Obviously there will be a huge desire to get a win at the weekend to put any thoughts of an unbeaten season to bed, but “invincibles” are much less impressive when they can’t deal with domestic cup competitions anyway.
John Kennedy shouldn’t be getting the job on a long-term basis so in many ways the results don’t actually matter between now and the end of the season, but he will be looking to come out of this with something for his CV as he looks for job offers in the future.
The problem with that approach is Celtic have a major rebuilding job to so this summer, so it would be hugely beneficial to the club to see what some of the fringe players can do.
It’s not clear if any of the loanees will be kept on and there’s little to learn about them anyway, so it’s led to Frank McAvennie urging Kennedy to mix up his team selection to give some of the other players a chance: (Quotes from Football Insider)
“The loan players are going back so why not play the lads who’ll be here next season. I get it with Scott, he’s never not going to give 100% but I think he’d understand if someone like [Ismaila] Soro played ahead of him.
“Callum McGregor’s not played well and he’s not been left out, he’s not missed a game for three years.
“I’d have loved to have seen Soro and [David] Turnbull in the midfield but if you leave the loanees out and the players who might not be here next year you’ve not got a team.
“I’ve never seen so many changes of personnel in one season, it’s crazy.”
The point about McGregor is also interesting in terms of what Celtic actually gain by him playing out the rest of the season.
He’s likely going to play every game for Scotland at the Euros so he won’t get much for a rest, and it will be completely pointless if he picks up an injury in a nothing game when he didn’t really need to play.
There’s a fine line to be drawn here as we obviously want to see the team win so it’s not a case of Kennedy just putting a youth team out, but some of these fringe players will have a point to prove.
It would be different if some of the senior guys were excelling every week but that hasn’t been the case either, so hopefully there will be some kind of rotation for the last few games to help the new manager make some decisions ahead of next season.