Hoops-minded pundits urge Celtic to send Duffy back to Brighton

By Euan Davidson

December 23, 2020

Celtic heroes Frank McAvennie and Simon Donnelly reckon Shane Duffy’s time at Celtic should be over.

Duffy had a difficult time of it again on Sunday. Speaking to the Celtic Huddle Podcast, Macca and Donnelly were clear on their feelings about the Irishman’s spell at Celtic Park.

Celtic suffered a total defensive lapse from the second half of Sunday’s final, with the Quadruple Treble being settled on penalties (BBC). The Bhoys had stormed to a 2-0 lead before goals from Boyce and Kingsley put the Jambos level, forcing extra time.

Duffy and Jullien nearly combined to lose Celtic the game, running into each other and ceding possession to Josh Ginnelly. Fortunately for the Celtic defence, his subsequent effort was wayward.

Celtic defender Shane Duffy / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Celtic’s highly questionable defence

McAvennie was brutal but spot on in his assessment of Celtic’s leaky back-line. The former striker said:

“We give stupid free kicks away. It’s their achilles heel. I don’t get how three 6’4″, 6’5” defenders can’t go and win a ball.

On Duffy, Macca simply said: “Send him back.”

Simon Donnelly added:

“I think he’s struggled. The last couple of games, he scored a fantastic header and you’re thinking “right, kick on.” When the tide turns at the weekend, these mistakes surface again. The one with Jullien, I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

The Hearts lad almost goes in and scores, that would potentially have been the winner for Hearts. I would maybe cut my losses and look to strengthen there again.”

Podcast host and fellow ex-Celt Mark Wilson chipped in, saying:

“Do you know what the most alarming one for me was?

“Right at the end of the game when it is 2-2 in the 91st minute when he charges out and I think it was Olly Lee who runs off the back of him into the wide area. It is the one that gets squared and the boy should score. Ajer does very well to put him off.”

Simon Donnelly celebrates a Celtic goal (Photo by Stu Forster / Allsport)

McAvennie and Donnelly on Celtic recruitment

Mark Wilson then asked the panel about the Bhoys’ recruitment more widely, calling Nick Hammond into question.

Wilson cited the example of Celtic’s expensive goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas, and Frank McAvennie responded:

“They’ve spent £35m – there’s no way Lenny’s bought half of those players. The boy Hammond, I don’t know if he’s no seen him. Maybe someone sent him a DVD. You never get a bad DVD.

“Talk about the board, talk about Lenny; Lenny’s no signed [Barkas].

“Ajeti for £5m, who would’ve thought? Peter must be thinking right, OK, is he going to make his money?”