on some level. Kennedy wants to go, the manager knew a couple of people from the dressing room want to go, and as far as I’m concerned now they can all chip in for the private jet to their big money futures.
We don’t need that sort at Celtic Park. In fact, their presence would only hinder us in doing what needs to be done. This is real, and the longer we live in denial the harder its going to be to deal with the reality of it. We’re at the end of a cycle.
The sooner we’re on the next one the better, and that’s only possible with the players and staff who actually give a shit.