Celtic have very little to play for throughout the rest of the campaign but they only have themselves to blame. A number of their players haven’t been up scratch and they’ve consequently been left behind in the dirt by their Glaswegian rivals.
Neil Lennon has left but similar problems are plaguing John Kennedy’s opening few weeks in temporary charge.
It was strange to see an Old Firm derby lacking bite and intensity, but Sunday’s match was exactly that. Rangers had already won the league and Celtic lacked the desire to stop their unbeaten run.
One of the worst performers on the day was Jonjoe Kenny. The right-back is on loan from Everton but endured a baptism of fire in his first Old Firm clash.
Kenny has been eye-catching in the final third throughout his first few months at Parkhead, but he was left wanting on Sunday afternoon.
The defender played a shocking back pass which led to the corner that Alfredo Morelos scored from and his marking for the Colombian’s header wasn’t great either.
Kenny lost sight of his man and instead of tracking Morelos to the back post, the striker was allowed to score a simple header from a matter of yards out.
It will be interesting to see whether Celtic try and bring Kenny back in the summer. After all, following the departure in January of Jeremie Frimpong to Bayer Leverkusen, they certainly need more options there.
Kenny’s price tag has been lowered so a move could well happen, but they’d be much better off finding alternative targets.
One of those is 20-year-old Milan van Ewijk. The right-back was linked with a move to the Hoops a few weeks ago and if his performances are anything to go by, he’d be a giant upgrade on Celtic’s current options.
The Dutchman is an athletic individual and he’s particularly strong in defensive scenarios. Speaking about his own game, Van Ewijk once commented: “I am a fierce right-back who can attack well, but also defend and I have a good condition. I can certainly also be found in the front. Last season I also gave a number of assists.”
Indeed, the youngster has helped himself to three goal involvements in the Dutch top-flight this term.
Most appealing, however, are his defensive statistics. You’ll struggle to find many better in the tackle than Van Ewijk. This term he’s made 89 tackles at a rate of 3.3 per match. For context, Kenney has managed just 1.6 from his nine SPFL outings.
Some of the numbers the young full-back has amassed this season are quite remarkable. Against FC Emmen, Van Ewijk managed as many as nine tackles. That came after he registered seven versus VVV-Venlo.
Frighteningly good in one-on-one duels, he’d be a brilliant upgrade on Kenny if Celtic decide against signing him permanently.