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'Shane Duffy is lucky there are no fans in Celtic Park'

As Celtic appear to have spurned the opportunity of winning a tenth successive Scottish league ti...

'Shane Duffy is lucky there ar...

'Shane Duffy is lucky there are no fans in Celtic Park'

As Celtic appear to have spurned the opportunity of winning a tenth successive Scottish league title, journalist Tom English joined OTB AM to explain where it has all gone wrong. 

Although their performance suggested an up-turn in form, Celtic's 1-0 defeat to Rangers last weekend may well be the result that finally ends a 10-in-a-row dream that at one stage seemed inevitable.

The latest low point in a season full of them, it is not even for footballing reasons that Celtic have been in the news this week. As much of the world struggles with the spread of coronavirus, manager Neil Lennon has been defending his club after they proceeded with a mid-season R&R trip to Dubai.

"They literally went from Ibrox to Glasgow Airport and flew to Dubai," explained Tom English, Chief sports writer with BBC Scotland. "Photographs then of Scott Brown and Neil Lennon sitting by a pool with a couple of beers in between them - it probably wasn't the cleverest thing to do when you're 19 points behind [Rangers] and your supporters are going doolally.

"It is a PR horror-show for Celtic [but] an illustration of how this football club after eight years of making very good decisions have started to make one bad decision after another."

Amid all this collective disappointment, the fate of Ireland's Shane Duffy has an opprobrious tone that is distinctly individual. Loaned from Brighton & Hove Albion to Celtic with a general feeling that the move would suit all parties, it has largely failed to take hold for Duffy in Scotland.

"He has been - and I choose my words carefully here - a failure," surmised English, "but Celtic fans would use more agricultural language than that when talking about Shane Duffy. He has tried his heart out but it just hasn't happened."

There was some feeling then that when the Republic of Ireland international returned prematurely from Dubai on his own that he may be on the cusp of a move away from the club. However, Celtic dismissed this and stated that he had returned for personal reasons.

Nevertheless, Tom English remains uncertain what the best case scenario for Duffy can be if he remains put.

"The best thing for Shane Duffy and for Celtic is a parting of the ways here," he reasoned. "His confidence has just been obliterated and he is making jaw-droppingly bad decisions on the ball and being caught out by run-of-the-mill footballers.

"When he came in everyone thought, myself included, that this would be a good signing... but almost from the start he has been getting caught out - not just in Europe, but by Kilmarnock, being bullied.

"The one thing he has in his favour is that there's no fans at Celtic Park [because] if there were fans there he would be having a torrid time from them. On social media, they are destroying him."

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Celtic Neil Lennon Republic Of Ireland Scotland Shane Duffy