It was not at all easy for Neil Lennon to fill the void left by Brendan Rodgers midway through the previous campaign. Yet the Northern Irishman took up the challenge and led the Hoops to clinch a historic treble ‘treble’ with the Scottish Cup and Premiership triumphs. He was then handed the managerial role permanently as a reward for his instant influence and the gaffer, till now, has done a commendable job both at home as well as Europe despite Rangers’ resurgence.
Lennon has done nothing wrong to worry about his position at the club. However, there’s been discussions on the potential candidates who could replace him in the forthcoming future. According to club legend Davie Hay (as said to The Glasgow Evening Times), the Bhoys’ assistant manager John Kennedy has got all the traits and attributes to succeed Lennon at Parkhead.
“I have no doubt that he has what it takes to be the Celtic manager one day. If he stays where he is, then there is every chance that when the time eventually comes for Neil Lennon to move on for whatever reason, he will be the man who assumes the mantle.”
Early Career And Rise Through The Managerial Ranks
Kennedy progressed through the youth ranks of Celtic during his playing days before making his senior debut at the age of 16. But his career was cut short through injuries, and that forced him to retire ten years later. It was a heartbreak for the centre-half who then shifted his focus on building a managerial career and started the journey as a first-team scout back in 2010.
He gained coaching experience with the Hoops academy ranks before being promoted as a first-team coach during Ronny Deila’s tenure. He continued in that role under Rodgers but had a significant advancement following Lennon’s arrival. His influence on the youth has been massive, and the reputation Kennedy has earned led Hibernian to consider him as one of the prime managerial options to replace Paul Heckingbottom before Jack Ross’ appointment (according to The Scotsman).
Should He Be Lined Up As The Next Celtic Boss?
While Lennon should keep up the excellent work he has done so far in his second stint as the Celtic chief, Kennedy deserves an opportunity to prove his worth when the time will come.
Lennon has echoed the words of Hay (while speaking to the Sunday Post) as he hailed the impact and significance of his assistant at Parkhead.
“He has studied the game very hard and made a huge contribution to the club on the coaching side of things. And I believe he still has a big contribution to make before he either steps in here – in the hot seat eventually – or goes and does his own thing elsewhere.”
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