Celtic defender continues his struggles; looks out of place

There comes a point in every profession when no matter how much quality someone has shown in the past – and for how long they’ve shown said quality – that if they endure a lengthy spell of bad form, there is always reason for them to be removed from the post.

We’ve seen this with Celtic managers in the past – Ronny Deila was perhaps the most infamous example of the past decade, and Tony Mowbray didn’t exactly cover himself in glory at Parkhead, being sacked just 45 games into the job; despite his previous achievements at West Brom.

However, this season it doesn’t just fall in the hands of the management team – a lot of players are to blame over the course of the last five months for their lack of commitment, determination and guile that have been needed to pick up results.

One of the main hallmarks that is consistent throughout the successful Celtic teams of the dominating 2010’s era is the persistance and experience of the players. Even at the start of the decade, Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama and Giorgios Samaras had a never say die attitude. Then the Brendan era; Lustig, Dembele and Tierney would give their all for every minute that they were chosen to play – without doubt.

Can the same be said about the current side? Perhaps not – McGregor, Rogic and co. certainly haven’t covered themselves in glory the last couple of games, but at least give something 90% of the time they step onto the pitch.

However, one person who cannot say that he has fulfilled this necessity is Shane Duffy. A man who struggled for form over the last year with his parent club, Duffy has been nowhere near the required standard to lead the defence into battle every game. The boyhood Celtic fan has been given a new lease of life away from the English south coast, being offered guaranteed minutes at the team he grew up to love – and for some reason, he just isn’t giving the output expected of him to say he cost north of £2 million to rent.

After a 0-0 draw against Livingston, it could be argued that Duffy actually did his job by keeping a clean sheet. However, Celtic’s game panned out in the worst circumstances possible for a draw by consistently being pegged back by Livi – and with Duffy’s dismal 30% passing accuracy rate owing to his long, raking switches being aimed at the diminutive Jeremie Frimpong all game – it wasn’t the experienced performance that Celtic were looking for, especially in a fixture where the majority of first team players were out due to isolation.

In a sense, what makes the ordeal even more galling is that Celtic paid £2m to take Duffy on loan; for that price, Mark McKenzie could’ve been lured to Celtic Park, or the money could’ve been spent on youth and infrastructure.

What could’ve been, eh.

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