Neil Lennon yesterday tried to defend the upcoming Celtic trip to Dubai after losing 1-0 at Ibrox.
The Hoops performed superbly in Govan and were unfortunate to fall to defeat. It leaves Celtic 19 points behind Rangers at the top of the Premiership with three games in-hand.
However, the decision to go to Dubai isn’t just controversial in a sporting sense. With Scotland currently in lockdown, the necessity of the trip can easily be called into question. Especially considering the danger Covid still poses to the country.
Yet Lennon moved to defend the trip as he confirmed it’s still going ahead.
As quoted by the Daily Record, the Hoops boss said: “It’s not a break, it’s a training camp. It’s just a change of scenery. We just hope to come back refreshed and ready to go.
“You have got to keep going. You can’t just say it’s over because there is still a lot of football to be played. We have to be a lot more consistent in the second half of the season than we have been in the first half.”
Celtic shouldn’t need a week in the sun to turn on the style
There has generally been something that connects Celtic’s time in Dubai with a storming second half of the season. But it shouldn’t take more time in the sun to brighten up the club’s season.
In fact, the Hoops are actually on a fine run of form. Taking away yesterday, Celtic had won their previous six matches. They were extremely unfortunate not to make it seven. It’s not as if we need to take the break.
We have a game against Hibernian coming up a week tomorrow. There’s hardly any time to head over and use it to any real impact. It comes across as a glorified holiday.
Yes, there are special exemptions made by government for people who need to leave the country for work. Do Celtic really NEED to leave Scotland? Lennon’s explanation here is that “it’s a change of scenery”. Sorry, that doesn’t wash for me. Not when there are hundreds of people dying of Covid. All Neil’s made it sound like here is a break.
We would also do well to remember the damage Covid has had on Celtic this season. What yesterday’s defeat at Ibrox proved was how false that game against Rangers was back in October. Celtic had a host of players missing due to virus-related incidents.
The last thing we need is history repeating itself in Dubai. That’s regardless of whether we’re in a bubble or not. We were made to believe all players were save before the October derby and yet still several picked up the disease.
It just feels like the sensible decision for everyone would be for Celtic to stay at home. There’s no need to leave Scotland just now.